House Republicans hand Democrats an early 2024 gift: A fact-free impeachment inquiry

House Republicans voted unanimously Wednesday to open an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. They will live to regret it.

Even under the best and most convincing of circumstances, impeachments are typically unpopular. After Donald Trump sicced a violent mob on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, only a slender majority of Americans supported impeaching him. A Monmouth University poll conducted shortly after Trump’s impeachment on Jan. 13 found that 56% of Americans favored his impeachment and Senate conviction, including 92% of Democrats but just 52% of independents, despite the Jan. 6 insurrection unfolding on live television for all of America to see.

Fast forward to this week, with Republican Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado telling CNN Monday, “This is not the way to run a Congress. This is not the way to run a House. We should not be engaging in retribution politics, in retribution impeachments.”

Still, Buck couldn’t bring himself to buck his fellow Republicans on the party-line vote.

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Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa admitted Wednesday that Republicans had “no evidence” on which to conclude the president is guilty of any high crimes or misdemeanors.

“I’m going to follow the facts where they are, and the facts haven’t taken me to that point where I can say the president is guilty of anything,” Grassley told CNN’s Manu Raju.

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This impeachment should be embarrassing to Republicans, and yet the bubble of far-right politics has given them the courage of their fact-free convictions.

Democrats should thank them. After months of polling showing a tight 2024 presidential contest with whiffs of sagging Democratic enthusiasm for Biden’s reelection, Republicans have handed Democrats a base-energizer.

Democratic voters will be rightfully outraged that Republicans would launch an inquiry when they have zero supporting evidence despite a year-long investigation into Biden’s supposed misdeeds that turned up squat.

Just wait for the polling. Republicans may be hermetically sealed from reality, but the majority of voters are not—particularly those in some 17 Biden-won swing districts that are currently represented by Republicans.

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