Rand Paul’s claim that Obama is losing the moral authority to lead is similar to what Republicans said about Bill Clinton in 1998, and another sign that Republicans are eyeing up impeachment.
On ABC’s This Week, Sen. Paul said, “I think the constellation of these three scandals ongoing really takes away from the president’s moral authority to lead the nation. Nobody questions his legal authority, but I really think he is losing the moral authority to lead the nation, and he really needs to put a stop to this. I don’t care whether you are a Republican or a Democrat. Nobody likes to see the opposite party punishing you for your political beliefs.”
When asked if he saw any evidence that a crime was committed so far, Paul gave the standard conspiracy theory answer of, “I don’t think we know so far.” After talking about Lois Lerner, Paul repeated his moral authority talking point, “I think there needs to be a speedy resolution to this, and I think the president is in danger of losing his moral authority to lead the nation if we don’t get to a resolution.”
If this whole losing moral authority argument sounds familiar, it should. In 1998, then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich used the moral authority argument against President Clinton. According to a 1998 Washington Post article, “Gingrich also tied the rise in drug use and teen smoking to the Clinton/Gore administration, which he said has “less moral authority” than any other in American history.”
Despite the fact that Obama’s increasing job approval ratings defy Rand Paul’s claim that the president is losing moral authority, Republicans are incrementally trying to make the case for Obama impeachment. Republicans are interested in the IRS scandal for two reasons. They think it will motivate their base to turn out in 2014, and they believe they can use it to impeach Obama. It doesn’t appear to have entered into the Republican mind that 61% of Americans think Obama is telling the truth about the IRS scandal, and the president’s job approval rating is going up.
From the moment that Republicans took back control of the House, they have been endlessly investigating a series of half baked allegations and conspiracy theories for the purpose of trying to find something on President Obama. Republicans have been stacking conspiracies on top of one another since the IRS broke. Last Sunday, Paul Ryan claimed the Obama administration was involved in the IRS scandal. RNC chair Reince Priebus tried to claim that Lois Lerner taking the fifth was evidence of Obama criminal activity, and today Rand Paul is claiming that President Obama is losing the moral authority to lead the country.
It all adds up to Republicans working their way towards trumping up a charge in order to attempt to impeach President Obama. I not sure that congressional Republicans will have the guts to follow through and try to impeach the president, but it is clear that those on the far right are ready to wreck the Republican Party by pursuing Obama impeachment.
Republicans are proving the the truth in that old expression, “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.”