As our friends at "The Fix" report today, Congressional Republicans appear likely to commence the shooting of the feet before they head home for the August recess tomorrow:
They were doing so well. Right up until House Speaker John Boehner decided to file a lawsuit against President Obama for executive orders he maintained were unconstitutional.
The lawsuit, which the House is expected to authorize before heading home for a five-week August recess on Thursday, has opened up the Pandora's box of impeachment — with a large push from the White House– that now has the potential to undo much of the good political work Congressional Republicans have done this year.
Yes, Boehner has pooh-poohed impeachment as a "scam" propagated by Democrats to raise money and energize the party's somewhat lethargic base. (I'm not sure about the word choice of "scam" but Democrats quite clearly see political opportunity in the House lawsuit and are moving to take advantage.) The problem for Boehner is that while he has been adamant about impeachment never being on the table, there are others within the party — led by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — who have and will continue to call for Obama to be removed from office. And, the lawsuit — assuming the House authorizes it — provides, for this impeachment crowd, a news peg by which to promote their views…
…The genie is out of the bottle for Republicans at the moment. They need to figure out a way to stuff it back in — and quick — or run the risk of making the election, at least in part, about them. And that's what they've spent the last seven months assiduously trying not to do. [Pols emphasis]
You don't need to see polling data to know that this is a disastrous move for Republicans. House Speaker John Boehner has been trying, meekly, to disrupt any talk of "impeachment," but filing a lawsuit against President Obama probably burned away the last bit of brake pad left on this runaway truck. If House Republicans authorize moving forward with Boehner's lawsuit tomorrow, as they are expected to do, Members will return home to their districts having to answer the question of impeachment over and over again.
For a Congress that is already dealing with historically-low approval ratings and a do-nothing image (remember, the Colorado legislature will have worked more days in session than Congress in 2014), attempting to impeach President Obama 16 months before the next Presidential election will only add to their image of ineptitude. While it probably won't be enough for Democrats to win back control of the House, the "impeachment" word may very well cripple the hopes of candidates such as Rep. Cory Gardner in 2014.
Americans already think that Congress doesn't do anything worthwhile — so, naturally, Republicans want to cement that image.