The Republican Party held the White House from 1968 to 1976. After four years of Jimmy Carter, they again held the White House from 1980 till 1992. That’s twenty of twenty-four years. From Nixon to Bush the Elder, the Republican Party developed the idea they were entitled to exclusive possession of the presidency. So, when a Democrat from Arkansas was elected in 1992, the collective heads of Republicans exploded.
How dare the electorate not elect a Republican? There must be nefarious actions afoot. Thus we saw the birth of a new de facto GOP policy, the refusal to accept election results as legitimate. They broke with two centuries of the American tradition of peaceful power transfer.
The attacks against Clinton were unprecedented. Bill and Hillary were accused of murdering Vince Foster and making it look like a suicide. Bill was a Soviet sleeper agent. Hillary was desperate to conceal she was a lesbian so the Clinton’s routinely broke laws. It was the rise of the deranged Right to mainstream power.
The Clinton Presidency was dogged by Ken Starr and his relentless investigation of “scandals”. The Whitewater tempest in a tea pot morphed into a search for anything that could be used against Bill to cripple his Presidency or remove him from office. It took years of moving the investigation’s goal posts and millions of dollars to find anything even vaguely actionable.
They finally managed to produce a bill of impeachment and the Republican House ran with it.
Knowing full well the Senate would never concur, the House of Representatives impeached Bill Clinton. It was a politically motivated circus like the impeachment of Johnson in the 1860’s. It ended with the same result. The Senate did not convict in either case. It should be noted Clinton had approval ratings of 60% when the House acted.
In 2000, Al Gore distanced himself from Bill, not using Clinton as the powerful political force he was. So that, among other reasons, put George Bush close enough for SCOTUS to decide the election. The Republican House and Senate became a rubber stamp for, shall we say, questionable policies. The American people were in good hands now that order had been restored to the Universe. The GOP was back in the White House.
The Bush Presidency caused enough blowback against the GOP to give the Democrats the House and Senate in 2006. Even though there were likely grounds, the Democrats NEVER spoke of impeachment nor tried to make it happen.
In 2008, the world awaited the inevitable run and victory by Senator Hillary Clinton. The GOP was salivating for a vicious campaign to destroy her and keep the White House. Then some black guy won the nomination. A pivot was needed.
The campaign started early.
Barack Obama was a Kenyan fraud. A Muslim terrorist sleeper. A guy that’s going to go after your guns. A radical trained in Chicago to destroy America’s freedoms. He is going to restore the Caliphate.
So, in November 2008 Senator Obama handed Senator McCain his ass at the polls. Then the Right went totally off the rails.
Gun sales surged ahead of the fear of confiscation. Right wing bloggers and media figures demanded a birth certificate. On election night, on his radio program, Sean Hannity declared himself a member of the resistance. On inauguration day, GOP movers and shakers met to plan a way to neuter and derail the new president’s agenda.
As usual, the GOP bitch slapped the Democrats and took control of the message. Obamacare was coined. The massive government takeover of healthcare meme was pushed. Death panels. Socialism. The farthest right fringe were calling for impeachment and arrest since the President’s election. From day one POTUS was portrayed as a big spender who created massive debt. So, as usual the Dems were playing defense.
The Tea Party exploded on the scenes in 2010 catching the Dems flatfooted. We saw the House fall into the hands of extremists.
Since becoming speaker of the house, John Boehner (R-OH) has been herding cats as he tries to control a caucus the hates the federal hovernment.
Since 2010, the House has become a nest of radical Republicans seditionists bent on rewriting history, gutting the social safety net, denying science and trying backdoor attempts to undermine Roe v. Wade. It has been four years of incessant political theater.
As soon as these tea party infused freshmen hit the House, some started declaring POTUS is a lawless tyrant and breaking out the I-word, impeachment, early and often.
The Speaker took impeachment off the table early. An unprecedented move since there were no grounds to impeach.
We have seen the radical right wing’s delusional view of American history and constitutional interpretation morph into something unrecognizable.
Standard use of executive power has been portrayed as tyrannical, lawless, overreach. House and Senate members have portrayed president Obama as a usurper hell bent on destroying America and Christianity. He dares to nominate not-reactionary-Republicans to the judiciary.
Until recently, the House was focused on The Affordable Care Act as the center of their anger. During the Campaign in 2012 Benghazi was floated as a way to fatally wound the President’s reelection and kill the possibility of a Hillary run in 2016. When that gained no traction, Issa of California was turned loose to go all “Tail Gunner “Joe McCarthy in the oversight committee
Benghazi and the IRS became the center piece of a good old fashioned DC witch hunt. Still, no traction. Rep. Issa has been vilified for his partisan management of his committee. His disdain for facts has been condemned. Then a new Benghazi related email is turned over.
The right rejoiced in spite of there being no new revelations. The right wing propaganda machine went into overdrive. Fox News was outraged. Limbaugh blustered. The tea party caucus in the House started a feeding frenzy. Typically they were reacting to imaginary blood in the water.
Then the moment the Right has been having erotic dreams of happened. Speaker of The House Boehner announced the formation of a select committee to beat the Benghazi horse again to be sure it was dead. Now, I felt if the GOP took the Senate in the 2014 mid-terms there would be an impeachment of President Obama. I was shocked at the premature explosion of them going after Benghazi at this level prior to the election. I was sure they were canny enough to realize the issue was a loser. Wrong again, was I.
After announcing the committee, the speaker reassured us this would be a fair, exhaustive and non-partisan look at the facts. He then said the administration was lying about what happened. So much for impartial.
The select committee will be a sound bite factory during the run up to the midterms. You will see clips in every Republican’s campaign ads as they attempt to take the Senate. They feel this will be their path to the Senate majority in ’14 and the White House in ’16. The GOP sees this as a way to neuter President Obama (as if the House’s obstruction wasn’t enough) and destroy a potential candidacy of Hillary Clinton.
This select committee is the precursor to an attempt to impeach the President. Boehner can’t control his caucus and with the fixation of many in the House on removing the President the Committee will be their springboard to a bill of impeachment. Radical Republican House and Senate Members have been talking up impeachment since before the 2012 election cycle. And they’ve raised the volume since then.
Boehner signaled his caucus that impeachment isn’t off the table by declaring the Administration guilty before the Committee is even in session.
The far right is convinced Americans agree that POTUS is a threat and needs to be removed and prosecuted. After all ACORN stole the 2008 election and 2012 was also stolen. They had to be for an African-American to be elected by convincing margins. Twice.
So the genie is out of the bottle. The House has declared this is a viable political strategy. You will see Ted Cruz and his posse in the Senate urging them on. DeMint and his ilk will cheerlead. Fox will be constantly giddy over the chance to trow the Usurper out of the WHITE House.
As the Committee moves forward you will see the radical Republican contingent become more emboldened and vocal. It won’t just be the nut jobs (Michelle Bachman, Louie Gohmert et. al.) pushing a de facto coup. This insanity is now mainstream Republican policy.
So, John Boehner (R-OH) had a chance to stand for sanity and accept the will of the American electorate in choosing Barack Obama as President. He declined and staked his and the party’s future on a kangaroo court followed by the dubious distinction of letting a political trial happen.
There are days Boehner makes me ashamed to be an Ohioan. The only upside is this exercise in futility may hasten the demise of the Republican Party as a viable political force.
So, here we go down the rabbit hole of conspiracy aficionados. Madness gone mainstream. God save America.