Hey, remember a few months ago, when the media tried desperately to convince you that all that Republican talk of impeachment was all in the Democrats' heads? Now that Republicans are perched to possibly control both houses of Congress, and make good on the threat, it's baaaack! On MSNBC's The Daily Rundown Tuesday morning, fill-in host Ari Melber asked RNC Chairman and Buster Bluth stunt-double Reince Priebus about a new poll that shows 57% of Republicans saying they would carry a protest sign, and the top answer for what those signs would say was "impeach Obama."
Naturally, since the GOP could take control of the Senate today, Melber asked, "If you do win the Senate, should people be worried about you impeaching Obama? Or is that off the table?"
Priebus' response was conspicuously not a "yes, it's off the table," but not conspicuous enough for Melber, who cluelessly followed up by saying "Impeachment would be off the table? Am I reading you right?"
See if Priebus is clear enough for you:
MELBER: If you do win the Senate, should people be worried about you impeaching Obama? Or is that off the table?
PRIEBUS: I think it's a good Democrat talking point, but... I think people are angry...
MELBER: Then, you are saying impeachment would be off the table? Am I reading you right? And what is the one thing, you mentioned the bills, what's the one most important thing will be done or passed?
PRIEBUS: We will mass a budget in both chambers and pass the Keystone pipeline, and I think the President will sign the bill on the Keystone pipeline...
Before this election, impeachment was, at best, a fundraising MacGuffin that they talked about a lot, but acknowledged they didn't have he votes for in the Senate. With a majority, that groundswell of angry Republican voters will expect at least an old college try, and while conventional wisdom has held that impeachment would be political poison for the GOP with general election voters, as it was with Bill Clinton,but that calculation can also change. With the emergence of Mitt Romney as a 2016 contender (at least in polls) has come the narrative of a do-over election, where so-called "independent" voters can make good on their buyers' remorse.
At the same time, the Republicans have continued to alienate the non-white-male voters they vowed to court after their 2012 trouncing, and turning that battleship around by the middle of next year might seem a lot harder than sinking Obama, and Hillary Clinton along with him (you think Hillary will stand by Obama when they come for him?), in an impeachment proceeding. They don't even need to convict President Obama in order for it to work, they just need to turn enough vulnerable Democrats to allow the mainstream media cover to call it a "bipartisan" effort. There are always 5 or 6 Democrats who'd split a baby with Satan if they thought it would help them hold onto some independent voters.
If MSNBC's Melber is any indication, the mainstream media will play right along, as it has so far. They gleefully ate up the Republican talking point that impeachment is a "Democrat talking point," and they will happily report the controversy when it comes time to impeach Obama, rather than the merits.
In case you've forgotten, here are some of the "Democrats" who have been using impeachment as a talking point: