Democratic strategist James Carville told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins on Wednesday that he’s overjoyed about House Republicans’ impeachment effort against President Joe Biden. “I so want them to do this, I can’t tell you how much I want them to do this,” he said. “This is a very stupid idea.” Carville called GOP Reps. James Comer and Jim Jordan “borderline stupid” for pursuing a “vapid and useless” investigation. “How could we get so lucky?” he asked. “I want to let the American public see how thin, or how nonexistent their case is.”
Now, it’s certainly possible that the impeachment inquiry will work out the way Carville imagines. Trump-era Republicans tend to overplay their hand and go a little crazy. But if Carville still thinks the case against Biden is thin or nonexistent, he’s the one who’s out of touch with the American public.
The Biden family affair stinks, and Americans have picked up the scent. According to a CNN/SSRS poll, 61 percent of Americans “think that Biden had at least some involvement in Hunter Biden’s business dealings.” Fifty-five percent say that “the president has acted inappropriately regarding the investigation into Hunter Biden over potential crimes.” And a new Reuters poll shows that a 41 percent plurality of Americans support the impeachment probe, with 35 percent opposing it.
The sordid tale of Joe and Hunter Biden has, astoundingly, slipped the bonds of right-wing media and broken through to the mainstream. And it happened so fast that James Carville missed it.
As things stand, Americans are open to a full airing of the facts around Biden’s potential involvement in his son’s business. Why, exactly, would this be good for the president? Perhaps if everything that Comer and other Republicans have asserted so far had gone uncorroborated or been disproven, Joe Biden might be on the way to clearing his name. But the precise opposite has happened, from the reported discovery of Hunter Biden’s damning laptop to allegations that Joe Biden ran a disinformation campaign around the laptop to the first hint of whistleblowers claiming Justice Department malfeasance to word of a buried FBI document to Hunter’s ludicrous immunity deal to an uncovered tangle of Biden family shell companies to witnesses putting Biden at meetings he had denied attending to allegations of pseudonymous emails between the then-vice president and his son exchanged contemporaneously with Biden the elder’s visit to Ukraine. All of these details have been established beyond a doubt.
None of it proves that Joe Biden committed a crime. Not at this stage. But if this is a “thin” or “nonexistent” case, then words have lost their meaning entirely. The case is strong. And the House Oversight Committee’s record up to this point is impressive.
If I were in the president’s corner, I wouldn’t be so sanguine about what comes next. Might we see the contents of those pseudonymous emails? Might more witnesses be subpoenaed to further undo Joe Biden’s claims of innocence? These hardly seem like long shots at the moment.
And even if it all comes to an inconclusive end, will Biden really be cleared in the mind of the public? After all the dirt and deceit see the full light of day? With Hunter Biden simultaneously on trial for gun charges? Don’t bet on it. Most Americans already suspect the president of inappropriate conduct. Expect that 55 percent to grow as this all plays out.
The impeachment inquiry is nothing but a source of distress for Biden. That’s why the White House recently issued an emergency memo to friendly media instructing them to attack it. But the case has gotten too big to downplay or discredit with a spate of tendentious stories in the New York Times or the Washington Post. Thinking otherwise is “borderline stupid.”