Top House Republican Dodges Question On Impeachment
In an interview yesterday on Fox News Sunday, Republican House Majority Whip Steve Scalise refused to rule out the idea of impeaching President Obama:
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) on Sunday repeatedly declined to give a straight answer on whether he would support impeaching President Obama.
Even in the relatively friendly confines of Fox News Sunday, Scalise deflected three times when asked by host Chris Wallace whether impeachment was on the table. The first two times, Scalise said the White House was pushing the impeachment narrative to boost fundraising and rally its base, though he declined to say whether the GOP would actually pursue impeachment as some of its most conservative members have urged.
When Wallace tried for a third time to elicit a direct answer, Scalise changed the subject once more, responding, “The White House will do anything they can to change the topic away from the president’s failed agenda.”
Here’s the video
Scalise’s response has become something of a standard talking point on the right in the last week or so, making the argument the only people talking about impeachment are Democrats trying to fundraise off the idea. To a large degree, of course, this response ignores the fact there are indeed Republicans talking about impeachment, the fact that polling clearly shows that a majority of Republicans support the idea of impeaching the President, and the rather obvious fact that John Boehner’s lawsuit is intended to be a means of forestalling pressure to go forward on impeachment from the base. In that respect, the fact that Scalise deflected the question rather than answering directly seems to be telling. Like the rest of the House leadership, he may not support the idea of impeachment, but he also knows that he can’t afford to alienate the GOP base by rejecting the idea entirely. The question is whether this strategy of deflecting the base’s attention on the issue will work, and what the leadership will do if it doesn’t