A Fox News Sunday panel discussing the House Republicans’ lawsuit against President Obama quickly devolved into bickering about lawlessness and racism.
The segment, on the August 3 edition of the show, features Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham, Fox News token liberal Juan Williams, Kimberly Strassell of the Wall Street Journal, and editor Ron Fournier from the National Journal.
Host Chris Wallace gets the ball rolling by asking Needham about whether grassroots conservatives are willing to accept House speaker John Boehner’s statement that impeachment of the president is not being considered. Needham responds with a string of GOP talking points, starting with the claim that all of the talk about impeachment is coming from Democrats. He then calls Obama a “lawless president.” Fournier challenges him on that statement, and Needham continues, hitting almost every faux scandal except Benghazi:
He can’t get a carbon tax through the Congress, so he decides to impose it through the EPA. ObamaCare is falling apart. It’s totally unworkable, so he decides to unilaterally change the law. The IRS is totally out of control, targeting conservatives, using all sorts of expletives to describe conservatives. This is a president that is totally out of control. And trying to find a mechanism to constrain him is difficult.
Next, Wallace turns to Williams, who says:
Well, I think you listen to Michael and you understand why there are lots of Republicans who think this man is a demon. This guy is awful. We got to get this guy out of here any way we can. He’s breaking the law.
Williams then mentions a couple of Republicans who have been calling for impeachment, and observes that there are many in the minority community who see the lawsuit and impeachment talk as “an attack on the first black president.” That’s when the fun begins. Wallace asks Williams if he thinks the opposition to the president is based on hatred and race, or principles and policies. Williams answers:
Well, all I can do is look at the numbers. If you look at the core constituency, the people who are in let’s say Tea Party opposition, support of impeachment, there’s no diversity, it’s a white, older group of people. As to whether or not it’s racial, look, President Obama and others have said there are some people who don’t like him because of his race; some people who do like him. But I would say if you just break it down as a matter of political analysis and say who is this group, it reminds me that the Republican Party has become almost a completely white party.
Needham bristles at that comment, and tells Williams that he is “demonizing good people.” He calls Williams’ statement “ironic,” but he doesn’t seem to get the irony in his claim that people are concerned about a president who is “weak and out of control.” Williams continues:
We had a principled argument about President Obama’s actions and use of executive actions and authority. But you call him lawless as if he’s an outlaw. As if, you know, you have him riding the range. We got to go get that guy. The people who want him impeached, they are almost all white and they are all older and guess what, they are all in the far right wing of the Republican Party.
Wallace wraps up the discussion with a statement about Senate candidate Barack Obama’s speech to the 2004 Democratic convention, where he said that we don’t have a red America and a blue America, but a United States of America. He observes, “We’re a long way from there now, aren’t we?”
Fournier chides both Needham and Williams, saying:
And this discussion illustrates it. I know you guys don’t mean this, but the way Americans are hearing this conversation, they hear you saying that our president is a criminal, and they hear you saying that Republicans are racists. What they want, I know it’s not what you are saying, but that’s what they are hearing. What they want are solutions.
Here’s the video, from Fox News Sunday: