Are the Republicans Plotting to Impeach Obama?

Illustration for article titled Are the Republicans Plotting to Impeach Obama?

Republicans these days spew so much crazy talk that it's sometimes hard to tell what to get upset about and what to simply dismiss as an empty threat. But one conservative who has a pretty solid record of doing exactly what he says he's going to do is Grover Norquist. Nominally, he's a tax activist (he's the president of Americans for Tax Reform), but really he is the evil puppeteer who pulls the strings that control most Republican politicians with one hand while probably stabbing a President Obama voodoo doll with the other.


His main game is making Republicans who are running for office sign a pledge that they will oppose any and all efforts to raise taxes—95 percent of Republican Congressmen and all of the current GOP presidential candidates have signed it. Then if they break, or even think about breaking, the pledge, he sets out to systematically destroy them.

By employing this kind of intellectual hostage taking, he's had plenty of influence in deadlocking the current Congress, but he's not content to rest on his laurels. He's got his eye on how to ensure the future is just as unbearable as the present. Norquist, who's been called, "the single most effective conservative activist in the country," is confident the Republicans will win a majority in the House and Senate and also capture the presidency in 2012—though he's planning for the worst case scenario, just in case. He told the National Journal he's got a back-up plan he'll unleash if Obama somehow manages to hold onto his seat:

Obama can sit there and let all the tax [cuts] lapse, and then the Republicans will have enough votes in the Senate in 2014 to impeach. The last year, he's gone into this huddle where he does everything by executive order. He's made no effort to work with Congress.

Well, that's just swell! Imagine, if Gingrich by some miracle manages to sink his claws into the presidency, how much of a nightmarish case of history repeating itself we could be in for.

But seriously, as batshit insane as this sounds, if Norquist retains his current death-grip on the Republican party, there's no reason to think he won't try to enact this plan; though depending on how the Congressional elections shake out, this could be a serious pipe dream. But even if it's not attainable—and it's hard to imagine how they could spin raising taxes as the necessary "treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors" required for impeachment—it's still an incredibly shitty and toxic thing to say.

In fact, now might be a good time for Republicans to think about formally ending their allegiance to this crazed, tax-obsessed man. They could even start focusing on, you know, what the voters actually care about. But if Norquist's influence remains this powerful come 2014, the GOP would at least be wise to remember the current, perilously low approval ratings for Congress—earned, of course, while Grover was at the helm—before following him blindly into a doomed impeachment battle.


Norquist: Republicans Will Impeach Obama If He Doesn't Extend Bush Tax Cuts [ThinkProgress]
The Pledge: Grover Norquist's hold on the GOP [CBS News]


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Maybe this is dumb, but why do Republicans sign this pledge in the first place? Is it a prerequisite for getting funding from certain donors? I don't see any other reason why they'd tie their own hands like that.