U.S. default: An impeachable offense?

As Washington's debt ceiling stalemate threatens the American economy, conservative Republicans warn of dire consequences — for President Obama

President Obama could be impeached if the U.S. government defaults on its debts... at least according to Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).
(Image credit: Pool/Getty Images)

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) took the rhetoric in the debt ceiling debate to a new level on Monday, saying via Twitter that President Obama could be impeached if he lets the U.S. default on its debts. King said there's no reason to even suggest default is a possibility on Aug. 2, when the Treasury Department says the government will run short of money to pay its bills, because, in King's words, "the 1st dime of each $1 of revenue services debt," so while we might fall short on other financial obligations, the U.S. will always pay its debts. Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) has also mentioned impeachment, should Obama raise the debt ceiling without congressional approval. Is impeachment really a possibility, or is this just wishful thinking on the part of conservative Republicans?

Let's hope the GOP tries this nonsense: "Impeachment would be a good thing," says Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog. Not because Obama deserves it, but because such an attack "without any semblance of an impeachable offense would smack some sense into America." It would prove once and for all that our political system isn't broken, it's "being destroyed by a specific cabal of sociopaths known as the Republican Party."

"Impeachment of the president? Would that also count as 'both sides are to blame'?"

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Impeachment should be on the table: Rep. King is right, says J.D. Longstreet at American Conservative Daily. "There will be no default — unless Obama wants there to be a default." And if Obama torpedoes the economy by refusing to make debt payments or, as he has considered, raises the debt ceiling without congressional approval, he'll be putting his own political aims ahead of the American people, and the Constitution.

"Obama is in over his head ... again!"

Republicans might try impeachment, but not over this: "I'd be pretty surprised if the debt ceiling leads to impeachment," says Jonathan Chait at The New Republic. The mainstream GOP is not going to such extremes yet. But if the GOP misses its "one real chance to oust Obama — the 2012 elections — "the impeachment sentiment currently lingering around the margins [may move] toward the mainstream of the party."

"Obama impeachment watch"

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