Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is a creature of the Washington establishment. Sure, he’s an ideological conservative, but in the way that his predecessor, former Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was a conservative, not in the way that former President Donald J. Trump and the “MAGA” coalition of the Republican Party is.
So, when McCarthy assumed the speakership earlier this year from Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), it was under a cloud of controversy.
In fact, a core element of the MAGA and Tea Party wings of the House Republicans waged a quixotic war to prevent McCarthy (who had the most votes of any possible Republican speaker candidate) from becoming the next Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.
Only after McCarthy made considerable concessions to the minority group of MAGA and Tea Party-type conservatives in the House GOP did McCarthy ultimately get the job he had worked his entire political career to get.
McCarthy’s Survival Bound to Biden’s Impeachment
Part of the concessions McCarthy had made to the right wing of his party was that House members needed only a single vote to initiate a larger movement to get rid of McCarthy as speaker, if the members of the House didn’t like what he was doing for any given reason.
Over the summer, if you’ll recall, there was almost a major showdown between the House Republicans and the Biden administration over raising the debt ceiling. McCarthy knew that the Republicans would be blamed by the voters if the government shutdown and the economy tanked as a result.
Going into a contentious presidential election cycle, McCarthy’s instincts were correct: better to live to fight another day rather than make a last stand on the debt ceiling, and ultimately lose.
Thus, McCarthy had to make more concessions and promises to the House GOP to get their unwilling support to stand down on the debt ceiling fight over the summer.
With that crisis narrowly averted, McCarthy understood full well that whatever goodwill (however infinitesimal) among the House Republicans was gone.
Heading into the fall, another spending crisis was headed McCarthy’s way.
Because, of course, the decision to raise the debt ceiling was not the only financial decision Congress would have to make. The federal government’s next spending bill would need to be negotiated by Sept. 30. The House Republicans intended to use the very same tactics they were going to use in preventing the debt ceiling from being raised in June to coax a more limited spending bill out of the Democratic Party.
Again, McCarthy rightly knew that this was not a good political fight to have headed into an election season. But, McCarthy’s position as speaker was inherently weak, a result of those aforementioned concessions he had made to get the job in the first place.
The Speaker would need to grant some kind of deal to his unruly caucus in order to avoid another unwanted financial fight in the midst of an election year. Thus, the old Potomac Ritual for when a politician is fresh meat: “kill and throw them something fresher,” was obviously at the forefront of McCarthy’s mind.
Reopening the Hunter Biden Scab
Enter the ongoing, extensive, and serious House Republican investigation into the president’s son, Hunter Biden, and allegations that the First Son had served for years as the front man for an influence-peddling operation.
Here is where McCarthy could unite his party headed into the next election and how the Speaker of the House could preserve his precarious position—all while likely avoiding another unwanted financial fight (or simply avoiding a dragged out fight), this time over the next federal spending bill, that would only come back negatively on the GOP.
For months, Republicans and political analysts, like this author, have sat in bewilderment at how gunshy the House Republicans have been to initiate impeachment against the forty-sixth president.
After all, there is ample circumstantial evidence suggesting that not only was Hunter Biden engaged in criminal action abroad, but that he was likely representing his powerful father.
At the very least, the president seems to have been aware of Hunter Biden’s questionable business practices and allowed for the practice to continue (although the Republicans have accumulated evidence in the form of damning testimonies from eyewitnesses which indicate there was more than just a passive awareness on the part of Joe Biden).
Despite the bevy of hearings, the cavalcade of eyewitnesses—including two IRS whistleblowers who claimed under oath that the Department of Justice stymied their tax investigation into Hunter Biden for fear that they might find damaging materials on President Joe Biden—and all the public outrage (at least from Republican voters) about Hunter Biden, McCarthy’s House never initiated even an impeachment inquiry into President Biden. Finally, McCarthy has done it. He launched an impeachment inquiry into Biden.
Context, though, is king. Observers must understand why the Speaker finally did it. It is very likely that Speaker McCarthy has little-to-no faith in the outcome of any impeachment inquiry into Biden.
While I believe an impeachment into President Biden will lead to an incredible amount of damaging information linking the forty-sixth president to influence-peddling by his son, very few establishment-types in Washington, D.C., believe this is anything more than red meat to throw at the increasingly dissatisfied Republican faithful.
And from McCarthy’s perspective, that’s precisely what it is.
After he had managed to inexplicably secure the support for his speakership bid fromRep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-GA) of all people, MTG was threatening to hold McCarthy hostage if he didn’t vow to obstruct the pending spending bill that the Democrats are likely to shove down America’s throat this month.
McCarthy needs to keep as many of his members onboard with his weak speakership. Therefore, the California Republican is throwing a lot of red meat at his base and his fellow House Republicans.
This will likely keep them sated for some time. Because, by opening up the scab that is Hunter Biden on the political body of Joe Biden, they’re going to uncover a lot of puss that will seep out for months and, possibly, years to come.
In exchange, the Republicans in Congress will be far more amenable to whatever half-hearted response to what I am sure will be an excessive spending bill that Speaker McCarthy will mount.
And, McCarthy can probably keep his job a while longer.
Whatever the reasoning for impeaching Biden, it needed to happen. This is not only because it will galvanize Republican voters going into the next election. It is also because Hunter Biden was allegedly involved in a lot of shady activities—notably, allegedly selling access to his father to Chinese state-owned firms for years.
That would constitute a national security threat. If definitive evidence is found over the course of the House GOP impeachment inquiry that, in fact, President Biden was aware of his son’s activities, then the forty-sixth president will have been shown to be compromised by the People’s Republic of China.
Hunter Biden is not just an example of the corruption of America’s elite. He could be the entry point for uncovering a much greater scandal at the heart of America’s democracy—a scandal that, if left unchecked, could pose a major national security threat to the United States.
McCarthy Made the Right Call on Biden
So, McCarthy’s decision not only saves him politically and helps the GOP in what will be a tight election. It also is the right thing to do, because of the potential national security implications.
The next 18 months are going to be insane. Brace yourselves for it.
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (Encounter Books), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert occasionally serves as a Subject Matter Expert for various organizations, including the Department of Defense. He can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.