House Republicans still haven’t even figured out a path for electing a Speaker for the upcoming term – they appear to be dozens of votes short of uniting behind Kevin McCarthy – let alone figured out how to make House committees work. After all, this is the most unhinged bunch of corrupt, extremist, and unstable loons to ever occupy a House majority. And because we held them to a small majority, the math is against them being able to do anything constructive when it comes to being destructive.
So it’s notable that, even as House Republicans are still struggling to figure out the very basics, the official “House Republicans” Twitter account tweeted this yesterday: “Hunter Biden’s laptop is REAL.” No really, we checked. This wasn’t some fake-verified parody account who paid Elon Musk eight dollars. This tweet actually came from whoever within the House Republican caucus has control of its official Twitter account.
Hunter Biden’s laptop? Really? My first thought was wonderment at how they could possibly have learned so little. They’ve been hyping this nonsense for two years now, and it’s impacted the votes of literally zero people. No one in the real world cares. This crap just plays to Republicans’ rabid base, which was already going to vote for them anyway, and does nothing to help Republicans’ prospects at all. Didn’t the House Republicans learn anything from this past week? They had at least the hypothetical opportunity to pick up forty seats. But because they were still sticking to this Hunter Biden nonsense, they forfeited that opportunity, and are stuck trying to navigate a tiny majority.
But then it occurred to me: House Republicans are circling back to this same old ineffective crap because they’ve got nothing else to go on. President Joe Biden has been in politics for fifty years, everything that’s ever going to come out about him has already come out, and there’s nothing the Republicans can even make up about him that’s going to change any voter’s mind about him. The Republicans know they’ll gain literally zero votes by focusing on this nonsense – and depending on how much they annoy voters in the middle with it, they could end up losing votes in 2024. But they’re stuck calling plays now, and they have to trot out something.
The tiny new House Republican majority means House Democrats can’t use the House committees to investigate and oversee legitimate matters. But it also means House Republicans are stuck having to put something on the agenda, no matter how unpopular and ineffective, because they can’t just sit there and do nothing at all. Come to think of it, House Republicans are probably going to end up wishing they could do precisely that.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report