August 4, 2014
The actual officeholders and party professionals stoking impeachment talk are all Democrats. This is disquieting for several reasons. For starters, having White House officials and leading congressional Democrats claim with straight faces that impeachment is a serious threat is cynical and dishonest. Its purpose is to frighten liberals into donating money to Democrats, a tactic that is working. But it suggests a political party that is out of gas and out of ideas. . . .
One excuse for Obama’s troubles is new, however. He himself has implied what Attorney General Eric Holder and many others have claimed aloud: that much of the opposition to this president is attributable to his race. This is not an easy narrative to disprove, but the eight-year dose of vitriol directed at Bush and Cheney—and the craven claims that it never happened—certainly undermine it.
Sheila Jackson Lee’s brain freeze was almost comical, but the serious side to this is that if you’re going to impugn others’ motives—if you’re going to talk about “hating,” as the president did—the biblical admonition about noticing the speck in your neighbor’s eye is apropos.
“I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for” wasn’t a sentenced uttered by a leftist talk radio pundit. It was said in 2005 by Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean.
And it wasn’t some unhinged MSNBC host who said that George W. Bush deliberately fabricated the rationale for invading Iraq to help Republican electoral chances. That was Sen. Ted Kennedy, the icon of American liberalism. This didn’t start with Iraq, either. During the Florida recount, Rep. Jerold Nadler New York mentioned “the whiff of fascism in the air.”
The whiff I detected, as I do now, was the scent of demagoguery.
It’s more than a whiff.