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July 08, 2014 5:21 PM I-Word Competition in the Wings?

By Ed Kilgore

I don’t suppose there’s any reason to be surprised that the first big-time national GOP figure to directly call for the president’s impeachment is a certain short-time governor of Alaska who will do or say just about anything to get attention and feed bloody red meat to what’s left of her following. But now that she’s broken the seal, it will be interesting to see if competitive pressure builds on other pols—say, the ones who want to become Obama’s successor assuming he finishes his term—to follow her lead, or conversely, to repudiate it. If nothing else, this will now become the very first question from the floor at any vaguely spontaneous GOP gathering for the foreseeable future.

So how do you see this playing out? Will Ted Cruz or Rand Paul try to corner the wingnut market (and guarantee themselves a big applause line every time they speak to a conservative audience) by echoing Palin? Is this the opportunity for someone (Bush? Rubio? Kasich? Walker?) to win cheap applause from the “Republican Establishment” and the MSM by allowing as how Obama should be allowed to complete the term to which he was elected? Will “yes to shrieking denunciations but no to impeachment” become the new “center” of GOP opinion? Feel free to speculate in the comments thread.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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