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Biden Once Again Atop the GOP Impeachment Rankings

Yesterday, we had an item about the Faustian bargain that Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) struck with Donald Trump. In exchange for permission to stay out of the presidential endorsements game for now, the Speaker promised to bring up a bill that would "expunge" Trump's two impeachments from the Congressional Record.

It's understandable why Trump would make that deal, since he has an unusual, but very consistent, sense of what "vindication" looks like. On the other hand, there are plenty of Republican members of Congress who serve in swingy districts, and who don't want to bring up past history that is politically damaging to them, much less to cast a vote that says, in effect, that the 1/6 insurrection is no big deal. So the more moderate elements of McCarthy's conference rebelled against the proposition.

Time is running short, since the promise to Trump comes due in August, and so the Speaker has apparently already moved on to Plan B (or maybe it's Plan C, or maybe Plan D, or possibly even Plan X—Brought to You by Elon Musk). The new plan is basically the same as the original plan when McCarthy first became speaker: impeach Joe Biden.

You can certainly see what McCarthy is thinking here. First, the Freedom Caucusers have been hungering for an impeachment, particularly of the President, and this would leave them tickled pink. Since they are the only ones likely to try to get McCarthy removed, keeping them happy would be good for the Speaker's job security. In addition, while Trump would undoubtedly prefer to be un-impeached (de-impeached? counter-impeached? -(impeached)? dehcaepmi?), he'd probably be pretty happy if he could go to his rallies and talk about how the corrupt Joe Biden has gotten himself impeached.

There is one small problem here, though, and perhaps it's already occurred to you. Say it with us: The moderates don't want to be seen as kowtowing to Trump. We cannot imagine why McCarthy thinks that the swing-district Republicans don't want to be asked about whether they support Trump, and don't want to be asked why they voted to expunge Trump's two impeachments, but would be perfectly happy to talk about their participation in an abuse of the Constitution that is clearly just political theater for the benefit of the Maharajah of Mar-a-Lago.

And that actually leads us to a second small problem. Recall that when the authorities look into a crime (whether a "high crime" or otherwise), they search for motive, means, and opportunity. Well, the case against Joe Biden lacks roughly three of those three things. It also lacks, you know, a crime. It's undoubtedly the case that Hunter Biden has run afoul of the law (and he will pay his debt to society for that). But there remains no evidence of any sort that links the President to anything that could be considered a high crime or misdemeanor. Well, unless it's a high crime or a misdemeanor for your dog to bite Secret Service agents.

As it happens, Biden has company, of a sort. We mean in terms of his alleged misdeeds, not in terms of his dog biting people. House Republicans are not happy with Mark Zuckerberg, as they think that he and his company (Facebook... er, Meta) did not submit all of the documentation demanded for various investigative purposes. So, they are planning to charge Zuckerberg with contempt, and they're hoping to send him to the hoosegow to cool his jets for a year or so. As recently as 9 months ago, House Republicans did not think subpoenas issued by committees were enforceable, and they thought the notion of being punished for ignoring a subpoena was positively absurd. Wonder what changed? (Z)

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