‘Scaredy-Cat’ Republicans Fear Giving Biden Popularity Boost With Impeachment Probe
Republicans remain afraid of accidentally handing the Democrats the 2024 election with a badly managed impeachment probe - but they shouldn’t be, because their case is incredibly strong, journalist Ted Rall said.
US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced on Tuesday the launching of an impeachment inquiry
into US President Joe Biden. The leading Republican said there were “serious and credible allegations” about Biden’s conduct and the alleged “culture of corruption” surrounding the Biden family’s foreign business dealings.
At the center of the issue is the president’s son, Hunter Biden, long the subject of journalist investigations and Republican denunciations, and questions about Joe Biden’s relationship to Hunter’s business dealings, especially during Joe’s time as US vice president and since he became president in 2021.
Republicans have for years promised to launch such an inquiry once they won a majority in the US House of Representatives again, but that majority was reached in early January following the November 2022 midterm elections. McCarthy became House speaker at that time after hammering out a nebulous set of promises with a pro-Trump faction of the House GOP Caucus - a faction that is increasingly upset with his performance.
Democrats have accused Republicans of giving in to the agenda of former US President Donald Trump, who was impeached in 2019 on accusations he abused his power by pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to reopen a probe into the Bidens, including claims that in 2016, then-VPOTUS Biden forced Kiev’s prosecutor-general into closing a previous investigation of Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine.
Ted Rall, a syndicated editorial cartoonist, opinion columnist, graphic novelist, author, and co-host of The Final Countdown, told Radio Sputnik’s Political Misfits on Tuesday that while some elder GOP lawmakers are hesitant for the moment over fears they might accidentally help Biden’s reputation ahead of the 2024 election, “Republicans will soon see that this is going to be to their advantage.”
“I think a lot of Republicans are suffering from Clinton Hangover Impeachment Syndrome. This didn't go well for the Republicans in 1998, [former US President] Bill Clinton left office wildly popular, and they’re worried that something similar could happen. The only thing is: it’s not 1998, it’s a different world now,” he said, noting that when it came to Clinton’s impeachment, the facts were clear.
“Here, most liberal Democrats and many moderates - or, for that matter, everyone who’s not a news junkie - doesn’t really know or has been following the story of this Hunter Biden laptop, which has been carefully siloed as a new ‘Benghazi malarkey’ as Biden would say. But that’s not true,” Rall said.
“Beyond what McCarthy may or may not want, as the inquiry proceeds, it’s going to be impossible not to move forward with hearings simply because there are too many actionable facts.”
“The call for impeachment, under the most basic definition of the term in the Constitution, which specifically references bribery - I think they’re going to have to impeach him,” Rall asserted. “I think even the Republican senators are going to warm up to it and I think if all the facts are ultimately heard, President Biden’s either going to have to cut a deal and promise not to run again, or perhaps resign, but we are at the beginning of this process,” which he said “has no place to go but ‘down’ for President Biden.”
Rall noted there was “a lot to get to the bottom” of in the case.
“If my son sells me as a brand, then collects money by doing that, are you effectively bribing me? Especially if I’m 80 years old and I care deeply about my son’s finances and his ability to carry on after I’m gone? That’s a question I think hasn’t been answered and I think we need to answer,” he explained.
“Transparency is good. We know money popped up in Joe’s account that has never been explained, in terms of the origin. He declared it, he paid taxes on it, that’s not an issue, but he never explained the origin of that money.”
“I’m a little amused, frankly, as someone who is not sympathetic to Republicans and has never voted for a Republican, I absolutely cannot understand why they’re such scaredy-cats about this. If I were them, I’d be all over it,” Rall said.
Rall noted that while he is “pretty good” at prognostication, it was “impossible to say” how McCarthy’s decision on impeachment would affect his political fate.
“Look, he’s one vote away from being removed as speaker by any member, so if it’s not this it’ll be something else. He was a ‘dead man walking’ the second he was sworn in as speaker, so in a way, does it really matter? Someone’s going to be the speaker and whoever is the next speaker is going to have the same exact problem as he does. That’s what’s protecting him: he’s got a job no one else wants because they all know if they get it, they’ll get jacked up, too.”