BRIT HUME: Remember that old saying I may be dumb but I'm not stupid? House Republicans may sometimes be dumb but they're nowhere near stupid enough to try to impeach President Obama. To be sure there are people in the fever swamps of the right who fantasize about such things. But not even Senator Ted Cruz, who has exhibited an attraction to foolish political moves in the past, is talking impeachment.
Cruz is a smart guy and is rightly alarmed at President Obamaâ€™s choosiness about enforcing the laws he's sworn to uphold. But he, like most Republican leaders, is no doubt aware that his party paid a serious price for its impeachment of Bill Clinton back in 1998 for perjury and obstruction of justice. Clinton had clearly lied about his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, but it takes 67 Senate votes to convict and impeach an official and only 45 senators voted to convict despite the fact that Republicans then controlled the chamber.
The public never supported the idea and in the midterm elections that year, which came in the midst of the impeach furor, Democrats actually gained seats in the House. The first time the president's party had gained seats in a six-year midterm since 1934. That helps explain why Republican leaders like John Boehner are talking down the idea of impeachment and why Democrats are talking it up.