The past 24 hours present a great example of the kind of nonsense voters can expect from Donald Trump and the Republican Party in 2024.
Listen To This Story
Heading into the election year, polling looks pretty good for former President Donald Trump and the GOP. He is leading in some key states, and Republicans are ahead by a smidgeon on the “generic ballot.” Of course, all of these polls are worth precisely nothing. A lot can happen in a year, and Americans are not yet tuned into the race.
And that raises an interesting question: Once they start paying attention, will they once again be fascinated by the chaos Trump creates, or will they grow tired of it? Will they recognize that, apart from pursuing the impeachment of President Joe Biden on the flimsiest of grounds, House Republicans have delivered precisely nothing?
The past 24 hours are a great example of what this looks like.
Trump, who said he wanted to deliver part of the closing argument at his financial fraud trial in New York, did not agree to the ground rules of not turning his remarks into a campaign speech and an attack on the court, the prosecutors, and the judicial system.
Then, earlier today, the presiding judge received a bomb threat at his home.
In between, Trump did a town hall on Fox News in which he did all of the things we have come to expect from his public performances: lie, distort, brag, and gaslight.
Things weren’t any less crazy over in the House of Representatives, where Republicans on two separate committees recommended that Hunter Biden be held in criminal contempt for defying a subpoena and began the process of impeaching Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.
It didn’t help their case that the president’s son, whom GOP lawmakers accuse of dodging their inquiries about his financial dealings, showed up at one of the hearings. Hunter Biden has maintained that he would testify in a public hearing but not in private.
Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-TX) spelled out why in one of the most poignant moments of the hearings.
“And let me tell you why nobody wants to talk to y’all behind closed doors — because y’all lie,” she said.
It’s tough to argue with that. Time and again, lead investigator Rep. James Comer (R-KY) has twisted the facts of the GOP probe (and himself) into a pretzel to assert that there has been some wrongdoing on the part of President Biden without presenting any tangible evidence.
Not surprisingly, instead of asking Hunter Biden questions, the Republicans on the panel tried to outdo themselves in hurling insults at him in an effort to get on Fox News.
For example, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) accused the president’s son of having no balls.
He did leave when it was Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-GA) turn to speak. However, that seems understandable seeing how she had once shown barely censored nude photos of Hunter Biden in the committee room.
Of course, Republicans didn’t just spar with the president’s son and the Democrats on the panel; they also kept fighting among themselves.
Many GOP lawmakers are upset with a spending deal that new Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) cut with Senate Democrats.
This led Johnson to ask his colleagues to please stop criticizing him and the deal on social media. In other words, his honeymoon as the conservative behind whom Republicans can rally is officially over.
The point of all of this is to show how crazy things are going to get. With a razor-thin majority in the House, Republicans might be able to rally behind some impeachment votes, but they likely won’t be able to pass any meaningful legislation. Instead, they will hold hearings and make fools of themselves.
And Trump is only going to get worse. He is at his most unhinged when he views himself as in peril… and he should be for most of 2024.
As his various legal troubles come to a head, and as courts rule against some of his most frivolous motions, he is going to lash out at any perceived adversary in increasingly insane rants.
While that won’t bother Republicans, who are all-in on the former president, it’s tough to see how this is going to play well with the rest of the country.
We have seen before in 2020, when American voters did not so much vote Biden into office but rather voted Trump out of it.
And Republicans celebrating these early polls, as well as Democrats wringing their hands right now, would do well to remember that.