Kevin McCarthy, Air Force One
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) gets a ride on Air Force One home to California. Photo credit: Kevin McCarthy / Wikimedia

In the coming weeks and months, you will see a lot of verbal and mental gymnastics from House Republicans who will try to portray a deeply flawed and politicized impeachment as a righteous crusade for justice.

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Nobody has ever accused House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) of being a brainiac, but you’d think that he’d at least be able to remember stuff he said less than two weeks ago. Apparently not.

At the start of the month, McCarthy told Breitbart News that it would take “a vote on the floor of the People’s House and not […] a declaration by one person” for the chamber to initiate impeachment proceedings against Joe Biden.

On Tuesday, 11 days later, he unilaterally went ahead and announced that House Republicans would begin impeachment proceedings.

Unless McCarthy snuck onto the House floor late at night and voted by himself, it’s tough to reconcile the earlier statement with yesterday’s decision.

The funniest thing about this apparent flip-flop is that it was completely unnecessary. As speaker, he obviously has the authority to take this step and he didn’t need to first set a bar that he wouldn’t be able to cross.

In addition, when Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) did the same thing in 2019, McCarthy blasted her and said she had no authority to move ahead on her own (in that case, the full House endorsed the move six weeks later).

It’s possible that he really believed what he said at the beginning of the month only to realize later that he would not have the votes at this time, and then he felt compelled to move forward to preempt a challenge to his speakership.

In any case, this is symptomatic of the entire GOP investigation into the president and the push for impeachment to this date.

Republicans overpromise and then can’t deliver.

And then, when they are called out on it, they react with great indignation. That’s exactly what McCarthy did on Wednesday when reporters asked him about reversing course.

Instead of being honest about changing course, he instead went on the attack and said Pelosi was to blame because she had set the precedent ahead of Donald Trump’s first impeachment.

And there is no doubt that she did the same thing, but McCarthy knew that prior to making that statement to Breitbart.

In a rambling answer to the question of why he changed his mind, he also insisted that he never changed his position, which is laughably false.

See for yourself whether you can make sense of this word salad:

Going forward, if you want to follow the House GOP’s push to impeach Biden, you will have to get used to these kinds of verbal and mental gymnastics… because you will be seeing a lot of them


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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