[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
Not very many people seem to have caught the drift of this recent Glenn Beck rant, which was noted at Media Matters for its classic Beckian illogic, with the Mad Hatter declaring that if we can't use Hitler analogies in "logical conversation," then "We are going to be a society of gas chambers!"
What he and his sidekick were talking about, though, was comparing the Obama administration to Hitler and the Nazis in the event the president decides to simply invoke the 14th Amendment and raise the debt ceiling by executive order. Because then, you see, he would just be a dictator.
This is the narrative that's gradually building on the Right as a counter-narrative to the obvious point that if Obama uses the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling, it will be because Republicans in Congress failed to act. No, instead, it will be because he is intent on seizing dictatorial powers.
And for that, they will then argue, he must be impeached.
Andrew Sullivan lays it out:
Here's the scenario. The House GOP pushes for completely unserious Boehner plan (including a balanced budget amendment) that they know will be vetoed; they then filibuster the Reid plan in the Senate, forcing Obama to invoke a 14th Amendment executive prerogative, which they will then turn around and impeach him for.It's not really that far-fetched, considering that Republicans have been mouthing the I-word with great lust for some time now. Last we heard, they wanted to impeach him over Libya.
Far-fetched? I hope so. But every time you think you have reached the end of Republican extremism, they manage to move further out of the solar system.
If he resorts to the 14th Amendment, they are already lining up to impeach him. Right-wing talk-show host Mark Levin said it explicitly two weeks ago:
If Barack Obama attempts to destroy the Separation of Powers doctrine, if he intends to seize Congressional power when it comes to borrowing and spending despite the plain wording of Article 1 Section 8 Clause 2. In other words if he’s going to violate his oath of office…then he needs to be impeached.We already know that Republicans believe it's smart political strategy to destroy the economy so that it can be blamed on Obama. They're willing to throw the country into economic ruin just in the hopes that it will work to their political advantage.
Should he attempt to seize explicit Congressional power, we’ve got to make a case that we don’t like dictators in this country and that we will not accept dictators in this country. There’s not even a colorable argument that can be made that justifies the President of the United States seizing for himself the authority to “borrow money on the credit of the United States.” And should Chuck Schumer continue to urge this and should the President do it, then Chuck Schumer should be expelled from the United States Senate when the Republicans take it back over as they will.
And if the president stops them? They will make him pay.