Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Rep. Steve Israel: Why 'Impeachment' Talk Is a Winner for Democrats

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Rep. Steve Israel: Why 'Impeachment' Talk Is a Winner for Democrats

Article excerpt

For Democrats, impeachment talk is turning out to be the goose that lays the golden eggs, dropping $1 million in one day into Democratic coffers, according to Rep. Steve Israel (D) of New York.

"At 1 o'clock this morning, I got an e-mail from our online fundraising department telling me that yesterday we raised $1 million online. In one day. In one day," said Congressman Israel, who is tasked with helping elect Democrats to the House, at a Monitor breakfast with reporters on Tuesday.

Over the weekend, Democratic solicitations based on some GOP calls for impeachment and a pending GOP lawsuit against President Obama brought in $2.1 million in online donations to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the party's campaign arm chaired by Israel.

"The Republican strategy of lawsuits and approaching impeachment is fundamentally misfiring," said Israel. It may gin up the GOP base, but it is "moving our base in a big way."

The Republican leadership in the House is quick to remind the news media that Speaker John Boehner (R) of Ohio has flatly ruled out impeachment. Over the weekend, the new House whip, Rep. Steve Scalise (R) of Louisiana, said that it is the White House that is pushing the impeachment idea.

"This might be the first White House in history that's trying to start the narrative of impeaching their own president," he said on Fox News Sunday.

At the breakfast, Israel sprinkled the word "impeachment" like salt and pepper, even while denying GOP claims that this is a strategy. "It's not our strategy.... This is what [Republicans] believe. And in their most recent CNN poll, 57 percent of their base believes it. They're pushing it because they believe it in their souls, or because they believe it in their political calculations."

It may work to turn out the GOP base, he said, "but it's not going to work for this country, and I wish they would just give it up." He pointed out that Mr. Scalise, a strong conservative, never denied impeachment as a possibility when he spoke on Fox. …

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