Kevin McCarthy’s job is far more imperiled than Joe Biden’s

Kevin McCarthy’s job is far more imperiled than Joe Biden’s
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) listens in the House Chamber during the second day of elections for Speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 04, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images).

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy — caving to pressure from hard-right members of the Republican caucus, as well as Donald Trump — is directing House committees to open an impeachment inquiry into President Biden. It will center on whether Biden benefited from his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings, among other issues. As McCarthy said:

“These are allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption and warrant further investigation by the House of Representatives. That’s why todayI am directing our House committee to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. …We will go wherever the evidence takes us.”

Rubbish. House Republicans have put forth zero evidence showing that Biden benefited from his son’s business dealings. They have only aired allegations that the Justice Department stymied an investigation into Hunter Biden’s financial dealings along with testimony about his penchant for touting the family brand to attract clients.

The impeachment proceedings arestarting without a vote on the House floor, because McCarthy lacks a majority to go forward. This, despite McCarthy’s explicit pledges as recently as this month that he would not move without a floor vote. As you may recall, in 2019, McCarthy condemned then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi for moving to impeach Donald Trump without a floor vote.

It’s far from clear that the impeachment inquiry will appease the extremists, stop them from staging a showdown over funding to keep the government open after October 1, or even save McCarthy’s speakership. He must know that his job is far more imperiled than Biden’s. Any of the extremists could call a vote at any time to remove McCarthy.

An attempt to impeach Biden may make Biden more vulnerable politically by putting Hunter front and center. It will surely hurt some swing-seat Republican incumbents in the 2024 elections.

So why are McCarthy and the extremist House Republicans so intent on impeaching Biden? Because Trump is demanding it.

And Trump is demanding it because he knows he can count on the media’s penchant for “bothsidesism” and false equivalences to use the Biden impeachment to deflect attention from Trump’s criminal trials.

Hence, today’s Office Hours question: Do you think McCarthy’s strategy will work? Or will it stir a backlash among independent voters, who outnumber Trump Republicans and who will see this for what it is — a waste of taxpayer funds and a deflection from the job of dealing with the nation’s real problems?

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