The Wall Street Journal reports that Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), who would lead the Oversight and Reform Committee in a GOP house, says Hunter Biden would be one of his top targets. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a Fox News personality with a side gig as a congressman, will spearhead the effort.
But the Hunter probes — along with desktop hearings into other alleged Biden administration misdeeds designed to generate nightly replayable soundbites on Fox — won’t satisfy the constituency of a majority of the GOP. This is why the pressure will immediately begin to mount to impeach President Biden.
Why do you ask? For anything. It does not matter; what matters is the cycle that Republicans will be locked into, in which they create and respond to the grassroots demand for more combativeness, more outrage, and ultimately a way to deliver a fatal blow to the president that ‘they hate.
The wildest Republicans in the House are already preparing to impeach Biden, as reported by The Hill. No less than eight impeachment resolutions have been introduced in this Congress by figures like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.). With control of the House, this desire is likely to grow and expand, to the point where the party leadership may find it impossible to resist.
If you remember the impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998, it sounds awfully familiar. The fact that impeachment was a political disaster for Republicans won’t stop them from doing it all over again.
During the Clinton years, the Republican base was just as interested in wild conspiracy theories as the Trumpist base is now. Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana, the Jim Jordan of his day, shot a head-shaped fruit, probably a cantaloupe, in his backyard in a deranged attempt to prove that Vince Foster, a friend of the Clintons who committed suicide, had been murdered. It was a common belief among the GOP base that Bill and Hillary Clinton murdered dozens, if not hundreds, of their political enemies.
It wasn’t until Kenneth Starr’s endless Whitewater investigation uncovered Clinton’s affair with a young staffer — something that actually happened — that Republicans proceeded with the impeachment. They thought they had the president dead and were shocked to find that most Americans did not share their burning rush to impeach him. His approval rating just after the Senate voted to acquit him was a remarkable 68%.
Equally relevant is what happened after 2010, when Republicans took over the House and embarked on the kind of inquiry-palooza they now plan. They were desperate for a Barack Obama scandal and kept finding the void, for the simple reason that his administration, beyond a few trivial controversies, was relatively free of misconduct and malfeasance.
When that combined with an endless series of wasteful votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act that became less a symbol of determination than futility, the Republican base grew increasingly frustrated. They began to view their party leadership (then led by John A. Boehner of Ohio) as inept and weak. They grew increasingly angry, and the end result was that they turned to Donald Trump, a candidate who emboldened and embodied their seething rage.
If the GOP takes over the House, Trump himself will continue to call for revenge, not just for his two impeachments, but for the simple fact that he lost the 2020 election. His supporters will no doubt agree. and will demand stock. Does anyone think Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-California) has the guts to stand up?
So what are they going to impeach Biden for? They’re tossing around ideas: his border policy is slightly less draconian than Trump’s, or the pullout from Afghanistan has been chaotic or something about Hunter.
That’s all pretty weak, and Republicans with any grip on reality know that you can’t impeach a president just because he’s on the other party and you don’t like to lose.
What is the real reason they want to do this and the reason they are likely to follow. So with the base growing increasingly furious, they will be looking for something, anything, that they can use to justify impeachment of Biden, however ridiculous that may be.
If impeachment doesn’t happen by the end of 2023 with a Republican-controlled House, that would be a shock. And that could all but guarantee Biden’s re-election.