Jim Crawford: GOP Performance politics

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 26, 2023

It is going to be a long, hot summer, but so far, at least, we have some entertainment coming from the Republican House and Senate. 

They have been very busy there, not so much with lawmaking for the people, but with their real interests, Performance Politics.

Just this week, U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colorado, surprised some of her colleagues by threatening to file Articles of Impeachment against President Joe Biden.

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Georgia,  was incensed, not at the silliness of Boebert’s outrageous actions, but because Greene had her own Biden Impeachment charges already written and ready to go.

Fortunately, several Republican senators met with Republican House Speaker Kebin McCarthy and with Boebert to act as the adults in the room, pointing out that it might be helpful to at least conduct some form of a sham investigation before raising their tit-for-tat (Trump-for-Biden) impeachment. 

For now, at least, the impeachment is suspended in a House Committee in search of some grounds to impeach. More to follow.

In the meantime, the Republicans in the Senate are not asleep while all the entertainment is happening over in the House. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, is pushing his national 15-week abortion ban because Republicans have apparently not suffered enough at the polls after their excitement over the end of Roe v. Wade. 

Still, it is hard to beat the Republican House at extremism, where several members argue that a national abortion ban is a better idea.

Back to the House, the Comer Committee to Defeat President Biden and re-elect ex-President (and indicted) Donald Trump has been working furiously at tossing out absurd claims followed by no retractions. 

First, they uncovered numerous whistleblowers who had knowledge of Biden’s alleged crimes. But they lost the whistleblowers, all of them, somewhere, and have not found them again. 

Sadly, they lost them before any criminal acts were named. Following that shocking unsubstantiated claim was the flash news that there may be multiple tape recordings of Biden committing horrific bribery crimes. 

But again, unfortunately, there were no tapes to be found. The committee demanded the FBI find and release the nonexistent tapes, but the FBI refused because, well, they did not exist.

All of this, you might think, would deeply trouble the Republican committee members because their efforts were all easily shown to be false. Not so much.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, a member of the select Committee, said on Fox News, “We are not interested in whether the allegations against Vice President Biden (Sic) are accurate or not.” 

Committee Chair James Comer, R-Kentucky, said the committee’s work was already succeeding because Trump’s ratings were up (at that time) seven points and Biden’s ratings were down. Comer added this proved people were watching the committee push out (unverified) charges week after week.

The select committee also has an interest in censoring Republican-appointed FBI Director Christopher Wray because he is not providing them “dirt” on the president and has resisted passing on baseless claims with FBI-provided documents. 

There has been some Republican discussion of impeaching Wray, along with Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas, who they says is somehow guilty of causing thousands and thousands of homeless, starving migrants to show up on our Southern borders. 

Where, some Republicans wonder, are the Good Old Days of the Trump administration, tearing these helpless families apart at the border and separating children from their parents to teach the migrants not to come here?

If little of this seems like constructive political activity to you, you might be an independent unfamiliar with the Republican penchant for Performance Politics.

Much more is likely to come.

Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.