Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Opinion

Column: Stop the impeachment foolishness

What could the GOP do to help Democrats get off the mat just in time to salvage something from the 2014 midterm elections? Well, Republicans could overreach by promoting the futile idea that President Barack Obama could be impeached.

Trying to initiate impeachment proceedings would distract voters from the issues that matter and also remind them of what they don't like about Republicans. And the fact that Sarah Palin brought up this issue should make it more radioactive to Republicans everywhere, rather than more appealing. Not to mention, the timing is almost perfect for the Democrats: We are about two months out from the time when voters really start thinking about the election.

The midterm elections need to be about jobs, the economy and Obamacare. They should not be about Obama. Didn't we already go down this road? In 2012, didn't we think dissatisfaction with Obama would turn out Republicans and conservatives and elect Mitt Romney?

As unpopular as Obama is, voters vote with their pocketbooks. We should be talking about the first-quarter economic contraction and the loss of full-time jobs in June. And as Politico pointed out last week, higher state health insurance rates may be announced shortly before the midterm elections.

Pursuing impeachment or even talking too much about it just reinforces the notion of Republicans as hyperpartisans who are obsessed with the president and who don't want to do anything but hound him. We could face a backlash — or worse, generate sympathy for Democrats. We shouldn't pretend that we see "high crimes and misdemeanors" in everything Obama does. The GOP should follow House Speaker John Boehner's lead and stay away from any talk of impeachment.

The Democrats made the wise decision to shut down any talk about impeaching President George W. Bush before the 2006 midterm elections. Republicans should likewise keep the impeachment fantasy to themselves and focus on Obamacare, jobs and the economy.

Ed Rogers is a co-host of The Insiders blog, offering commentary from a Republican perspective. He is also chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with Haley Barbour in 1991.

© 2014 Washington Post

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