Four Reasons Why Kevin McCarthy Has Miscalculated
Author: Greg Valliere
September 13, 2023
First, McCarthy has attempted to snuggle up to the far-right by launching an impeachment inquiry. He previously has declared that such a probe would have to be approved by a House vote — but he didn’t have the votes and launched the probe yesterday without House approval, angering moderates.
Second, McCarthy wants the far right to approve what he really wants — a temporary deal on the budget before the new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1. McCarthy apparently thought that getting tough on impeachment would be the quid pro quo that would convince the right wing to agree to a budget deal, but that probably won’t happen — and a government shutdown is increasingly likely at the end of this month.
Third, there’s no major evidence to indicate that Joe Biden did anything warranting impeachment; several House Republicans think there’s no smoking gun. Thus it’s likely that McCarthy won’t have the votes to get impeachment out of the House, let alone getting a conviction in the Senate.
Fourth, why is McCarthy pushing so hard for an impeachment inquiry? He knows that several House right wingers want to oust him — and they may have the votes. Unless McCarthy can keep the right wing happy, he probably will get the boot from his own troops, and he knows it.
AMID ALL THIS WASHINGTON IN-FIGHTING is a belief by many Democrats that impeachment could backfire on the Republicans. The White House believes the public isn’t interested in another impeachmenet circus, which could turn off voters and actually boost Biden’s sagging popularity.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR: An impeachment poses risks for the Democrats — an inquiry will keep business dealings by Hunter Biden and his dad in the news, and it’s possible that Republicans may unearth fresh evidence that would damage the Bidens.
THIS ALREADY is a distraction at the White House, which may continue. And it could give Donald Trump some cover; a lengthy impeachment inquiry would give Trump ammunition just when he needs it in 2024.
BOTTOM LINE: Impeachment unlikely; conviction even less likely; fresh evidence is a wild card; budget dysfunction is very likely; McCarthy is on thin ice; Republicans are emboldened — and in danger of over-playing their hand.
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