Biden wins on Ukraine as House GOP faces big decision about its future

President Joe Biden and Democrats won big in the House Saturday, when it voted resoundingly in support of Ukraine aid. This could mark a turning point for Republicans, leaving them with a choice: to admit defeat and start governing, or to keep fighting with each other.

For months, both former Speaker Kevin McCarthy and current Speaker Mike Johnson have catered to Donald Trump and the MAGA wing of the House GOP on Ukraine aid, insisting that it could not pass without a harsh immigration and border security bill. Once they got that, they turned it down at Trump’s request. Now there’s Ukraine aid and no border deal—a big loss for far-right Republicans and Trump.

This could signal that the fever has finally broken among the governing bloc of the GOP … or not. What it has done is unleash a torrent of anger against Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and the extremist Freedom Caucus by some non-MAGA members.

Before the vote, Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas slammed his colleagues, saying, “I guess their reasoning is they want Russia to win so badly that they want to oust the speaker over it, I mean that’s a strange position to take … I think they want to be in the minority too, I think that’s an obvious reality.”

Even Biden impeachment zealot Rep. James Comer denounced Greene’s efforts to oust Johnson in an interview on Fox News.

“Now Mike Johnson walked into a bad situation,” Comer said. “It’s gotten a lot worse since he’s been here. But changing speakers is not the right business model.”

Rep. Tony Gonzales of Texas completely unleashed his anger toward his MAGA colleagues on Sunday, calling them “scumbags” who “used to walk around in white hoods at night. Now they’re walking around with white hoods in the daytime,” during an interview on CNN.

But Greene and her accomplices are showing no signs of backing down.

“There is more support,” for her efforts, Greene said Monday. “It's growing. I've said from the beginning, I'm going to be responsible with this ... I do not support Mike Johnson. He's already a lame duck. If we have the vote today in our conference he would not be speaker today.”

Greene’s cosponsor Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky said Friday, "We want Mike Johnson to resign. We don't want to go speaker-less. So the goal is to show him, through co-sponsorship, how much support he's lost and hopefully he'll get the message and give us a notice so that we have time ... to replace him.”

That’s a tacit acknowledgement that they’d lose on the House floor if they tried to force Johnson out, since enough Democrats would vote to keep him now that he’s finally done the right thing. So it’s really up to the rest of the Republicans to decide. Will they squash Greene and her team once and for all? Will they accept that anything they accomplish in the remainder of this election year will have to involve Democrats and finally stop with the ridiculous messaging nonsense? (Fat chance.)

Meanwhile, most of Biden’s major priorities have been successful, including the securing of a debt limit deal with McCarthy. Despite the maniacs’ best effort, the government did not shut down and was funded at adequate levels. Now Ukraine will finally get the critical aid it needs to stave off Russia once the Senate passes the bill on Tuesday. 

On top of all that, the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas collapsed, and the Biden impeachment is dead in the water.

House Democrats hold Johnson’s fate in their hands, and everyone knows it—including the majority of Republicans. Has the fever broken in the GOP? Not as long as Trump is alive and kicking, though his political days might be numbered.

There are likely still big fights to come over next year’s budget, and it’s going to be up to the House GOP to figure out how to salvage something out of its tiny majority before the election.

Donate now to take the House back from Republicans! Chipping in $3 apiece to help flip these 16 vulnerable Republican seats scan help take back the House in 2024!


House passes aid for Ukraine and Israel after months of struggle

Republicans get Ukraine demands met, so of course they change their minds

Mike Johnson owes everything to Democrats, and it could cost him his gavel

The House GOP’s margin for error is on track to shrink to just one vote

Hah oh man! House Speaker Mike Johnson’s epic struggles to count votes and keep his caucus in line are about to get a whole lot rougher.

One of Johnson’s least-favorite members, Colorado Rep. Ken Buck, just announced that he’s resigning next week. How least-favorite? Johnson says that Buck—who had already said back in November that he wouldn’t seek reelection—didn’t even inform him ahead of time, reports Politico’s Olivia Beavers.

But intra-party hostilities aside, what matters most is how Buck’s departure affects Johnson’s math. In short, it’s not good.

At the moment, there are 219 Republicans in the House and 213 Democrats. This means that on any given vote, the GOP can afford a maximum of two defections. If three Republicans switch sides to join with Democrats on a particular roll call, then whatever is up for a vote dies, because a 216-216 tie is the same as a loss.

When Buck leaves, that margin will slip to 218-213. But on April 30, Democrats are the heavy favorites to regain one seat in the special election for upstate New York’s vacant 26th District, a solidly blue seat in the Buffalo area. That would take the House to 218-214, and then things get really interesting.

That’s because it would take just two Republicans to tank any vote as long as Democrats stick together, which they have with remarkable consistency. Once again, a 216-all tie sinks any GOP bill, resolution, impeachment—what have you.

In other words, Johnson’s magic number would shrink to exactly one vote. That is to say, if more than one Republican representative has some kind of grievance with the speaker, or the legislation being proposed, or just woke up grumpy that morning, then boom, dead, done. To the extent Johnson has any agenda he might hope to advance, it would take only two dissenters to derail it.

Now, there’s a possible wrinkle: The vacant seat that once belonged to the hapless pol Johnson succeeded as speaker—Kevin McCarthy—will also see a special election next week. However, if no one wins a majority of the vote, then there would be a runoff in late May. And there’s very good reason to think that’s exactly what will happen, because, following last week’s regularly scheduled primary, the first-place candidate (funny enough, a McCarthy protégé) is sitting on just 38% of the vote.

Of course, Johnson will still pray that McCarthy’s seat gets filled as quickly as possible, however poor the odds. Because the only thing worse is the math he’ll face if it doesn’t.

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House GOP votes to impeach Mayorkas, after failing first attempt

The U.S. House voted Tuesday to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, with the Republican majority determined to punish the Biden administration over its handling of the U.S-Mexico border after failing last week in a politically embarrassing setback.

The evening roll call proved tight, with Speaker Mike Johnson’s threadbare GOP majority unable to handle many defectors or absences in the face of staunch Democratic opposition to impeaching Mayorkas, the first Cabinet secretary facing charges in nearly 150 years.

In a historic rebuke, the House impeached Mayorkas 214-213. With the return of Majority Leader Steve Scalise to bolster the GOP's numbers after being away from Washington for cancer care and a Northeastern storm impacting some others, Republicans recouped — despite dissent from their own ranks.

Johnson had posted a fists-clenched photo with Scalise, announcing his remission from cancer, saying, “looking forward to having him back in the trenches this week!”

The GOP effort to impeach Mayorkas over his handling of the southern border has taken on an air of political desperation as Republicans struggle to make good on their priorities.

Mayorkas faced two articles of impeachment filed by the Homeland Security Committee arguing that he “willfully and systematically” refused to enforce existing immigration laws and that he breached the public trust by lying to Congress and saying the border was secure.

But critics of the impeachment effort said the charges against Mayorkas amount to a policy dispute over Biden's border policy, hardly rising to the Constitution's bar of high crimes and misdemeanors.

The House had initially launched an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden over his son’s business dealings, but instead turned its attention to Mayorkas after Trump ally Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia pushed the debate forward following the panel’s months-long investigation.

The charges against Mayorkas would next go to the Senate for a trial, but neither Democratic nor Republican senators have shown interest in the matter and it may be indefinitely shelved to a committee.

Border security has shot to the top of campaign issues, with Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner for the presidential nomination, insisting he will launch “the largest domestic deportation operation in American history” if he retakes the White House.

Various House Republicans have prepared legislation to begin deporting migrants who were temporarily allowed into the U.S. under the Biden administration’s policies, many as they await adjudication of asylum claims.

“We have no choice,” Trump said in stark language at a weekend rally in South Carolina.

At the same time, Johnson rejected a bipartisan Senate border security package but has been unable to advance Republicans’ own proposal which is a nonstarter in the Senate.

Three Republican representatives broke ranks last week over the Mayorkas impeachment, which several leading conservative scholars have dismissed as unwarranted and a waste of time. With a 219-212 majority, Johnson had few votes to spare.

Mayorkas is not the only Biden administration official the House Republicans want to impeach. They have filed legislation to impeach a long list including Vice President Kamala Harris, Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Never before has a sitting Cabinet secretary been impeached, and it was nearly 150 years ago that the House voted to impeach President Ulysses S. Grant’s secretary of war, William Belknap, over a kickback scheme in government contracts. He resigned before the vote.

Mayorkas, who did not appear to testify before the impeachment proceedings, put the border crisis squarely on Congress for failing to update immigration laws during a time of global migration.

“There is no question that we have a challenge, a crisis at the border,” Mayorkas said over the weekend on NBC. “And there is no question that Congress needs to fix it.”

Johnson and the Republicans have pushed back, arguing that the Biden administration could take executive actions, as Trump did, to stop the number of crossings — though the courts have questioned and turned back some of those efforts.

“We always explore what options are available to us that are permissible under the law,” Mayorkas said.

Last week's failed vote to impeach Mayorkas — a surprise outcome rarely seen on such a high-profile issue — was a stunning display in the chamber that has been churning through months of GOP chaos since the ouster of the previous House speaker.

One of the Republican holdouts, Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, who had served as a Marine, announced over the weekend he would not be seeking reelection in the fall, joining a growing list of serious-minded Republican lawmakers heading for the exits.

At the time, Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, who had been hospitalized for emergency abdominal surgery, made a surprise arrival, wheeled into the chamber in scrubs and socks to vote against it — leaving the vote tied, and failed.

“Obviously, you feel good when you can make a difference,” said Green, describing his painstaking route from hospital bed to the House floor. “All I did was what I was elected to do, and that was to cast my vote on the issues of our time, using the best judgment available to me.”

Republicans are hopeful the New York special election will boost their ranks further, but the outcome of that race is uncertain.

Trump allies ridicule GOP impeachment inquiry for failing to find dirt on Biden

As he closes in on the Republican nomination, Donald Trump needs House Republicans to deliver an equalizer for him in the general election: an impeachment of President Joe Biden.

But after a yearlong investigation led by the House oversight committee chair, Rep. James Comer, Republicans seem no closer to digging up any actionable dirt on Biden. That leads to two conclusions:

  1. If the pro-Trump House GOP conference hasn't found anything on Biden, it's unlikely anything legally actionable exists.

  2. It becomes even more imperative for House Republicans to scrape together something Trump can work with.

After all, when pundits call him the twice-impeached, four-time indictee, Trump has to be able to point at Biden and say he's the one who's really corrupt. Just look at what Congress found on him. It's very reminiscent of Trump attempting to extort Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy into opening a bogus investigation into Biden. Only now, Trump has so many legal liabilities, he needs more than just the specter of wrongdoing—he needs the goods. And according to some fascinating reporting from The Messenger's Stephen Neukam, Trump has taken note of the fact that he's currently got nothing on which to spin a corruption narrative.

“Comer has cast a wide net and caught very little fish. That is a big problem for him,” one ally of Trump told The Messenger.

The reporting is informed by more than a dozen anonymous interviews, including a House Republican colleague who calls Comer's inquiry a "parade of embarrassments."

“One would be hard pressed to find the best moment for James Comer in the Oversight Committee,” the GOP lawmaker said.

But in many ways, the leaks seem specifically designed to put Comer on notice that he not only needs to produce, but he'll be singularly on the hook if he doesn't.

“James Comer continues to embarrass himself and House Republicans. He screws up over and over and over," said a source identified as "close" to House GOP leadership, who appeared to be playing CYA for the leadership team. The source's big fear was that Comer would ultimately fail to provide the foundation necessary (i.e. evidence) to follow through with impeaching Biden.

“I don’t know how Republicans actually impeach the president based on [Comer's] clueless investigation and lack of leadership,” said the source.

The quotes had the feel of a failed campaign staff pointing fingers at each other as the ship goes down, only the campaign in this case is the Republican effort to impeach Biden.

Publicly, of course, House leaders are expressing full confidence in Comer.

"I am grateful for the superb efforts of Chairman Comer," Speaker Mike Johnson said in a statement, while House Majority Leader Steve Scalise said Comer had "worked tirelessly" on the investigation.

But Comer's misfires have become legendary: providing nothing substantive, just a series of accusations and innuendo that don't amount to a hill of beans. In fact, Comer's investigation has become a punch line in the media. As Daily Kos' Mark Sumner wrote in November, Comer had uncovered another "smoking water pistol."

In fact, just last month, CNN's Jake Tapper mocked Comer during a live interview.

Watch only Jake Tapper for the entire 45 seconds of this ridiculous interview with James Comer Pyle. The facial expressions are classic. The GOP deemed THIS guy as their best person to get Joe and Hunter Biden. Republicans embarrass the U.S.

— BigBlueWaveUSA® 🇺🇸🌊🇺🇦 (@BigBlueWaveUSA) December 8, 2023

And when the oversight committee met earlier this month to debate holding Hunter Biden in contempt for refusing to give closed-door testimony, the younger Biden made a laughingstock of House Republicans by staging a surprise press conference in which he volunteered to provide public testimony.

“It seems like they got played by Hunter Biden,” a senior House GOP aide told The Messenger. “It was a disaster. They looked like buffoons.”

To sum up, the boss needs production, Comer has become a national joke, and the House leadership is happily hanging him out to dry.

In response, Comer issued a statement through a spokesperson saying that oversight, along with the Judiciary and Ways and Means committees, are coordinating to "determine whether President Biden's conduct warrants articles of impeachment."

Yeah, that's not gonna cut it.

"You have to start producing," one Trump ally said. "The base is starting to get more and more frustrated with him because they see all this smoke but they don’t see the movement.”

If that sounds like a mob-boss threat, that’s because it is.

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House GOP kicks off a new year of dysfunction with another impeachment

Trust the Republican House to make a difficult situation exponentially worse. Not content with establishing a new record of dysfunction and ineffectiveness in the first session of the 118th Congress, they’re kicking off the second year with another waste of precious time: a second baseless impeachment, this time against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. It’s basically the first thing on their agenda when they return to work next week, with the first hearing scheduled for Jan. 10.

Never mind that the first deadline for a partial government shutdown is Jan. 19, and the House has made zero progress in meeting it. Instead, Republican leadership has chosen to start impeachment proceedings against Mayorkas for his “decision-making and refusal to enforce the laws passed by Congress, and that his failure to fulfill his oath of office demands accountability,” according to Homeland Security Committee Chair Mark Green of Tennessee.

Mayorkas’ team at DHS slapped back. “The House majority is wasting valuable time and taxpayer dollars pursuing a baseless political exercise that has been rejected by members of both parties and already failed on a bipartisan vote,” spokesperson Mia Ehrenberg said in a statement.

The White House was equally scathing. “Actions speak louder than words,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement. “House Republicans’ anti-border security record is defined by attempting to cut Customs and Border Protection personnel, opposing President Biden’s record-breaking border security funding, and refusing to take up the President’s supplemental funding request.”

“After voting in 2023 to eliminate over 2,000 Border Patrol agents and erode our capacity to seize fentanyl earlier in 2023, House Republicans left Washington in mid-December even as President Biden and Republicans and Democrats in the Senate remained to forge ahead on a bipartisan agreement,” Bates said.

That Senate effort—which aims to find a compromise on immigration that will get enough Republican votes to allow aid to Ukraine to continue—is ongoing, though its success is far from certain since the House GOP is working to poison it. Senate Republicans will point to the House GOP’s opposition to justify their refusal to support any agreement. To that end, House Speaker Mike Johnson is spearheading another stunt, leading a delegation of about 60 Republican House members to visit a border facility near Eagle Pass, Texas, on Wednesday.

Johnson’s trip is fueling the hard-line stance on immigration, but he’s also painting himself into a corner with the House extremists. Catering to the hard right on immigration is extremely unlikely to help him avert a government shutdown—since a government shutdown is what the Freedom Caucus wants.

Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, a prominent member of the caucus, made that clear enough in a letter Tuesday, writing that he was skipping this trip to the border because it is not enough. "Our people—law enforcement, ranchers, local leaders—are tired of meetings, speeches, and press conferences,” he said, adding that the House should be “withholding funding for the vast majority of the federal government until it performs its basic duty to defend the borders of a supposedly sovereign nation."

The more Johnson bends to extremists on immigration, the more emboldened they will be to force a shutdown over the issue. He’s setting himself up for failure, for the very same trap that every Republican speaker since John Boehner has fallen into. Either Johnson bucks the Freedom Caucus and risks being ousted like former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, or he allows a disastrous shutdown.

Meanwhile, there’s reality: In the past week, illegal border crossings have decreased. But reality isn’t likely to make any difference to Republicans; it rarely does.


Speaker Mike Johnson faces same old GOP dysfunction in the new year

It's official: GOP House did a whole lot of nothing this year

White House engages on Ukraine/immigration stalemate

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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.

Republican Rep. Ken Buck: “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.”

— Ian Sams (@IanSams46) December 12, 2023

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.

Amazing. Chuck Grassley admits "I have no evidence ... the fact haven't taken me to that point where I can say the president is guilty of anything."

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 13, 2023

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.

Need detailed info on the 18 Biden-Republican districts in the House? We've got you covered at this link! (Trump-Democratic districts are on a second tab)

— Daily Kos Elections (@DKElections) October 18, 2023

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Are the handful of GOP impeachment holdouts ‘centrists’?

A new Politico story gives a sliver of fresh information on House Republicans' push to impeach Joe Biden: Not only has just one Republican member announced he will vote “no” on a planned vote to formally authorize the so-far unofficial impeachment inquiry, but of the entire caucus, all except "about a half-dozen" members are now supporting the vote.

The opposing vote is from Rep. Ken Buck. He is nobody's idea of a moderate, but he has expressed repeated unwillingness to support efforts by his own party to nullify an American election and propagate hoaxes meant to delegitimize it. (Buck is also retiring from Congress at the end of his term.)

It's Politico's framing of the half-dozen holdouts that's a bit galling.

"House GOP chips away at centrist resistance on Biden impeachment inquiry," says the Politico headline.

Not sure how you can call the half-an-egg-carton of holdouts "centrists" on this one, Politico. Those six or so representatives hail from swing districts, the site reports, so the more appropriate designation might be "cowards."

It's not centrist to be undecided on whether or not an impeachment inquiry based on not even a shred of evidence of actual wrongdoing (but a whole lot of unhinged and provably false conspiracy theories) should go forward solely because the coup-attempting Donald Trump, now indicted in four separate jurisdictions, was impeached twice and Trump's also-coup-supporting admirers have been obsessed with inflicting revenge on everyone who ever caught Trump committing  alleged crimes. No, it's just cowardice. The undecided members are trying to gauge which will cost them more votes: supporting a clearly spurious and revenge-based impeachment and infuriating swing voters, or not supporting impeachment, which will infuriate the far-right elements of their base.

It's a tough call for sure, but it's not centrist. It's just a craven attempt to govern based not on principle but instead on what will best boost their own personal interests. By the same token, you could call a pickpocket who made off with their wallets a "centrist" because they ignored laws and morality to squarely focus on "What should I do if I want to have more money?"

And this bit is just maddening:

But some moderate Republicans argue that a lack of cooperation from Hunter Biden and other family members has forced the GOP’s hand. Formalizing the investigation would boost the GOP’s leverage in its pursuit of documents and witnesses, they say, and represents just one step in the process.

Come again? Hunter Biden is showing a "lack of cooperation" in disproving an ever-shifting range of conspiracy theories, most of them disprovable by even the most basic fact-checking?

How is he supposed to "cooperate" to disprove theories that have no supporting evidence to begin with? Republican hearings have brought forward "evidence," like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's public display of Hunter nudes almost certainly obtained through criminal hacking efforts in attempts to prove who-knows-what.

How is Hunter supposed to more fully "cooperate" with that probe? Do Republicans believe he must now strip naked in front of them, live and in person?

Well, Rep. Jim Jordan probably does.

The coverage of the Republican "impeachment" drive continues to be risible because journalists continue to note the utter lack of evidence as an aside or afterthought in stories that otherwise treat the Republican effort as a credible political process simply by virtue of Republicans willing it to be.

The story here is that despite a lack of evidence that the sitting president has done even a single untoward thing in relation to his son and despite increasingly circus-like efforts to promote hoaxes after Republican investigators could find nothing else, all but seven or so House Republicans support opening an impeachment inquiry anyway in a brazenly dishonest, politically crooked attempt to redirect attention from the unequivocal crookedness of their own coup-attempting, indicted, and openly fascist party leader.

The six or so possible holdouts aren't the story. The uniform corruption that has strangled nearly the entire Republican caucus, though, continues to be the story that will best predict the possible demise of American democracy itself.


Comer isn’t even trying as Jake Tapper makes fun of his Biden conspiracy theory on live TV

Comer's latest bombshell may be his worst dud yet

Hunter Biden asks to testify publicly. House Republicans scurry away in a panic

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Markos and Kerry give their thoughts on what the country is facing in 2024. The Republican Party is running on losing issues like abortion and repealing the ACA—with no explanation of what they plan on replacing it with. Trump has a lot of criming to atone for, and the Republican platform remains set on destroying democracy.

Disarray alert: House Republicans struggle with slim majority and chaos

With the exit of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the ejection of George Santos, and the impending resignation of Rep. Bill Johnson, House Republicans' bare majority is getting delectably precarious.

Daily Kos Elections political director David Nir games it all out, concluding that Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson will likely end up having a two-vote margin of error on any given measure.

Wherever the numbers end up, Republicans' exceedingly thin majority throughout the 118th Congress has proven to be a blessing in disguise, despite Democrats' failure to keep the majority last cycle. Rarely, if ever, has America seen a more pathetic display of governance than that offered by House Republicans this Congress. The chaos of multiple leadership battles amid the daily display of internecine warfare within the GOP caucus has been both instructive for voters and good for America heading into, yet again, the most consequential election of our lifetimes.

As former Rep. Liz Cheney bluntly noted this week, “A vote for Donald Trump may mean the last election that you ever get to vote in. ... People have to recognize that a vote for Donald Trump is a vote against the Constitution.”

Liz Cheney: “A vote for Donald Trump may mean the last election that you ever get to vote in...People have to recognize that a vote for Donald Trump is a vote against the Constitution.”

— Republican Accountability (@AccountableGOP) December 4, 2023

Cheney also called the prospect of Mike Johnson still being speaker in 2025 "terrifying" in an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.

One of the reasons the race for control of the House is so critical is because it's the 119th Congress that will certify the 2024 election, and House Democrats can serve as a backstop to any Republican election-stealing efforts if Democrats control the chamber.

To the benefit of the pro-democracy side, House Republicans have revealed themselves as completely incapable of leading anything. The message appears to be sinking in, based on Navigator Research polling of roughly 60 battleground districts that will decide control of the House in next year's elections, with nearly 7 in 10 respondents recently saying Republicans have prioritized "the wrong things."

Last month, pro-Trump Rep. Chip Roy of Texas summed up House Republican rule nicely.

“Explain to me one material, meaningful, significant thing the Republican majority has done," Roy said during a floor speech.

Last week, Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries happily riffed off Roy's rant in a press conference during the debate over expelling Santos from his seat.

"House Republicans have now been in the majority for a little under a year—they have nothing to show the American people that they have accomplished.," Jeffries said, mentioning Roy's assertion. "Nothing to meet the needs of the American people," he continued.

“House Republicans have now been in the majority for a little under a year. They have nothing to show the American people that they have accomplished … Don’t take my word for it. Just ask Chip Roy.” — Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries slams House GOP

— The Recount (@therecount) November 30, 2023

Fortunately for Democrats, that dynamic won't be changing anytime soon. House Republicans’ next debacle is already in process, with Johnson preparing to hold a vote as soon as next week on initiating a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

Not only will it not be popular with voters, it's the perfect way for House Republicans to kick off 2024

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Cheney’s new book is a devastating indictment of Republican efforts to overturn 2020

In her new book, former Rep. Liz Cheney unloads on her former colleagues in the Republican Party, and to no one's surprise, her disgust is seething and deep.

"Oath and Honor," which was obtained by CNN, serves as an overarching indictment of the many Republicans Cheney deems most responsible for gifting the GOP to the twice-impeached, four-time criminally indicted Donald Trump, whom she calls “the most dangerous man ever to inhabit the Oval Office.”

“As a nation, we can endure damaging policies for a four-year term. But we cannot survive a president willing to terminate our Constitution," writes Cheney, who served as the number three House Republican before being ousted from leadership over her vote to impeach Trump for the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol.

According to the book, then-Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Cheney following the 2020 election that Trump knew he had lost. “He knows it’s over,” McCarthy reportedly said at the time. “He needs to go through all the stages of grief.”

Yet that same day, Cheney reveals, McCarthy fanned the election-denial flames on Fox News, telling viewers, "President Trump won this election."

Cheney writes, "McCarthy knew that what he was saying was not true.” So much for virtue.

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, a pro-Trump MAGA stalwart, derided the legal avenues for challenging the election results, saying, “The only thing that matters is winning,” according to Cheney. So much for honor.

Cheney also shredded Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana in the book, which she finished writing before he was elevated to speaker. Johnson, she said, pressured his Republican colleagues to sign on to an amicus brief supporting his legal challenge to 2020 results.

“When I confronted him with the flaws in his legal arguments," Cheney writes, "Johnson would often concede, or say something to the effect of, ‘We just need to do this one last thing for Trump.'" So much for the rule of law.

Fast-forward to Nov. 29, 2023, and Johnson contrasting Republicans' ham-handed effort to impeach President Joe Biden with what he framed as Democrats' "brazenly political" impeachment of Trump for springing a violent coup attempt on the U.S. Capitol.

"What you are seeing here is exactly the opposite. We are the rule-of-law team—the Republican Party stands for the rule of law," Johnson told reporters Wednesday, touting his work to defend Trump against Democrats’ "meritless" impeachment proceedings.

Speaker Mike Johnson claims that both of Donald Trump's impeachments were “brazenly political” and “meritless,” but says the GOP's efforts to impeach Joe Biden are “just the opposite” because “the Republican Party stands for the rule of law.”

— Republican Accountability (@AccountableGOP) November 29, 2023

Just a quick trip to Republicans' present day house-of-mirrors routine as the majority party in the House. Now, back to the book.

Perhaps the most chilling part of CNN's write-up was Cheney's recollection of House Republicans' methodical efforts to reject the will of the people in 2020. Here’s CNN:

On Jan. 6, before the attack on the Capitol, Cheney describes a scene in the GOP cloakroom, where members were encouraged to sign their names on electoral vote objection sheets, lined up on a table, one for each of the states Republicans were contesting. Cheney writes most members knew “it was a farce” and “another public display of fealty to Donald Trump.”

“Among them was Republican Congressman Mark Green of Tennessee,” Cheney writes. “As he moved down the line, signing his name to the pieces of paper, Green said sheepishly to no one in particular, ‘The things we do for the Orange Jesus.’”

So much for fealty to the Constitution.

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Fox News explains why America shouldn’t hear from Hunter Biden after Comer chickens out

House Republicans are still all-in on their plan to impeach President Joe Biden for Something Something Hunter Biden, even if they still haven't been able to work out the pesky details. But Hunter threw a wrench in the gears Tuesday morning with an offer to testify, in person, to the House Oversight Committee investigating him—but only if his testimony is public.

Crack Republican investigator and committee chair James Comer immediately shot that idea down, because at no point in the process did Republicans intend for Hunter Biden to actually respond to any of this. No, Republicans absolutely do not want Hunter to come in and testify publicly about their speculations and accusations.

Now Fox News and other Republican disinformation factories have to come up with some spin on why the House committee is right to not want the American public to hear Hunter's willing testimony. Acyn has the clip, so here's your shit show:

Fox News hosts trying to convince their viewers that a closed door deposition of Hunter Biden is better than a public hearing

— Acyn (@Acyn) November 28, 2023

Michele Tafoya: But I agree, I prefer hearings to be done behind closed doors, because I think they actually get to the heart of the matter, and they get some truth, and they can ask questions without preening for the camera, without all the grandstanding.

Yes, that's what the Republicans investigating the Something Something Hunter Biden conspiracy hate more than anything else: grandstanding. Comer and Jim Jordan are known nationwide for their unwillingness to do anything that looks like grandstanding. Republicans specifically selected lawmakers who would be least likely to tolerate grandstanding, which is why Comer and Jordan are joined on the committee by such level heads as—taking a deep breath here—Virginia Foxx, Glenn Grothman, Pete Sessions, Clay Higgins, Andy Biggs, Lauren Boebert, Anna Paulina Luna, Paul Gosar, and Marjorie Taylor “Absolutely No Grandstanding Here” Greene.

The House hearings on Hunter Biden are likely the most dignified and least showboating hearings to ever have occurred in any Congress anywhere, in fact. They ooze decorum like Jordan oozes concern for college athletes’ welfare.

Hmm. The chyron identifies Tafoya as a "former NFL sideline reporter." During her many years on the field, I wonder if she ever discovered a football game going on.

“That is my preference, and for Abby Lowell, for his attorney to say, ‘well you all use that to misinform, and to distort the facts,’ well you know what? You can do that too. After he comes out of his closed door session, you feel free to knock yourself out and you can distort too.”

Ah, and there we have the perfect encapsulation of the Fox News mindset: The truth isn't important! Nobody wants to see the truth for themselves! What's important is how partisans want to "distort" the facts, and the other side can distort the facts too, and then Fox will broadcast the distorted facts that it thinks are best and those are what you, loyal couch potato, should then base your entire mushy worldview around. That's how America is supposed to work.

It seems like just last week House Republicans were loudly crowing about how America needed to see all of the Capitol security camera footage from the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection—absolutely needed to see every bit of it (except for the bits they're going to withhold because of reasons and the bits where they're going to blur out faces so that nasty, nasty law-abiding Americans can't snitch on any more rioters than they've already snitched on). Now we're hearing that cameras and public broadcasts are bad and what Americans really want to know is what the loudest conspiracy freaks in Congress think they should know.

I mean, you can't say she's wrong here. Roger Ailes built a whole network around that idea and he died rich and only mildly discredited, shunned, and a social pariah.

“I mean, it's a silly argument and Comer has said, ‘fine, sit before us publicly, a public hearing, we will do that later. We want the closed door one first.’”

And if you can't trust Comer and Jordan to keep their word, who can you trust? Ask Jordan's old wrestling team: This is a man who's never told a lie.

“And I think it's totally, totally appropriate. Hunter Biden would love nothing more than to sit, have cameras pointed at him, and try to generate the narrative that he wants to form.”

That darn grandstanding Hunter Biden. He tricked Rudy Giuliani into possessing his criminally hacked computer files. He tricked the least grandstand-y group of House Republicans to ever exist into displaying his hacked, private nude photos during a public hearing. He tricked them into focusing obsessively on all of the lowest moments of his life, using all of his worst failures as tabloid fodder for the sake of discrediting his father. Now he's trying to trick them into allowing him to tell his side of the story, after years of Republicans broadcasting their own version?

The absolute gall.


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