David Frum

05.18.13

The Folly of Impeachment

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images ()

So now it's Brit Hume who is joining the editors of National Review in warning against impeachment - at least for now.

National Review warns against "talking loosely" of impeachment and adds "the overwhelming likelihood at this point is that Barack Obama will leave office on January 20, 2017." (My italics.)

Hume's phrase was that talk of impeachment is "way premature."

The warnings are prudent and right. Yet the more I hear these warnings, the less reassured I feel. What is being heard by Hume and the editors of National Review that makes their warnings necessary in the first place?

And is it possible that the warning themselves may incite the very emotions they are intended to avert? I'm reminded here of Louisa May Alcott's story about the children who put beans up their noses. 

"Once there was a poor woman who had three or four little children, and she used to lock them up in her room when she went out to work, to keep them safe. On day when she was going away she said, 'Now, my dears, don't let baby fall out of window, don't play with the matches, and don't put beans up your noses.' Now the children had never dreamed of doing that last thing, but she put it into their heads, and the minute she was gone, they ran and stuffed their naughty little noses full of beans, just to see how it felt, and she found them all crying when she came home."