A dozen U.S. presidents have been threatened with impeachment over this country's history, including Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and now Barack Obama. The House or Representatives has voted to impeach only Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, but the Senate later acquitted each of them.
Calls for presidential impeachment have increased in recent times, as the country has grown more polarized. It is an attention-getting device for opponents to attack a president and his policies. It can also be an effective way for politicians to pander to their base, raise money and get television airtime.
So is the case for former Alaska Governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who is a master of strident and senseless hyperbole. Palin's latest screed, which was posted on Breitbart.com Tuesday, begins, "Enough is enough of the years of abuse from this president. His unsecured border crisis is the last straw that makes the battered wife say, 'no mas.'"
Palin accuses President Obama of a "purposeful dereliction of duty" that has led to "an untold number of illegal immigrants...competing against Americans for our jobs and limited public services." She adds, "Without borders, there is no nation...Obama knows this. Opening our borders to a flood of illegal immigrants is deliberate. This is his fundamental transformation of America. It's the only promise he has kept." Of course, illegal immigration and border security have been a daunting problem for decades.
Her conclusion is, "It's time to impeach," adding, "The many impeachable offenses of Barack Obama can no longer be ignored. If after all this he's not impeachable, then no one is."
The man who brought Palin to the national stage as his Republican running mate, Senator John McCain, did not join her call for Obama's impeachment. When asked, McCain told The Huffington Post, "I always respect other people's opinions." Really? McCain then said, "Am I proposing that the president be impeached? No." And on Wednesday, when House Speaker John Boehner was asked if House Republicans should impeach President Obama, he replied, "I disagree."
There are a number of conservative Republican congressmen who have at least suggested that Obama's impeachment be considered. Republicans hope to gain control of the Senate in the upcoming midterm elections by capitalizing on the president's unpopularity in several key Senate races. But an attempt to impeach the president would only strengthen the party's "obstructionist" image, and not sit well with a majority of the American public. That would jeopardize the party's 2014 midterm results.
Of course, the chances of impeaching Obama are nil, but that doesn't matter to Palin. Her goal is to stay in the limelight. And she knows that her loyal following will always admire her puerile prose, whether on Facebook or cable television. After all, in Palin's own words, "What is the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick." How about, "No mas" Sarah Palin?