Jonathan Chait: Barack Hussein Milhous Nixon Impeachment Update: The Weekly Standard has an essay by Noemie Emery on the scandalousness of Barack Hussein Obama, which provides an interesting window into the current state of conservative thought…. Impeachment is merited… his guilt [is] assumed; the puzzle merely how they could go about nailing him…. The facts don’t interest Emery; she assumes his criminality and undertakes to show that he absorbed it environmentally via his career in Chicago:
A biracial man who posed as a healer, he attended the church of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who preached racial antipathy; a proponent of peace, he befriended Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, who had trafficked in violence; a high-minded reformer, he became a cog in Chicago’s notorious Democratic machine, known for corruption and strong-arm behavior.
Emery argues that corruption is the essence of Obama’s identity…. the particulars… don’t… [matter.]
Kerry Bentivolio, a Republican member of the House, made the same basic assumption… he was asked about impeachment and replied:
“I stood twelve feet away from the guy and listened to him. I couldn’t stand being there, but because he is president I have to respect the office…. I’ve had lawyers come in…and I said ‘tell me how I can impeach the President of the United States.’… Until we have evidence, you’re going to become a laughing stock if you’ve submitted the bill to impeach the president because number one you’ve got to convince the press…. There are some people out there no matter what Obama does he’s still the greatest president they’ve ever had. That’s what you’re fighting.”
Note Representative Bentivolio’s belief that it’s the prejudices of Democrats… that stand in the way of impeachment, in contrast to sage statesmen like himself…. First he concluded he wanted to impeach Obama, and then he asked his lawyers how he could do that. Finally, he regards the appearance of evidence for impeachment as a matter of when rather than if (“until we have evidence”)….
It is noteworthy how many conservatives take the basic moral logic of Obama’s impeachment for granted. Ted Cruz was asked… and replied not that Obama hadn’t committed any high crimes, but that Republicans didn’t have the votes to carry it off:
To successfully impeach a president you need the votes in the U.S. Senate…. That’s not a fight we have a prospect of winning.