Republicans have been beating the drum for the impeachment of Pres. Obama since the first year of his first term. Now that it appears voters will remove the GOP’s main obstacle — Democratic control of the Senate — in the November midterms, the reality is sinking in among Democrats and independents that if Republicans keep the House and take the Senate, as appears likely, they will spend the last two years of Obama’s term impeaching him.
Last week, the House laid the groundwork for impeachment when Republicans voted to give Speaker Boehner the authority to sue the president on grounds that he delayed Obamacare’s employer mandate by executive order. House Republicans hope voters have forgotten that they voted to delay the employer mandate one year earlier.
The Democrat Party has base has taken notice. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has raised $7.6 million online since Boehner announced he was suing the president. This includes 74,000 donations averaging just $19 each from 74,000 new donors. On the last Monday in July, the DCCC reported that it had raised $1 million online in 24 hours. The uptick in new donors is cause for alarm in Republican establishment circles, and by the end of last week Boehner, Rush Limbaugh and other Republican leaders were backpedaling away from impeachment as fast as they could.
“Listen,” Boehner told reporters, “this whole talk about impeachment is coming from the president’s own staff, and coming from Democrats on Capitol Hill. Why? Because they’re trying to rally their people to give money and to show up in this year’s election.” In segment on Limbaugh’s show on Thursday that he called the “Democrat Impeachment Talk-A-Thon,” he used his prodigious propagandizing skills to attempt to erase the GOP push for impeachment over the past five years from his Dittohead followers’ minds, claiming that rather than calling for impeachment, Republicans have been saying, “We’re not going to impeach the president! We are not going to impeach Obama, do you hear us?” It’s puzzling whether this was a message Limbaugh’s Obama-deranged listeners wanted to hear.
And yet facts are facts, fortunately, and the record is clear. Republicans have been calling for the impeachment of Pres. Obama for nearly as long as the president has been in office. Here are links to 40 of these calls, beginning in December 2009.
Please note that the list is comprehensive but likely incomplete. Additions or corrections are welcome. Just leave them in the comments section.
- December 9, 2009: Less than 11 months after Pres. Obama was inaugurated, a Public Policy Polling survey finds that 35 percent of Republicans want to impeach the president for “his actions so far.”
- February 21, 2010: An “Impeach Obama” billboard appears in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
- May 2010: After Rep. Joe Sestak, a Pennsylvania Democrat, says Obama officials had offered him a job in the administration if he would forgo challenging incumbent Sen. Arlen Spector, California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa calls for an investigation into the matter, and suggests it could be Obama’s Watergate.
- July 2010: GOP Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas suggests Obama’s record on immigration comes “awfully close” to violating the oath of office, which can be a predicate for impeachment.
- July 23, 2010: Republican Former Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo writes an op-ed in the Washington Times calling for Obama’s impeachment.
- August 2010: The GOP/Birther organization World Net Daily publishes its first book on impeaching Obama, “The Case for Impeachment: Why Barack Hussein Obama Should be Impeached to Save America.” Ad copy for the book warns that, “This is the beginning of the end for the United States unless the people exercise their precious remaining liberties and stand and demand that their elected representatives impeach this president before further mortal damage is inflicted upon America.”
- October 2010: A group with Republican Party ties called the National Campaign for an Impeachment Inquiry launches a direct mail campaign calling for Obama’s impeachment. According to the mailers, late Venezuela leader Hugo Chavez referred to the president as “Comrade Obama,” and that Obamacare “builds an enormousness Soviet-style bureaucratic government administrative apparatus.”
- March 2011: Rep. Trent Franks, Republican of Arizona, calls for impeachment over the president’s decision not to defend the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act in court.
- July 6, 2011: Republican Rep. (now Sen.) Tim Scott tells constituents in Summerville, S.C., that Obama should not try to raise the debt ceiling by using the 14th Amendment. “This president is looking to usurp congressional oversight to find a way to get it done without us. My position is that is an impeachable act from my perspective. There are a lot of things people say, ‘Are you going to impeach the president over that?’ — No. But this? This is catastrophic.”
- July 6, 2011: A GOP group, the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, launches a Facebook page “Impeach Obama.” Discussion on the page generally describes Pres. Obama as a dictator.
- July 25, 2011: Republican Iowa Rep. Steve King tweets, “The 1st dime of each $1 of revenue services debt. Obama would be impeached if he blocked debt payments. C C & B!”
- August 9, 2011: Texas Republican Rep. Michael Burgess tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that impeaching Obama “needs to happen” in order to stop his agenda. “I agree with you it would tie things up.”
- April 4, 2012: A conservative blogger lists 306 articles of impeachment against Obama, charges including the allegation that the president was born in Kenya.
- June 26, 2012: Republican Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl discusses impeaching Obama over immigration on a local radio show. “Now if it’s bad enough and if shenanigans involved in it, then of course impeachment is always a possibility. But I don’t think at this point anybody is talking about that.”
- November 7, 2012: GOP lobbyist Ed Rogers says, “We’re probably one e-mail away from Benghazi being an impeachable offense for much of our party. I think that’s nuts, but that’s where we are right now.”
- January 15, 2013: Rep. Steve Stockman, Republican of Texas, suggests the president should be impeached over White House’s plans to use executive actions to implement new gun policy. “I will seek to thwart this action by any means necessary, including but not limited to eliminating funding for implementation, defunding the White House, and even filing articles of impeachment.”
- January 16, 2013: Florida Republican Rep. Trey Radel invokes the prospect of impeaching Obama over gun policy. Radel later pleaded guilty to cocaine position and resigned from Congress, only to be replaced by the now infamously clueless Rep. Curt Clawson.
- May 12, 2013: Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe tells reporters that Obama could be impeached over the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
- May 13, 2013: Republican House Judiciary Committee member Jason Chaffetz of Utah writes an op-ed for the Salt Lake Tribune published under the headline, “Chaffetz: Obama Impeachment ‘Possible’ over Benghazi Attack.” He later tells CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “It’s not the endgame; it’s not what we’re playing for. I was simply asked, is that within the realm of possibilities, and I would say ‘yes.’ I’m not willing to take that off the table. But that’s certainly not what we’re striving for.”
- June 2013: James Neighbors starts the group Overpasses for Obama’s Impeachment. The group stands on overpasses across the United States, holding signs documenting Obama’s offenses and hoping for honks of agreement from their fellow Americans. Neighbors told New York Magazine that “Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi” was the main purpose for heading to the highways. “I hope people go home and they look up Benghazi [after seeing it on a sign]. I hope they feel rage, and I hope they want to do something.” (Source: Washington Post.)
- July 2013: Sen. Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, implies that Obama should be impeachmed by branding him as, “lawless.”
- August 12, 2013: Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold suggests that Obama would be be impeached if Republicans controlled the Senate. “You tie into a question I get a lot: ‘If everyone’s so unhappy with the president’s done, why don’t you impeach him?’ I’ll give you a real frank answer about that: If we were to impeach the president tomorrow, you could probably get the votes in the House of Representatives to do it. But it would go to the Senate and he wouldn’t be convicted.”
- August 21, 2013: Republican Rep. Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan declares it would be his “dream come true” to write the Articles of Impeachment.
- August 22, 2013: At a meeting with constituents, Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn says Obama was “getting perilously close” to meeting the standard for impeachment. “I’m documenting all this as it goes along,” Coburn said, “I don’t know where that level is – I’m kind of like the lady in the back. I’m fed up. I’m frustrated. I’m happy to raise an issue at every point.” He also called Obama a “personal friend.”
- August 27, 2013: The GOP/Birther organization World Net Daily publishes “Impeachable Offenses: The case for removing Barack Obama from office” by Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliott, which ad copy describes as, “A journalistic investigation documenting the probable causes for the impeachment of President Barack Obama,” and a “devastating probe” into the “high crimes, misdemeanors and other offenses that Obama has committed against the United States Constitution and the limits of his office.”
- September 2013: California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter raises the specter of impeachment over Obama’s threat to bomb Syria without congressional approval.
- September 6, 2013: Texas Republican Rep. Bill Flores asserts that if “the House had an impeachment vote it would probably impeach the president.”
- September 17, 2013: Republican opinion-maker Glenn Beck calls for impeaching Obama and Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain. “I personally am calling to impeach the President of the United States. This is impeachable. He is arming known terrorists, and people like John McCain should be impeached as well.”
- October 8, 2013: Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann accuses the president of “impeachable offenses.”
- October 13, 2013: During the Republicans’ government shutdown, GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert calls for impeaching the president if the government defaulted on its debt.
- October 17, 2013: Texas Rep. Steve Stockman distributes copies of the World Net Daily book, “Impeachable Offenses: The case for removing Barack Obama from office,” to his Republican colleagues.
- December 3, 2013: The House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing called, “The President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws.” During the hearing, Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Republican of Virginia, accused Obama of “picking and choosing which laws to enforce” and of being “the first president since Richard Nixon to ignore a duly enacted law simply because he disagrees with it.” Texas Rep. Lamar Smith said, “The president has ignored laws, failed to enforce laws, undermined laws and changed laws, all contrary to the Constitution.” Republican witnesses added to the accusations. George Washington University’s Jonathan Turley said Obama had “claimed the right of the king to essentially stand above the law.” Reacting to this, Arizona GOP Rep. Trent Franks, who’d called for impeachment in 2011. said,Obama’s actions “could be considered royal prerogatives, which is, if my history’s right, what we had that little unpleasantness with Great Britain about.”
- January 19, 2014: Republican Texas Rep. Steve Stockman walks out during the president’s State of the Union speech and later once again threatens to impeach him.
- February 17, 2014: The American Spectator, the nonprofit magazine, through which millions in funding by Richard Mellon Scaife were laundered for use by super-lawyer Ted Olson in the “Arkansas Project,” an multi-year investigation into the Clintons that produced Whitewater and other bogus scandals, publishes an article with the headline, “OF COURSE HE SHOULD BE IMPEACHED.”
- February 27, 2014: A campaign representative for Democratic senate candidate Kesha Rogers — who made her support for impeaching Obama part of her failed Texas campaign — tells a reporter for the Baylor University student paper, “We don’t want to impeach Obama for those mainstream racial bull—- reasons. He’s in the way of us rebuilding the country.”
- June 3, 2014: National Review writer Andrew McCarthy’s book “Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment,” is published.
- June 4, 2014: GOP Former Florida Rep. Allen West publishes an op-ed on the Washington Post website calling for Obama to be impeached.
- June 4, 2014: South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham suggests impeaching the president in a discussion of the Bergdahl swap, “It’s going to be impossible for them to flow prisoners out of Gitmo now without a huge backlash. There will be people on our side calling for his impeachment if he did that.”
- June 16, 2014: Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta tells a local radio host, “He’s just absolutely ignoring the Constitution, and ignoring the laws, and ignoring the checks and balances. The problem is, you know, what do you do? For those that say impeach him for breaking the laws or bypassing the laws. Could that pass in the House? It probably, it probably could. Is the majority the American people in favor of impeaching the president? I’m not sure.”
- July 2014: Republican thought leader Sarah Palin writes an oped on a right-wing blog stating, “It’s time to impeach” Obama.
- July 27, 2014: During his first appearance on Fox as House majority whip, GOP Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana refused to say impeachment was off the table, despite being given three opportunities to do so by host Chris Wallace.
- July 29, 2014: Right-wing thinker Charles Krauthammer says Obama could face impeachment if he allows undocumented immigrants to apply for work permits.
- July 30, 2014:
Radio talker Mark Levin says “Obama should be impeached,” but predicted that he won’t be.