Republicans in the House of Representatives can’t govern, but they are, once again, trying to impeach Biden

(J Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

Republicans in the House of Representatives can’t govern, but they are, once again, trying to impeach Biden

On Ed

Jackie Calmes

Dec. 13, 2023

Republicans in the House of Representatives plan to flee the Capitol this week for the holidays after nearly 12 months in power. And they should run: if they had any shame, they would feel it in full force after the year they’ve had.

They have done nothing when it comes to the two issues that helped them win a narrow majority in the 2022 midterm elections: crime and inflation. What they have done is prevent Congress from funding the government for the entire budget year that began in October. 1. They threatened a US national debt default in the spring and two government shutdowns in the fall. Now they threaten Ukraine’s survival by blocking U.S. aid, a standoff that brought President Volodymyr Zelensky to Washington and fuels futile diplomacy.

Amid these failures, House Republicans

to have

made American history. It took them four days and 15 rounds of voting to elect a speaker in January, then ousted that House leader in October and fought for weeks, paralyzing Congress before finally choosing a new speaker.

And what have they chosen for a final act, the capstone of what is shaping up as one of the least productive conventions in history? Maybe something to improve the lives of their constituents?

Heavens, no.

The Republicans


to begin an impeachment inquiry targeting President Biden, with the requisite high crimes and misdemeanors yet to be determined. If they try to fill in the blanks, they will have plenty to do in 2024, let alone the actual business of governing.

Members of the House of Representatives come and go, but Biden’s attempted impeachment is brought to you by much of the same gang that made the punchlines of a series of so-called Democratic scandals

think Benghazi, Solyndra, Fast and Furious. I won’t bother remembering the details. You probably remember them, as Republicans described every scandal in his day as worse than Watergate.

We could call Biden’s impeachment inquiry a fishing expedition, but that’s come a long way. Even before they won their majority, Republicans somehow tried to implicate Biden in the lobbying sins of his long-troubled son Hunter.

None other than Peter Doocy, the White House correspondent for Faux News who often engages in verbal arguments with the president, told his audience this week: “The House Oversight Committee has been working on this for years, and they’ve been at it until has not yet been able to make concrete statements. evidence that Joe Biden personally benefited from his son Hunter’s foreign affairs.

In September, former speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield said,


As part of his failed attempt to appease his right wing and save his job, he ordered several House committees to investigate Biden’s impeachment, though they already did so with little success.

(The announcement

was simply semantics.) Now it is McCarthy’s successor, MAGA Chairman Mike Johnson of Louisiana, who is calling for a vote that would make an investigation completely official and increase the House’s power to enforce subpoenas.

This focus on subpoena power is particularly rich. Recall that some of these House members, including McCarthy and Biden opponent Jim Jordan of Ohio, defied subpoenas from the January 6 House Committee seeking firsthand accounts of Trump’s activities on and before that day.

Why vote for an impeachment inquiry now? Because party leaders

finally got it

enough Republican votes to pass it. As one of the clumsy moderates,

Representative Don Bacon of Nebraska told Punchbowl News this week that I can defend an investigation. I cannot defend the impeachment at this time.

Yet the articles of impeachment may not be far behind. By giving the whole thing a formal label, the Republican


they all undertake to bring charges, no matter how misleading. Can you imagine if they simply closed up shop in the 2024 election year without an impeachment vote, enraging their likely presidential nominee, Donald Trump, along with the party’s MAGA base?

As Trump warned on his social media site in August: IMPEACH the BUM, or fade into OBLIGATION.

If the House indeed impeaches Biden, the Senate would have to hold a trial during the presidential campaign. That, of course, is the real point: weaken Biden and create a political parallel to Trump’s criminal trials.

Some Senate Republicans, who would serve on the Biden jury in the event of an impeachment trial, are skeptical. “I don’t see any grounds for this yet,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, a member of the Republican leadership.

Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota clearly agrees. If they cannot make much stronger arguments than they have so far, they will be seen as howling wolves, he said. Indeed.

Impeachment used to be taken quite seriously, said Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Like in early 2021, when she took Trump’s impeachment for incitement of insurrection seriously enough to be one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict him.

However, Republicans in the House of Representatives are not serious people doing serious business for the nation. If they were, they might have some concrete achievements to brag about as this year comes to a close. As one of them recently shouted from the House of Representatives: ‘Give me one thing! What I can campaign for.”

He’s still waiting.



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