By embracing ‘impeachment expungement’ nonsense, McCarthy risks his thin majority

Kevin McCarthy’s brief speakership has been such a shambolic clusterf--k. It’s a wonder he’s retained enough of his wits to keep pretending Donald Trump is a real boy—one with real human feelings beyond hunger, rage, and that concupiscent soup of queasy envy that heats up whenever his weird milksop of a son-in-law comes within Taser-range of his daughter. 

But he’ll keep pretending. Oh, will he ever! Now that his immutable soul is a wholly owned subsidiary of MAGA, Speaker McCarthy’s abandoned his dogged fight against inflation and returned to his true life’s work: continually inflating Donald Trump’s greasy ego. And he’s doing it with the help of his BFF Marjorie Taylor Greene and House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, who recently introduced a symbolic measure to “expunge” Donald Trump’s two impeachments. Naturally that’ll make us all forget that he extorted a foreign ally and incited an insurrection against the U.S. government.

Fresh off censuring Rep. Adam Schiff for telling the truth about Trump, McCarthy, et al., are fixing to absolve the ex-pr*sident before he even thinks about asking for forgiveness. And, needless to say, that’s left Republican House members from light-blue districts a little spooked.

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In backing the effort, led by Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Elise Stefanik of New York, McCarthy is putting his weight behind their goal of removing the charges against Trump from the impeachments of 2019 and 2021.

"I think it is appropriate, just as I thought before, that you should expunge it, because it never should have gone through," the California Republican told reporters on Capitol Hill.

McCarthy said that the 2019 impeachment was "was not based on true facts" while adding that the 2021 vote was taken "on the basis of no due process."

Right? That 2019 impeachment was bullshit! Just read the transcript.

Wait, you’re not actually reading the transcript, are you? 

Who told you to do that?

Stop it!

No more reading now, I mean it!

Anybody want a peanut?

Okay, it’s all right to skim it. Just make sure you stop as soon as you get to the part where Trump says, “I would like you to do us a favor, though,” because everything after that is pretty transparently treason-y.

Speaking of treason, the 2021 impeachment was an even easier layup—one that Mitch McConnell, et al., intentionally missed.

But being a Republican in 2023 means you’re expected to defend everything Trump says and does, up to and including installing beige bathroom fixtures that badly clash with one’s ecru classified document boxes and white crystal chandelier.

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That said, some non-MAGA House Republicans are nervous about being forced to vote on anything related to Trump’s guilt or innocence, because he’s fucking guilty and everyone with a functioning brain stem—which includes a not-insignificant number of swing voters and non-MAGA Republicans—knows it.

This week, the Republicans wanted President Joe Biden impeached. The GOP censured Adam Schiff for probing Donald Trump's corruption. The Republican Party declared their intention to expunge Donald J. Trump's impeachments. Trump was impeached twice. We, the people, won't forget.

— Tony - Resistance (@TonyHussein4) June 23, 2023

On Friday, CNN reporter Manu Raju reported on the expungement effort and the bind in which it appears to put some moderate Republicans.

(Partial) transcript!

RAJU: “[I]n a key announcement just moments ago in that same press gaggle, Kevin McCarthy told a group of us he does support this effort to expunge those Trump impeachments. Even though it is symbolic and won’t change the actual record of the impeachments happening, if it were to move forward it would put moderates in a more difficult spot. Some of them simply don’t want to vote on this or take a position backing Trump, particularly when it comes to Jan. 6. One of them, Don Bacon, a member from Nebraska from a district that Joe Biden carried, told me it sounds, quote, ‘kind of weird to go down that route.’ And McCarthy would not promise to bring this to the floor … but he said it would go to the House Judiciary Committee and then they would make a decision. He also told me that, no, he has not spoken to Trump about this.”

Why would he talk to Trump about it? What would Trump say? He didn’t even call off his dogs when they were biting at McCarthy’s heels on Jan. 6. Why would he help McCarthy now? 

Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress are treating this expungement effort with all the seriousness it deserves.

If I finish rearranging my sock drawer, I will proudly introduce two resolutions to expunge the two expungement resolutions by GOP Reps @EliseStefanik and @mtgreenee. Because this is all pretend stuff anyways.

— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) June 24, 2023

Rep. Dan Goldman, the Democrats’ lead counsel during the first Trump impeachment, pointed out that this was clearly just theater. “It is just a further continuation of the House Republicans acting as Donald Trump's taxpayer-funded lawyers,” Goldman told CBS News. "It’s telling who is introducing them and it’s essentially whoever is trying to curry the most favor with Donald Trump,"

Even Jonathan Turley, a Georgetown University law professor who served as a witness for House Republicans during Trump’s first impeachment, thinks the expungement effort is nonsense. “It is not like a constitutional DUI. Once you are impeached, you are impeached,” Turley told Reuters.

Of course, this is all part and parcel of Republicans’ wider campaign to whitewash our country’s recent history.

For the record, Trump-Russia collusion was proven, no matter how many times Republicans say the Mueller investigation was a hoax and a witch hunt. Trump really did extort Ukraine in a bid to manufacture dirt on President Joe Biden, no matter how many times they tell you to look the other way.

And Trump’s reckless and illegal action (and inaction) on Jan. 6, 2021, really did cause the deaths of Americans and bring our country to the brink of a constitutional crisis. McCarthy should at the very least remember that last incident. It’s pretty hard to forget the day you begged for your life and heard nothing but nonsense back.

Then again, McCarthy helped revive Trump’s political career in the wake of Jan. 6, so as his paper-thin majority continues to tear over trifles like this, he can be confident that he has only himself to blame.

Though something tells me he’d rather point fingers at Hunter Biden.

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Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.