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New GOP windmill best left untilted

The fevered ranks of conservative House Republican backbenchers seem determined to refine political idiocy into a high art form.

Connoisseurs of political pointlessness relished their futile 40 votes to repeal Obamacare even as parts of that health care reform law had gone onto the books and were, as far as repeal goes, effectively past the point of no return.

While the firebrands haven’t given up on repeal, they’ve found a new windmill to tilt at: impeachment.

Maybe it’s the usual August craziness that afflicts American politics, but in the town halls and constituent meetings of the far right, one truly wacky idea is beginning to gain traction: Impeach President Barack Obama.

Advocates are hard pressed to come up with reasons to impeach Obama except that they plain don’t like him.

To Republican eyes, Obama’s rap sheet is depressingly free of the “high crimes and misdemeanors” that the Constitution says are the grounds for impeachment.

But the Constitution leaves the definition of those crimes up to Congress.

The junior Republicans know they want to impeach Obama. They just can’t find a reason.

Several informal task forces have been trying to gin up a justification: Benghazi, the Transportation Security Administration, executive branch overreaching on health care, the Internal Revenue Service reviews of conservative political action groups, immigration and, in one of those nice political turnarounds Washington excels in, continuing President George W. Bush’s surveillance policies.

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, told his constituents that the House had the votes to bring a bill of impeachment. Mathematically, that’s true; politically, not so much.

The entire House Republican leadership is against the idea. Assuming the House was able to withstand the inevitable ridicule and pass a bill of impeachment, it would be slapped down in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

After last year’s election, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a rising GOP star, lectured his fellow Republicans to “stop being the stupid party.”

They should have listened.

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