Friday, February 25, 2011

Newt Gingrich Rooting For Obama Impeachment

And so am I! The strongest demonstrated method for boosting a President's popularity is having a far-right House of Representatives act on articles of impeachment. Mr. Gingrich is trotting out impeachment rhetoric because the Department of Justice has decided that the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act is indefensible. Bill Clinton's approval ratings actually improved as a result of Republican impeachment efforts.

The net gain in approval ratings demonstrates that more Americans sympathized with President Clinton about the absurd abuse he suffered at the hands of Newt Gingrich than were put off by the lying and philandering (which was both intuitively and empirically a large group). Many Democrats still haven't 'forgiven' Clinton for the scandal, but were forced to support him in that period because of the obvious vitriol of the Republican.

Since President Obama's 'sin' according to Newt Gingrich was fulfilling a campaign promise to weaken DOMA, one could hardly imagine a more favorable issue of impeachment for the President. Obama would have the media establishment's attention riveted on the social policy hijinks of the House while campaigning on the economy. This would reinforce a narrative, spanning a generation, that Democrats are are concerned with real issues while Republicans simply are not.

As everybody who was a warm body in 1998 remembers, Presidential impeachment is only warranted in cases high crimes and misdemeanors. Which category does a refusal to support an obviously unconstitutional law fall under? I sincerely hope that Newt Gingrich can convince House Republicans that there is an answer.

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