On Sunday, South Carolina GOP Rep. Nancy Mace said something that should have gotten way more attention.
“I believe there’s pressure on the Republicans to put that forward and have that vote,” Mace told NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press,” suggesting that there would be an effort to impeach President Joe Biden if the GOP takes control of the House this fall. “I think that’s what some folks are considering.”
On Thursday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is expected to become speaker if Republicans win the majority, was asked about the possibility of impeachment proceedings – and dodged.
“We will uphold the rule of law. We will not play politics with it,” he said, before adding cryptically: “But we’ll do whatever … the rules and facts take us to.”
So is that a “no” or…
The reality is that some within the Republican conference – especially those who align themselves with the House Freedom Caucus – have been talking about potential for investigating and impeaching Biden for some time now.
“If they’re in charge, Republican leaders will also have to contend with a growing push from their right flank to initiate impeachment proceedings against Biden, which GOP leaders have so far declined to embrace. Freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the controversial firebrand from Georgia, has already introduced numerous bills to impeach Biden and accuse him of high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Virginia Rep. Bob Good, who, like Greene, is a member of the Freedom Caucus, said at that time: “Joe Biden has intentionally done more to harm the country than any president in American history with the border situation. He deserves to be impeached for that alone, let alone anything else.”
Recent history is littered with attempts by the party out of the White House to impeach the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Liberal Democrats tried to impeach George W. Bush. Republicans threatened to impeach Barack Obama. Donald Trump was actually impeached by the Democratic-controlled House – twice. (He was acquitted by the Senate both times.)
Impeachment then is rightly understood these days as a purely political tool, a cudgel used by the extreme elements of each party to express their dislike and disapproval for the president.
Given its recent history, there’s absolutely no reason to think that if Republicans take charge of the House that they would avoid impeachment proceedings – although it still remains very much up in the air what, exactly, they would try to impeach Biden for.
That goes double when you consider the likelihood that the Republican majority (if indeed they have it) will be narrow, meaning that the Freedom Caucus – a solid bloc of 40 or so members – will have significant sway over what McCarthy and the rest of leadership does.
The Point: McCarthy is going to be in a tight spot next year if he does wind up as House speaker. The Freedom Caucus will be out for blood – and to get on the record on removing Biden from office – and it’s not immediately clear to me that he will be in a position to fight them off.