The impeachment would be forwarded to the Senate, where the Republican minority, and perhaps not all of its members, is likely to vote in favor even though it knows the Democratic majority will reject the charges. Another technicality.
The decision by Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to initiate the impeachment of President Joe Biden is more of a move to save his job and a test of the political strength of the far right and influence of Donald Trump than it is a real threat to the president.
Indeed, it is almost certain that the lower house will vote to pass articles of impeachment against Biden, thanks to the Republican majority of 222 votes to the Democrats’ 212. That there has so far been no vote to initiate the process, as established by a court ruling during Trump’s presidency, is a mere detail.
The articles of impeachment will then be sent to the Senate where the Republican minority, though perhaps not all of its members, is likely to vote in favor, even though it knows the Democratic majority will reject the charges. Another technicality.
And then it’s over, except for Trump and his propaganda efforts, which he has pushed in public speeches and private meetings to launch corruption investigations into Biden. Trump himself was impeached twice during his term, to no avail.
And given Trump’s strength among the Republican electorate, the politically correct thing to do in that party is to approve the impeachment of his presumed Democratic rival.
It’s the kind of thing that makes some noise. The impeachment of a president is one of those events with a high public profile and high volume, much like a heavy metal rock concert, and it’s happened before with less intensity. But in politics, scandal has its uses.
In this case, the political interest in trying to impeach Biden has been evident for months. Indeed, the commitment to do so was established when McCarthy was elected speaker earlier this year. It was one of the conditions on which several dozen far-right representatives voted for him.
And for McCarthy, those votes were not only the key to the leadership of the House but key to a good relationship with Trump, today the true leader of the Republican Party.
And, incidentally, McCarthy seeks the impeachment of the president for accusations of corruption against his son, Hunter, who is charged with taking advantage of his father’s position as vice president between 2008 and 2016, allegedly in business dealings with companies in China and Ukraine.
Of course, there were no other candidates for speaker, but it was a test of the power of a vociferous and ideologically cohesive minority.
These are congressional tactics that minorities use when they assume positions of strength.
In other words, McCarthy gets to save his position, at least until the next blackmail.
Years ago, a media specialist argued that a good scandal should be loud and entertaining, but easily dismissed.
And some, like political analyst and Trump biographer Maggie Haberman, believe the current charade will be politically useful to Biden.