The best outcome in the 2022 midterms was, obviously, that the Democrats keep the House and Senate. But since that didn’t happen, the second-best outcome was for Republicans to take control of the House and make complete fools of themselves. In that sense, so far it’s mission accomplished – and it turns out the Biden administration agrees.
So far House Republicans have had to hold fifteen votes just to name a Speaker, during which they nearly came to blows on the House floor. They’ve got a new member George Santos who’s a lifelong fraudster and is under active criminal investigation in two countries. And they’ve given key committee assignments to the most controversial and nationally unpopular members of their caucus.
Even as all of this has played out, far too many activists on our side have sat around and yelled “Oh no, House Republicans are getting away with it all, we’re doomed!” But back in the real world nothing works that way. For every action in politics, there is a reaction. And all that House Republicans are really doing is hamstringing themselves.
Sure, House Republicans can now run sham committee investigations into the phony Democratic “scandals” that they’ve invented. But while that’s not what you’d want out of a governing body, it’s not necessarily a bad thing for the Democrats. In fact the Biden White House is leaking to Politico that it’s “giddy” at the notion of being investigated by a committee whose members include the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar, and Lauren Boebert.
Why? These people are unhinged clowns. And on the national stage, they come across as unhinged clowns. For the general public to take an investigation seriously, it has to be run by people who are behaving (or at least pretending to behave) with integrity. It’s why the January 6th Committee worked, and influenced public opinion.
But this House Oversight Committee clown show is going to be a very different story. The likes of Greene and Boebert aren’t even going to be trying to influence the opinion of the general public. They’ll be playing solely to their own deranged base, as a fundraising opportunity for 2024. These committee antics won’t hurt Biden or the Democrats at all, and if anything, it’ll probably help them in 2024.
The worst case scenario would have been if Republicans had taken over the House and pretended to clean up their act, tossing aside their most unhinged members, so they could appear credible while carrying out their corrupt agenda. Instead, House Republicans are playing right into their own existing reputation as extremist loons who can’t govern. It really is a gift to the Democrats.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report