You probably knew some or most of this, but here it is, all in one place. Follow David Weigel's links at the site:
On Tuesday, after the conference meeting, Speaker John Boehner told reporters that “impeachment” was “a scam started by the Democrats at the White House.”Like the House GOP's Impeachment Lite lawsuit against Obama, officially launched today, the only cause for delay was the tedious business of deciding what he would be found guilty of.
It wasn’t. If impeachment is a scam, it was started on the right, early in the Obama presidency. Some of its early adherents believed in it; some thought they were merely responding to the passions of constituents; some, obviously, wanted to raise money. At the start of this summer, the conservative book-publishing industry churned out two new tomes about why Republicans needed to start an impeachment conversation, to stop pretending that it was crazy to accuse the president of high crimes and realize that it was consistent with the rest of the party’s arguments. Republicans mostly refused to listen.
Then, on July 8 of this year, came Sarah Palin. Her PAC (this is important—see above, re: fundraising) placed an op-ed at Breitbart.com, announcing that the time had come for the I-word. For inexplicable reasons, Palin can still shift a news cycle; in a lucky synchronicity, the Senate campaign of Iowa Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley chose July 8 to release a tape of his opponent calling for impeachment.
Nothing will stop a movement quite like the other party noticing it. “Should Obama be impeached?” had been a slam-dunk kook-spotting question for years.
Fun fact: Former Georgia Republican Congressman Bob Barr, who was starting the paperwork calling for Bill Clinton's impeachment in 1997, making him first out of the gate by months, hoped to stage a political comeback this year – perhaps sensing that the time was right for someone with his impeach-for-whatever-reason street cred – but he got his ass whupped in the GOP primary by Tea Party candidate Barry Loudermilk. Sorry, Mr. Barr; but there'll be no resting on your laurels. The new GOP slogan is Who have you impeached for us lately?
Weigel's Salon article about the frantic efforts by Republican leadership to distance themselves from all the talk – but not the underlying intent – of Tea-Party fueled impeachment fantasies, is going on the p3 Readings list.