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Thursday, March 16, 2006
Impeachment? We Don't Know Nothing About Birthin' No Impeachment

Brendan Nyhan:

Back on February 15, I flagged Paul Weyrich's article claiming that "if Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is Speaker of the House come next year George W. Bush will be impeached." Matthew Yglesias picked up the post on Tapped, and the impeachment meme started to go mainstream. Yesterday, as I noted, the Wall Street Journal editorial page claimed that a Democratic House majority would be likely to impeach Bush.

He ties it into this article in the New York Times, which does indeed lead with it:

Republicans, worried that their conservative base lacks motivation to turn out for the fall elections, have found a new rallying cry in the dreams of liberals about censuring or impeaching President Bush.

Of course, to Nyhan, this is a meme or "hype". His earlier post is here. But check out this little bit:

Does anyone actually think the House Democrats would impeach Bush on a narrow party-line vote knowing they will fail to convict in the Senate?

But what if, as many Democrats hope, they not only get a majority in the house but they manage to take the Senate as well?

What Nyhan is essentially saying here is that while the netkooks may holler for impeachment, the grownups in the party--the elected representatives--are not that stupid. I suspect he's pretty close. Of course, Conyers will hold impeachment hearings, and the New York Times will pretend that every day produces new revelations, so there's no room for Republicans to be complacent. But it's nice to hear one of the liberal bloggers acknowledge that all the impeachment talk going around the lefty blogs is crap.

Aravosis has a similar take:

As an election ploy, the Republicans want to declare all out the-sky-is-falling war against a straw-man, a going-nowhere-fast resolution offered by one single Senator, with barely any other Democratic support. It's all bull, but the GOP want to rally their base, and lying isn't past them, it's their standard operating procedure.

So how does the NYT respond?

Does it say, gosh, there really isn't much of a story here. The Republicans have been using the bogeyman about impeachment to motivate their base for a while now, and Feingold's resolution, well, it was nice but it didn't do much. Oh no. The NYT rises to the occasion and gives the Republicans a big wet kiss, an article talking about how this one highly-unlikely resolution has revived the ailing Republican party from the brink of disaster.
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