Opinion: Third impeachment in four years? Readers have no appetite for Kevin McCarthy’s stunt
As poorly as it reflects on the state of our country, The Times’ letter writers have had ample experience commenting on presidential impeachments since 2019. First there was the impeachment of Donald Trump in December 2019 for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress related to the withholding of aid to Ukraine; then, in 2021, there was the second Trump impeachment for his incitement of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.
Now, the floodgate of letters has opened after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) announced an impeachment inquiry against President Biden for, well, it’s hard to say — something about a “culture of corruption.”
The lack of specific allegations against the president hasn’t resulted in a lack of letters, almost all of them critical of McCarthy and his fellow House Republicans. We published several earlier in the week, though dozens more have streamed in since then. I can only hope, for the country’s sake, that the next interval between impeachment-related letters to the editor is longer than 32 months.
To the editor: How can McCarthy open an impeachment probe of Biden while hunting for evidence of corruption, all the while having been a victim of the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol by rioters unleashed by Trump?
McCarthy experienced the horror of Jan. 6 and knows what real corruption and sedition look like.
The GOP needs to stop pretending Trump won the 2020 election, and it needs to acknowledge that the former president attempted a coup.
Carol Karas, Camarillo
To the editor: How the modern-day GOP views the presidential impeachment process:
If a Republican president commits serious criminal offenses, either allow him to resign before impeachment proceedings can begin (Richard Nixon), or vote to acquit him of all charges (Trump). Also, provide a full pardon whenever possible.
If a Democrat lies under oath about an extramarital dalliance (Bill Clinton) or has a close relative who independently engages in dubious conduct (Biden), impose impeachment proceedings with full force. Never mind the improbability of conviction, not where performative politics so pleases the party’s base.
Finally, deny that the GOP abides a double standard for pursuing impeachment.
All of which strikes me as banana-republic politics on steroids.
Devra Mindell, Santa Monica
To the editor: The public’s opinion of Congress, already at a near all-time low, took a double whammy this week.
Mitt Romney (R-Utah), one of the most principled members of the Senate, announced that he will not seek reelection in 2024. No matter your view of his politics, I think most Americans will agree that Romney has served with integrity and decency.
At the other end of the integrity spectrum, McCarthy did a 100% flip-flop on his pledge of just 12 days before and ordered an impeachment inquiry of Biden without holding a full House vote. It is clear that McCarthy’s only guiding principle is holding on to his job as speaker.
Gary Vogt, Menifee
To the editor: The GOP has become a party of sore losers. Its only objective is to get back at the Democrats for winning the election.
Now, it wants to impeach Biden for something his son did or didn’t do. In Georgia, some Republicans want to remove Fulton County Dist. Atty. Fani Willis for taking their beloved leader and his accomplices to court.
The far-right extremists have a chokehold on McCarthy and will squeeze him until the next election, when they are hopefully booted out for their behavior.
Ernest Ogren, Torrance
To the editor: McCarthy wants to start an impeachment inquiry?
Well, concerning Trump’s first federal indictment, McCarthy said this on June 8: “It is unconscionable for a president to indict the leading candidate opposing him. ... I, and every American who believes in the rule of law, stand with President Trump against this grave injustice.”
No part of McCarthy’s statement was true. Biden played no role in Trump’s indictment. Rather, it was done entirely by a Justice Department special counsel and a federal grand jury made up of ordinary citizens.
What McCarthy is doing is exhibiting the kind of thinking now infecting the once honorable Republican Party.
Robert Archerd, Rancho Palos Verdes
To the editor: Speaker McCarthy, you’ve done it again.
You show no interest in actually governing, nor in real leadership. You simply have blind ambition for which you are willing to sacrifice everything: your integrity, the rule of law and our entire democratic system.
You kowtow to the right-wing fringe of your party, establishing a tyranny of the minority, because of the deals you struck to fulfill your ambition to be speaker. Now we are all paying the piper with threats of a government shutdown, sham investigations and now an impeachment inquiry with no evidence.
You should be ashamed, but shame is something else you bartered away for ambition.
David Rynerson, Huntington Beach
To the editor: At this moment, McCarthy should read “Profiles in Courage.”
Unless, of course, it is a banned book.
Errol H. Stambler, Los Angeles
To the editor: Will someone please inform McCarthy that the president of the United States is Joe Biden, not Hunter Biden, before he takes Congress into a costly, foolish, time-consuming impeachment investigation?
Carl Pilsecker, Lakewood