The Founders envisaged impeachment as an extraordinary remedy, and for almost all of our history it has remained such. But of the last nine presidents preceding Joe Biden, three have been impeached or imminently threatened with impeachment. The Democrats impeached Donald Trump twice, for no particular reason other than the fact that they controlled the House of Representatives.
So it is not out of bounds to ask whether Republicans should impeach Joe Biden if (or when, as all observers seem to agree) they take control of the House in 2023. Rasmussen’s current poll suggests that most Americans have internalized the idea that impeachment is a routine political maneuver.
A new national telephone and online survey by Rasmussen Reports and The National Pulse finds that 50% of Likely U.S. voters support the impeachment of Biden, including 33% who Strongly Support it. Forty-five percent (45%) are opposed to impeaching Biden, including 33% who Strongly Oppose it.
Seventy-four percent (74%) of Republican voters, 34% of Democrats and 42% of voters not affiliated with either major party at least somewhat support Biden’s impeachment.
If you believe those numbers, impeaching Joe Biden is a winner by a 50% to 45% margin. It seems noteworthy that 34% of Democrats are willing to consider impeaching Biden. On the other hand, Rasmussen’s polling found even more respondents in favor of impeaching Biden in the wake of the Afghanistan fiasco.
The cross tabs are interesting. Responses to the question about impeaching Joe Biden relate more to party affiliation than to a philosophical approach to impeachment as a constitutional remedy:
Among voters who believe Trump’s impeachment was good, 69% Strongly Oppose impeaching Biden. By contrast, among those who think it was bad for democracy to impeach Trump, 58% Strongly Support impeaching Biden.
Which is consistent with the idea that impeachment has become a purely political act.
Viewed in that context, would it be smart for a Republican-controlled House to impeach Biden in 2023? I don’t know, but it is tempting. In legal terms, Biden’s grotesque violation of the Take Care Clause of the Constitution by his illegal opening of the Southern border would, without more, furnish solid ground for impeachment. And Biden has been incompetent or worse on a number of other fronts that would justify his impeachment far more than President Trump’s innocent phone call with the President of Ukraine.
In principle, I am not in favor of making impeachment a simply political option, depending mainly on who controls the House. On the other hand, I am also not in favor of unilateral disarmament. The Democrats created this world, so now perhaps they should be made to live in it for a while. The ultimate decision, made by those who control the House in 2023, will inevitably, for better or worse, be political.
STEVE adds: I believe classic game theory prescribes that tit-for-tat is the best strategy for making your opponent change their behavior. So by all means the GOP should impeach Biden (the grounds are far better anyway), and should also exact a high cost for Biden’s Supreme Court nominee. After all, Joe Biden is the person most responsible for poisoning the judicial confirmation process, starting with Bork in 1987. Time for payback. Stopping Garland in 2016 was good, but the Kavanaugh matter still needs to be redressed.