It's too early to tell whether it's a temporary blip or a longer-term trend, but House Republicans vowing to "impeach Joe Biden" seem to be hitting more public pushback than usual from their fellow Republicans. The portion of the party not completely devoted to Rudy Giuliani-style hoax-peddling appears to be getting more and more concerned that holding an impeachment trial of President Joe Biden that includes exactly zero evidence of Biden doing anything wrong would not, in fact, convince Americans that the party can be trusted with government power.
There's probably going to be a real conflict there, because to House Republicans like Jim Jordan and James Comer, the thought of holding off on announcing an impeachment just because they haven't been able to dig up evidence for one appears inconceivable—and to date, it's not clear that anyone will be able to convince the House sedition caucus to back down.
As for the evidence that Republican patience with the impeachment carnival is wearing thin, the most colorful criticism comes from GOP political strategist Susan Del Percio, who allowed herself to be named and quoted by The Messenger as saying, "It's stupid. It's completely made up. They don't have anything," and, "This is not about impeachment for cause. This is a political stunt. And I have a feeling it's going to go very badly for Republicans."
That's the sort of sharp critique that strategists start dishing out when supposed allies start suggesting really bad ideas, ideas on the level of, "Hey, let's put Rep. George Santos in charge of the holiday gift exchange this year."
Then we had the amazing sight of Fox News hosts taking the stuffing out of the still-unindicted Rep. Matt Gaetz's impeachment threats. And not just any Fox hosts, mind you, but the “Fox & Friends” crowd. Do you have any idea how bad your conservative idea has to be to get “Fox & Friends” on the other side of it? These are people who would appoint George Santos chief wallet inspector!
Responding to Gaetz's threat to remove Kevin McCarthy from the House speakership if he stands in the way of an attempted Biden impeachment, host Brian Kilmeade roundly mocked him:
"Who would he put there?" he asked. "[House Majority Leader] Steve Scalise, who's dealing with blood cancer right now? Is there anybody else?"
"Matt Gaetz is just speaking into the wind," Kilmeade added dismissively. "Have Matt Gaetz pick up the phone and call some moderate Republicans and see if he can switch to his side. McCarthy would be more than happy to let him do that."
You have to be way, way over the line to lose Brian Kilmeade. And Kilmeade wasn't the only one dismissive of Gaetz's threats. Noting that Gaetz's fellow Republicans would probably be "all for" a Biden impeachment if Rep. James Comer and the other supposed investigators "can get proof" of Biden’s wrongdoing, co-host Ainsley Earhardt opined that "they definitely need that proof in order to start an impeachment."
That is not what Comer and the others want to hear. They've been pushing to have an impeachment vote without ever finding proof of what largely at this point has devolved into the usual bizarre conspiracy theorizing. And in doing so, they're going beyond even what the “Fox & Friends” morning crowd can stomach.
Not all signs of chaos in the Republican ranks are from people skeptical of the wisdom of proceeding without actual evidence; among hard-right conspiracy cranks, accusations are flying over Comer's inability to prove claims that started out as hoaxes to begin with. MAGA remora and nationally renowned crappy parker Seb Gorka is fuming over Comer's inability to deliver:
"Another press conference? I've had it, I'm sorry Comer, you don't know how to do a press conference. You have a press conference on 'Romanian businessman gave Hunter Biden $32' [...] And your oxygen thief members of the committee are standing in front of the visual aids! This is what we voted for? It's a joke!"
Yeah, that's what would have sold your press conference, James: being able to better see the visual aids for the $32 check. Forget evidence—first, y'all need to practice your choreography.
So things really do appear to be heating up as Comer and Jordan continue to produce substanceless circus performances with parades of clowns whostill can't come up with even the most basic evidence for the party's conspiracy claims. The far right is mad because they don't understand why Comer can't find evidence that doesn't exist, and the more sedition-agnostic members of the party are increasingly wary of attaching themselves to a show that consists of little more than Comer and Jordan continually tripping over their own feet.
Does it portend a shift in Republican tolerance for the House seditionists obsessed with impeaching Joe Biden out of sheer spite? Hard to say. But it's something to keep an eye on.
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