The party that isn’t in the White House nearly always wins seats in off-year elections. The recent exceptions to this rule are when Republicans ran on the Iraq War in 2002 and when President Clinton was being impeached by House Republicans in 1998.
The GOP is so frightened of repeating their error from 1998 that RNC Reince Priebus is warning them not to call for impeachment unless they have actual “evidence.” But Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) didn’t get the memo. He can’t help himself using the “I-word” over and over. He just can’t take it off the table!
Why can’t Republicans help themselves?
The National Journal‘s Charlie Cook blames their irrational hatred of Obama:
These days, the country is even more polarized, and the conservative echo chamber is louder than ever before. Many conservatives made it all the way to Election Day last November unaware that their White House nominee was falling short. How could Mitt Romney possibly lose when everyone they knew was voting for him? Except that he did lose, and it wasn’t even a very close race. Five other post-World War II presidential elections had closer outcomes.
Republicans and conservatives who are so consumed by these ‘scandals’ should ask themselves why, despite wall-to-wall media attention and the constant focus inside the Beltway—some are even talking about grounds for impeachment—Obama’s job-approval needle hasn’t moved. The CNN/ORC poll suggests that people are aware of and watching the news, but they aren’t reacting, at least not yet. Clearly Republicans hope the public will begin to respond. But at what point do they decide that maybe voters might be more interested in other issues or worries than about politicians on one side pointing fingers and throwing allegations at those on the other side? At what point might the GOP conclude that it is just digging the hole a little deeper?