The Republican Impeachment Agenda

In case you doubt that the Republicans will impeach President Obama, take a look at Amazon’s #1 Politics bestseller today.

The other night I was telling some friends that if the Republicans take control of the House in November, they will impeach President Obama.  They scoffed at me: what would be the charges, they asked.  And they have a point: the Obama Administration has been scandal-free, and the attempts to gin up scandals have failed.  But these are Republicans, mind you: it’s really not important.

And now I just saw the #1 Politics Bestseller on amazon today.  Catch the last name of the author.  Think it won’t get any press?  Think that a House Republican majority wouldn’t salute smartly and do what they’re told?

You know what to do.  You can help stop it.  These are the stakes.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.

24 thoughts on “The Republican Impeachment Agenda”

  1. Published by Regnery Press. IIRC they have some scheme to inflate sales numbers to promote their agenda. So that #1 best seller should be taken with a grain of salt.

  2. Oh yes, many publishers do, not to mention authors and their backers. That's why Dianetics is a big bestseller. But it doesn't come from nowhere. Let's assume that instead, it's the #10 bestseller. Or even not a bestseller at all. It will still be a very important book for the House GOP.

  3. Its too bad they couldn't work together to implement the catfood commission recommendations or cut plutocrats' taxes.

  4. Look at the Republican membership of the House Judiciary Committee, & then tell me there wouldn't at least be pressure for hearings.

  5. The same people read Regnery books (if they read at all) as those who watch Fox News. It's a captive audience–they don't get their information any place else and anyone who tries to confuse them with facts is a "crook". Oh, look! David Limbaugh was on Fox News today already! What a shocker… IDIOTS!

  6. This post is exemplary of the sort of half-baked innuendo and insinuation that Fox News itself employs.

    It makes you look like an idiot to all but the most sycophantic partisans.

    Save this sort of garbage for posting on JournoList where it will stay private.

  7. "half-baked innuendo"… "save this for journolist"

    First off, if I'm not mistaken, Jonathan is not a journalist, nor claims to be one.

    Second, if you think the the right wouldn't be desperate to cook up reasons to impeach Obama you're crazy. Come November, any kind of majority will mean the gloves are off completely. There is no equivalence with the left. Have you seen these people at work? Did the 90's completely pass you by?

  8. While I think it's a little bit of an exaggeration to say that there have been "no" Obama scandals, (There are a few, relating to the slimy nature of Chicago politics, and his disabling security checks on credit card handling for his online campaign donations.) it's true that they're pretty thin on the ground. Not at all like the last Democratic administration, already embroiled in scandal before they took office. Honestly, I'm not sure what the charges would be, unless they're going to go after stuff Bush was equally guilty of.

    Not gonna happen.

  9. I've got to agree with Brett for once, albeit perhaps not for his reasons. The exact charges are almost irrelevant, to the Republican mind.

    The Republicans will be caught in a bit of a bind on the impeachment issue. On the one hand, the Limbaughs of the world will insist on it, and the Republicans usually do what the Limbaughs say. On the other hand, the Republican party includes some very shrewd tactical politicians. They know that the Republicans aren't going to do all that well in 2012, but don't want to turn that election into an epic fail for them. And they remember what Clinton's impeachment did in the off-year election of 1998.

  10. I'm agreeing with Joe S. Impeachment was simply a utilitarian gambit. It served some Republican purposes such as energizing their base. But wasn't that temporary, and it backfired on them the 1998 off-year elections. I guess my question would be, could they convince themselves there it will turn out "better" for them this time?

  11. Q: "Could they convince themselves there it will turn out better for them this time?"

    A: Yes. They always do.

    This has been another edition of simple answers to simple questions.

  12. The Republican leadership didn't want to impeach Clinton, either. Everybody knew he was going to be a vicious enemy if they did, those FBI files weren't some accident, and the Republican leadership were eminently subject to blackmail, given their level of corruption. They just thought they had no choice in the matter, given the way the base was demanding it, and after Starr dropped that report on their laps. So they tried to split the difference, just going through the motions, but taking a dive. And caught hell from both sides for it, with Democrats treating it like a real effort to remove Clinton, and Republicans getting pissed off because they took the dive.

    In this case, there's very little in the way of demands from the base to impeach. I doubt that Clinton's blackmail files got shredded when he left office, Sandy Berger's slap on the wrists after stealing from the National Archives certainly suggests not. And much as I dislike Obama, he's not nearly as corrupt as Clinton, though the idea that he's pure as the driven snow is a fantasy.

    So, it just is NOT going to happen.

  13. Brett@9:52:

    I agree that Trent Lott took a dive on the impeachment trial, and I'm still grateful to him for it. But the House leadership, I thought, seemed pretty enthusiastic.

    I also agree that the base is not demanding impeachment–now. The demands will begin the day after election day, if the Republicans get a majority. Remember, the base agenda is set by whatever will make Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Sarah Palin and friends the most money.

  14. Impeachment isn't the issue.. disenfranchising him and his administration is the goal,

    and any proceedings would accomplish that, while stirring up the base.

    the United States of America is changing too fast…

  15. Somebody asks what the charge might be. One obvious prospect relates to immigration & border security. Lamar Smith, who as House Judiciary chairman would play a role in any discussion of impeachment, has arguably already signaled receptiveness to that kind of charge, as have other members of the committee.

    There's at least the will to make the prospect of impeachment an element of strategy looking toward the 2012 election.

  16. "Somebody asks what the charge might be. One obvious prospect relates to immigration & border security. Lamar Smith, who as House Judiciary chairman would play a role in any discussion of impeachment, has arguably already signaled receptiveness to that kind of charge, as have other members of the committee."

    Like I said, what would you charge him with, that Bush wasn't guilty of?

    I think the most likely investigation topic would be Obama's disabling of security checks on his online donations; You could paint it as "campaign finance reform fact-finding". But it wouldn't be aimed at impeachment, just petty harassment.

  17. I'm not an expert on federal criminal law, but I suspect that ordering the murder of a U.S. citizen without due process violates a federal statute against conspiring to commit murder across international borders. Perhaps the Republicans will impeach him for that.

  18. This is funny stuff. Really.

    When Republicans win the House, there will be Obama scandals to investigate. There always are. But the focus will be on accomplishing a repudiation of the Democrats in 2012, not on removing Obama from office. Republicans know that the Obama economic agenda is unlikely to produce jobs or economic growth, and thus believe that the 2nd half of the Obama term will be focused on consolidating their electoral positon and preparing for the rout to come in 2012.

  19. Oh please. A lot of people said the same thing when Pelosi took the house in 2006. No serious effort was ever made to impeach Bush. The same will be true this time (unless, of course, Obama actually does something worthy of impeachment).

  20. There are Obama scandals right now to investigate, I've pointed at least one of them out. What's lacking right now is anybody in charge with an interest in investigating them. I'm not entirely sure that's going to change if Republicans take the House.

  21. Earlier, I was thinking of leaving a comment saying it would be entertaining to watch people like Bellmore over the next few years pivot from denying impeachment is a possibility to ranting about some imagined impeachable offense. I did not expect him to manage this in a single thread.

  22. That's precisely what you did, Lars; Imagine it. The thrust of my every comment has been that, while Obama isn't sparklingly clean, he's not impeachment material. Apparently you won't be satisfied unless I pretend the dude is a saint. If that's what you want, go pound sand.

  23. The idea that the GOP lost ground because of impeaching Clinton is silly. While there may have been some immediate backlash, the whole affair left an undeserved taint on Gore and surely cost him the White House and Democratic seats in both houses. Bush begets Alito and Roberts, begets Citizens United, begets a whole new ball game in campaign financing.

    Impeachment raises a stink and that drives down voter turnout and that is always good for Republicans. Hell, they might even apoint Ken Star speacial persecutor, he did such a bang up job last time. Ann Coulter and the elves are drooling at the prospect.

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