Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Last Call For More Of The I-Word

Republicans are going insane on the Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl release, to the point that talk of impeachment is showing up after less than 72 hours, with several examples of Republican pundits now calling for the President's head:

Andrew McCarthy, who's written an entire book that builds a case for impeachment against Obama, said in an interview published Monday he would include the Bergdahl release as part of his "larger indictment" against the President.

McCarthy told the MailOnline that the release of "senior terrorists to the Taliban" represents a "high crime and misdemeanor."

Fox Business anchor Lou Dobbs liked the sound of that. On Monday, he cited McCarthy's impeachment talk in blasting Obama's "extraordinary knack for doing the utterly wrong thing in the wrong way at seemingly the worst moment."

Judge Andrew Napolitano took it from there on Tuesday, telling the gang on "Fox & Friends" that Obama "may very well have committed a federal crime by giving material assistance to a terrorist organization."

Napolitano said impeaching Obama over the prisoner swap is a "very valid argument that people are going to start talking about."

If it were up to at least one Republican running for office, the House of Representatives would have already started impeachment proceedings.

Randy Brogdon, a candidate for Oklahoma's open U.S. Senate seat, said this week that he's waiting on a Republican member of the House to hold Obama accountable for a "blatant violation of the law."

Unfortunately for Brogdon, Allen West is no longer in the lower chamber. The former Florida congressman, one of many conservatives to go after Bergdahl's father on Monday, also believesthere's a strong case for impeachment against Obama.

According to West, the case would be built around Obama's failure to consult Congress within 30 days of the prisoner release from Guantanamo as he is required to under federal statute.

How long will it take for sitting Republicans in Congress to start bringing this up?  Surely before the end of the week, one would think.

Please proceed, gentlemen.

Hippie Punching In South Dakota

Several primary contests are taking place today in states across the nation, and in one of them, South Dakota, National Journal's Josh Kraushaar is furious at Democrats for running a liberal candidate to replace retiring Dem Sen. Tim Johnson, all but ensuring Republican Mike Rounds is the next Senator from the Mount Rushmore State, a move that could, in Kraushaar's eyes, cost the Dems the Senate.

If Democrats fall a seat short of holding the Senate, there will be a lot of second-guessing on the one race that never materialized but should have held a lot more promise: South Dakota.

The state is holding its primaries Tuesday, and they're an afterthought. Former Gov. Mike Rounds is the Republican now on a glide path to the Senate, facing weak opposition in the GOP primary. In the general election, he'll face Rick Weiland, a former state director for Tom Daschle who (even the most optimistic Democrats will acknowledge) faces near-impossible odds in the solidly red state.

But it didn't have to be that way. The Senate race to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson could have been one of the most consequential contests in the country, if Democrats had a little more luck. Just over a year ago, the political talk in South Dakota centered on which of their up-and-coming prospects would run—former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, one of the most popular figures in the state after representing it for three full terms in the House, or Tim Johnson's son Brendan Johnson, who's serving as a U.S. attorney. Despite the state's Republican moorings, now-Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's surprising 2012 victory in neighboring North Dakota served as a fresh reminder that strong candidates running in conservative-minded states can overcome disadvantages.

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin walked away from the race, leaving Rick Weiland.  But Weiland isn't done yet, and if this May PPP poll is any indication, he can win.

Public Policy Polling’s newest South Dakota survey continues to find Mike Rounds stuck under 40%. Right now 38% of voters say they intend to vote for him to 28% for Rick Weiland, 15% for Larry Pressler, and 4% for Gordon Howie. There are several encouraging findings for Weiland within the poll results:

-Most of Rounds’ early lead is based on having higher name recognition than Weiland, and Weiland actually has the advantage among voters who have heard of him. 82% of voters are familiar with Rounds compared to 67% for Weiland, but among the group that has heard of Weiland he leads 38/36. That bodes well for his prospects as he becomes better known.

-Weiland (+6) has a higher net favorability rating than Rounds (even). 36% of voters see him favorably to only 30% who have a negative opinion of him. Meanwhile voters are evenly divided on Rounds with 41% rating him positively and 41% with an unfavorable view.

-On several issues that will be key in this race, voters side with Weiland’s view over Rounds’ by a wide margin. After being read a description of each candidate’s views on Medicare, South Dakotans say they agree more with Weiland’s position by a 15 point margin, 45/30. And when it comes to the Ryan budget 53% of voters say they side more with Weiland’s point of view, compared to only 29% who go with Rounds.

On both of the issues the independent voters who will be key to Weiland’s campaign overwhelmingly side with his perspective- 53/26 on the Medicare issue and 62/20 on the Ryan budget one.

Nearly 20% of the vote is going to independent candidates.  Larry Pressler, the Republican Tim Johnson beat in 1996 to become Senator, is running a strong third party campaign and it's hurting Rounds big time.  If Pressler's splitting off that much of the vote (15%) from Rounds, there's an opening for Weiland.

Everyone's written Weiland off as doomed.  I just don't think that's the case yet.

Yes Folks, They Really Are This Dumb

Republicans are demanding Congressional hearings on the decision by President Obama to cut a deal to release Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Several Republican lawmakers on the House and Senate Armed Services Committees say that Congress should examine whether President Obama acted within the bounds of the law by exchanging five former Taliban leaders for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in a prisoner swap without consulting Congress.

At issue is the law that requires the defense secretary to notify Congress 30 days before transferring any detainees out of the prison and explain why they will not be in a position to harm the U.S. again.

"I think in the eyes of many, he broke the law by not informing Congress 30 days before that," California Rep. Buck McKeon, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said in an interview on MSNBC Monday.

"You just had Ambassador Rice, she said they'd been working on this for three years. She said Congress has been informed of this along the way. I don't know who they were talking to. I have not been a part of this, and I'm the chairman of the committee."

McKeon said his committee plans to hold hearings into the issue, and said it should not be viewed as a partisan move.

Oh, of course it's not a partisan move.  And I'm Cleopatra, ruler of Egypt.

So are Republicans really going to spend all summer trying to work the country into impeaching Obama over this?  Sure looks like it.  And just in time for midterm elections, too!

Start up the clown car and get the confetti.  It's going to be a party in here all summer long as Republicans openly trash a POW coming home on national TV.

You do that, guys.


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