The New York Times Columnist whom George W. Bush famously referred to as "The Viper" (and the author of "Are Men Necessary?" to boot) hasn't hit a home run with us in a long time. Most of the time she hasn't made it to second base. But today she (if you'll excuse this exercise in double entendres) nails it.
Excoriating the House Republicans' recent "impeachment fixation," Dowd goes straight to the heart of the matter:
For some of the rodeo clowns clamoring for impeachment around the country, Barack Obama’s real crime is presiding while black.Perhaps the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington prompted her to train her venom where it really belongs. Whatever the cause, there's not a trace of the mocking "Barry" epithet she habitually throws out when criticizing the President. Instead, she focuses on the sheer rank idiocy of the GOP's obsessive campaign to impeach him, a campaign rooted in principle since he won the Democratic Primary in 2008 but one that now appears to be entering an even more virulent phase thanks to Fox News and right-wing talk radio:
Earlier this month, the president’s motorcade pulled into the Orlando Hilton and was greeted by about 50 protesters holding signs saying “Kenyan Go Home,” “Impeach Obama” and “Obama Lies.”Her column castigates Michigan Congressman Kerry Bentivolio, who gratuitously advised us that he can't even bear being in proximity to President Obama and is one of the prime cheerleaders of the "impeachment movement:"
BuzzFeed had a pictorial on the “Overpasses for Obama’s Impeachment” fad, where people hold up homemade signs on overpasses. And they reported on 100,000 preorders for the book “Impeachable Offenses: The Case for Removing Barack Obama from Office,” covering sore points from Benghazi to Obamacare to T.S.A. screenings.
“I stood 12 feet away from the guy and listened to him and I couldn’t stand being there,” he said of President Obama, “but because he is president I have to respect the office.”Dowd's verdict on this sorry Republican strategy is harsh:
Bentivolio is the perfect avatar of the impeachment fever gripping a G.O.P. that’s unmoored from reality....
Not content with fighting off a popular immigration overhaul or threatening to shut down the government and set off the first federal default, hard-core Congressional Republicans want to nullify the election. Unlike when the Republicans did their nutty impeachment of Bill Clinton — (Newt Gingrich is back, starring in the “Crossfire” reboot) — they don’t even control the Senate. And as David Axelrod told me, there isn’t a “scintilla of justification.”Of course she's right. But what she doesn't acknowledge is the likelihood that the Republicans know full well their impeachment talk is hollow, yet they persist in it to satisfy their core constituents who apparently thrive on a diet of racism and bile. Had she faced up to that uncomfortable reality, this column could have been a classic. But God knows we can't blame the constituents for the behavior of their Representatives, can we?
Still, she does get the point:
The Democrats never impeached W. and they had real grounds: starting a war on false premises and sanctioning torture. “The Republican Party is in a constant struggle between its ego and its id,” Axelrod says, “and the id has mostly won out lately.”Except they're not "misguided." They're just playing to the impotent rage of the people who voted for them.
It isn’t the president who should leave. It’s the misguided lawmakers trying to drive him out.