By Becky Hogan
While most members of Congress have used the August recess to discuss immigration policy, federal budget issues, and the implementation of Obamacare, some Republicans are voicing support for another issue—presidential impeachment.
There’s been a grassroots effort brewing all summer in which citizens across the country are calling for presidential impeachment, but now the debate is reaching members of Congress too.
Last week, Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma told constituents last Wednesday that the nation was “perilously close” to an impeachment situation.
Coburn isn’t the only politician talking impeachment—preceding Coburn were Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas and Rep. Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan.
Bentivolio said last Monday that it would be a “dream come true” to impeach Obama. Farenthold kicked off the impeachment talk by telling his constituents in mid-August that the House “had the votes” to impeach the president.
While the lawmakers have not laid out any specific charges against President Obama, the health care law and IRS scandal seem to be among the motivating factors.
So is all the impeachment buzz gaining traction on social media?
It seems that Coburn might be giving credibility to the other lawmakers who previously spoke up about the case for impeachment–both Farenthold and Bentivolio saw upticks in Facebook Likes and Twitter Followers after Coburn’s announcement. Being that Coburn is a Senator and a more recognized name in the Beltway, it makes sense that he’s seen the most gains last week on both social networks.
Coburn’s remarks were particularly surprising because the senator, known for pushing back against his own party on many issues, has acknowledged his respect for Obama and their friendship on many occasions.
Obama adviser David Axelrod and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal both spoke out against Coburn’s remarks last week, which seems to only have added to his social gains.
Interestingly, however Bentivolio has seen the most chatter n his Facebook page especially around the time that Coburn jumped on the impeachment bandwagon–Bentivolio received almost 70 comments in one day. This came after he wrote an e-mail in response to the media’s coverage of his comments, calling the media “the most corrupt thing in Washington.” However, he stood by his statement on impeachment.
Bentivolio’s comment counts could be an indication that he’s seeing more backlash on the issue than either Farenthold or Coburn.
Will the impeachment drama among Republicans continue? We’ll watch to see how politicos continue to react to the impeachment movement as the August recess winds down.