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"The next, most important step": Right-wing media push Obama impeachment

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The New Republic's Jonathan Chait predicts that the if the Republicans retake the House of Representatives this November, Fox News and the conservative media will drive them to impeach President Obama. Indeed, the conservative media has been banging the impeachment drum since as early as March of 2009.

Chait: Fox and the conservative media would drive a GOP House to impeach Obama

From Jonathan Chait's October 6 New Republic article, "Scandal TBD; The coming impeachment of Barack Hussein Obama":

Hear me now and believe me later: If Republicans win and maintain control of the House of Representatives, they are going to impeach President Obama. They won't do it right away. And they won't succeed in removing Obama. (You need 67 Senate votes.) But if Obama wins a second term, the House will vote to impeach him before he leaves office.

Wait, you say. What will they impeach him over? You can always find something.

[...]

A December poll found that 35 percent of Republicans already favor impeaching Obama, with just 48 percent opposed and the balance undecided. That is a large base of support to impeach Obama for literally anything at all.

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Once Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, and the like collectively decide that this or that incident represents an intolerable abuse of power by the Obama administration, the conservative base will go from supporting impeachment to demanding it. At that point, the acquiescence of the House GOP would become inevitable. Since Obama took office, whatever willingness the party establishment had to resist the impulses of its base has been submerged beneath a wave of right-wing primary challenges.

The Republicans wouldn't dare repeat the mistake they made by impeaching Clinton, you say? You're not thinking like a Republican.

"High crime": Conservative media use phony Sestak scandal to push impeachment

Right-wing media have claimed that the White House offering Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) a position on a presidential panel if he did not enter the Pennsylvania Senate primary constituted a "high crime" and an "impeachable offense." They have made similar assertions with regard to their false claim that the White House offered Andrew Romanoff a job in exchange for dropping out of Colorado's U.S. Senate election.

In fact, numerous legal experts have assessed the Sestak case and concluded that no law was broken, and political and legal experts and historians have noted that such offers are commonplace. Likewise, Richard Painter, former White House ethics advisor to President Bush, has called it a "real stretch" to say the White House's conversations with Romanoff violated the law.

Dick Morris predicts victorious GOP will convene an "impeachment panel" over the Sestak, Romanoff allegations. On the June 3 edition of Fox News' On the Record with Record with Greta van Susteren, Fox News political analyst Dick Morris said: "I'll bet that the Republicans win majorities in both houses in the November elections and convene an impeachment panel" regarding the allegations about the White House's discussions with Sestak and Romanoff because it "is very clear" those conversations were illegal.

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Hannity: "De facto bribe" to Sestak is "an impeachable offense." On the May 24 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity asked Fox News political analyst Dick Morris, "This, at a minimum, we're talking about a congressman offered a high-ranking job, this is a de facto bribe, no?" Morris replied, "It is," later adding that the offer might be "a high crime and misdemeanor." Hannity then asked: "That would be -- in other words -- an impeachable offense." Morris replied, "Absolutely."

Morris: "If that offer were conveyed, I think that that would be, in my judgment, grounds for impeachment - if Obama knew about it." On the May 28 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Morris said that with regard to Sestak, Bill Clinton "was acting as an agent of Rahm Emanuel. And the statute says 'you may not offer something of value.' Well, if it was valuable enough to possibly get him out of the race, it's valuable enough to qualify under that statute." He later added, "If that offer were conveyed, I think that that would be, in my judgment, grounds for impeachment ... if Obama knew about it."

Beck: "If this guy from Pennsylvania is telling the truth, then someone has just committed an impeachable offense[.]" On the May 28 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, Glenn Beck said of Sestak, "If this guy from Pennsylvania is telling the truth, then someone has just committed an impeachable offense, a felony. There is prison time."

Limbaugh: "We have a potential impeachable offense with this Joe Sestak thing." On the May 26 edition of his Premiere Radio Networks program, Rush Limbaugh said "We have a potential impeachable offense with this Joe Sestak thing. Was he or was he not offered a federal job in exchange for not running for the Senate in the primary against Arlen Specter?"

Doocy: "Dick Morris says" Sestak offer could be "an impeachable offense." On the May 25 edition of Fox & Friends, Gretchen Carlson and Steve Doocy speculated on the potential legal repercussions of the Sestak offer. Carlson said, "The reporter there says what's the harm; the harm is this: it could be illegal! It could be illegal to offer somebody a job to drop out of a race." She went on to say "somebody's going to get them under oath. Hasn't Darrell Issa already called for hearings on this?...Somebody's going to get them under oath and somebody's going to have to start telling the truth." Doocy responded: "Dick Morris says that if this really happened, if for instance, he was offered a job to drop out, that is an impeachable offense!"

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Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

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