Republicans need to start questioning their political instincts. For the sake of accountability, I’ll start with myself.
I want nothing more than to see the GOP investigate the artist currently known as Hunter Biden and the Big Guy right out of the gates.
Which is why, and it pains me to say this… they probably shouldn’t.
First, let me explain my eagerness to watch House Republicans “pounce” and seize on this probe into the corrupt First Family.
After years of the president’s bogus “that has been debunked!” denials and the media’s suppression of the legitimate laptop from hell, it is high time we got some answers from the Biden family.
A recent House Republican Committee press conference, featuring Representatives James Comer and Jim Jordan, laid out just how deep this scandal runs.
“The investigation reveals a family that engaged with some of America’s most powerful adversaries — planning to sell one of the largest sources of cobalt for electric vehicles in the world to the Chinese, for example,” Comer explained.
Two years after the New York Post broke the story, even CBS News has finally admitted that the laptop is not “Russian disinformation” but in fact genuine. Better late than never I suppose.
So how is the White House handling this brewing storm?
When White House press secretary Karine Jean Pierre was asked if President Joe Biden knew about his son’s business dealings, she eventually spun her boss’s scandal into an attack on Republicans’ priorities: “They’re not coming up with solutions on how we’re going to lower costs for American families. They’re not coming up with solutions as to how are we dealing with, uh, uh, issues that matter the most to American families.”
Let’s leave aside the fact that the “issues” Karine Jean-Pierre is referring to were all made significantly worse by the Biden administration. KJP is suggesting that Republicans, by focusing on investigating Hunter, are not prioritizing the American people’s problems.
As always, the media is backing her up. There have been a number of hot takes from left-wing outlets that the investigations will come off as overtly political and backfire on the GOP in 2024. “What if the idea of watching Jordan rant and rave in committee probes for the next two years proves unpleasant for the American public? And what if the relentless attacks and obstruction only hurt the GOP’s standing and underscore that Biden and the Democrats are the only adults in the room?” asks Vanity Fair‘s Eric Lutz. The subject line of Monday’s Politico Playbook AM newsletter reads: “Why the GOP’s Biden probes could backfire.”
Of course, the left has zero credibility when it comes to lecturing the GOP on the danger of political investigations.
The Robert Mueller probe, which cost Americans $32 million and took over two years, led to a whole lot of nothing. Then remember Nancy Pelosi’s custom gold pens for Trump’s first impeachment extravaganza. Who can forget when the House Democrats imperial-marched their way to the Senate with the articles of impeachment? Or when Representative Adam Schiff performed his own Godfather-inspired parody of a phone call between Trump and President Zelensky?
After the second impeachment, Democrats brought in James Goldston — the former president of ABC News — to help choreograph a more compelling January 6 made-for-TV show trial.
Now that Republicans have regained control of the House, the same pundits who lapped up all of these supposed scandals and regurgitated that the “walls were closing in” on Trump have suddenly changed their tune. Hyperpolitical investigations are only okay as along as the subjects are on the right, according to the experts.
Republicans have an actual scandal to investigate, so we are being told that the probes will backfire. But here’s where the rubber meets the road: what if the left is right?
Representative Kevin McCarthy is making the Hunter Biden investigation a top priority. His willingness to investigate Hunter is probably not because he thinks it is a vote-winner for moderates and undecideds. Rather, he is desperate to get back into the good graces of the Republican base (many of whom think he blew the midterms). In other words, he might not be the most reliable conservative leader in the room right now.
Based off recent surveys — including a Politico/Morning Consult poll — a lot of Americans are uninterested in more investigations. Perhaps the Democrats six-plus years of swamp theater have finally worn people out. No fans are baying for Phase Five of the Congressional Cinematic Universe.
When I try to think strategically, I can admit that Republicans might be better served starting their new tenure as the majority by focusing first on the issues that brought people out to the polls: inflation, the cost of living, energy prices. For GOP voters, immigration and crime are up there too.
Speaking of immigration, Americans do seem interested in one investigation: Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and the border.
That Politico/Morning Consult survey revealed that while only three in ten voters thought Congress should focus on Hunter’s “uncomfortable business dealings,” seven in ten were interested in a probe of the border crisis. Perhaps that is a better jumping off point for the GOP.
Hunter and Joe deserve to be investigated to the fullest extent of the law. I have not changed my mind on that front. But the timing of the probe is worth rethinking.
The GOP making Hunter Biden the number one priority will result in the Republican base feeling good. But will it help the party build the kind of coalition it needs to win the presidency and the Senate in 2024? I’m not so sure.