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If we have to have a bogus impeachment inquiry, why not make it a big one?

House Republicans’ impeachment inquiry is plainly a sham — a modern-day Star Chamber. My question to right-wingers is, why stop at Hunter-gate? 

Why not expand the scope of the investigation to President Biden’s role into other nothingburger inquiries of recent vintage, such as Benghazi, Hillary Clinton’s emails, Solyndra and Lois Lerner? 

Heck, why stop there? Go back even further. 

Just feed the right-wing talk shows by reopening the stockpile of past low-blow GOP attacks that never amounted to anything. Who can forget ACORN? What about Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate and the fictitious Ground Zero Mosque?

What about former President Barack Obama’s absent birth certificate?

By the logic of Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Biden’s possible role in any of these affairs would be enough for impeachment.

The House GOP caucus is proudly embracing the backward logic of the Queen of Hearts in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland: “Sentence first — verdict afterword.”

They are controlled by conspiracy-mongering mad-hatters and opportunistic grifters, including McCarthy himself, who play along with the farce to hold power and gin up fundraising.

Despite years of innuendo from GOP members of Congress swirling around the right-wing media echo chamber, no one has produced evidence that even remotely suggests President Biden committed an impeachable offense of a “high crime or misdemeanor.”

“The time for impeachment is the time when there’s evidence linking President Biden — if there’s evidence linking President Biden to a high crime or misdemeanor. That doesn’t exist right now,” said Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.).

Buck and several other conservatives, including Reps. Dusty Johnson  (R-S.D.), Don Bacon (R-Neb.) and David Joyce (R-Ohio), are walking the other way because they see political peril for Republicans in such a deranged attack on the president.

A focus group of Pennsylvania swing voters, released last week by Engagious-Sago, found potential for serious “backfire among voters because of doubts about the GOP’s motives.”

“There’s no evidence,” against Biden, one member of the focus group said, according to a report in Axios. “It just feels like it’s so out of left field, it’s distracting.”

James Carville, who served as a strategist for President Clinton, calls the GOP impeachment drive “borderline stupid…vapid and useless.”

Keep in mind that Carville was there to see President Clinton’s poll numbers rise as a result of a Republican impeachment effort in which there was actual evidence against the president himself.

This new impeachment involves piling on the president’s only surviving son — an admittedly troubled man with a history of addiction, who has dealt with death in his family while in the public eye in the most brutal, public, unforgiving way imaginable.  

Hunter has now been charged with two misdemeanor tax offenses and a felony gun offense. But Republicans have yet to prove that Hunter violated any laws in his overseas business dealings with questionable entities such as the Ukrainian gas company Burisma. 

More importantly, they have no evidence that President Biden was involved in any financial crimes alleged to have been committed by his son. 

It is also a strategy designed to obscure the fact that former President Donald Trump is facing four criminal indictments, including charges related to trying to overturn the last presidential election. The former president is reportedly urging House Republicans to create a media distraction with a no-evidence impeachment to turn public attention away from the mounting allegations of his criminality. 

The same desperate GOP strategy extends to fueling constant smears about Biden’s age and mental competence. Again, no evidence.

To the contrary, several in-depth books on Biden’s years as president depict him as a “confident man who over-prepares for every briefing,” in the words of Chris Whipple, who wrote “The Fight of His Life.” 

David Weigel of Semafor wrote last week that there are now several major books providing “insider accounts” of Biden’s work as president and vice president that defy efforts to portray Biden as a babbling old man. The books show him to be “an energetic leader.” 

The latest book, Franklin Foer’s “The Last Politician,” fits with the other books in consistently telling the story of a successful president, “an aging president who’s nonetheless fully engaged in the job,” Weigel writes.

To understand the twisted, cynical, deranged logic of this farcical impeachment gambit by Trump Republicans, it is helpful to remember the words of former Trump White House Strategist Steve Bannon.

“The Democrats don’t matter,” Steve Bannon reportedly told Michael Lewis in 2018. “The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with sh–.”

In opening the floodgates, McCarthy is betting that this flood of dreck covers over his inability to control his caucus and allows himself to remain as Speaker. He is up against another government shutdown deadline in two weeks. Hardliners have said they will not vote for a measure that funds the government without significant cuts to social safety net programs.

McCarthy’s strategy hangs on the hope that by giving in to baseless calls for impeachment, he will calm his most extreme members, giving him the votes to keep the government open. 

It is just more of the Trump Republicans flooding the zone with as much dreck as possible.

So, seriously, House Republicans — why are you limiting yourselves? Bring back all the other nothing-burger scandals that turned up zilch.

Juan Williams is an author and a political analyst for Fox News Channel.

Tags 2024 presidential election Barack Obama Clinton Donald Trump Hillary Clinton impeachment inquiry James Carville Joe Biden Kevin McCarthy President Joe Biden

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