The Afghanistan fiasco might get Biden impeached

President Biden.

President Biden. Illustrated | Getty Images, iStock

Make no mistake: Joe Biden’s impeachment is on the 2022 midterm ballot.

Politico reports today that House Republicans are being “bombarded” with calls from GOP voters to impeach the president following the chaotic end to the war in Afghanistan. “It’s a grassroots pressure — we’re feeling it,” said. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Ala.). Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has also called for Biden’s impeachment several times in recent weeks. “I think the best you could describe is dereliction of duty at the highest level,” Graham said about the president’s handling of the U.S. withdrawal. There will be no impeachment as long as Democrats hold the House, of course, but if Republicans win the chamber in next year’s elections — as seems likely — it will be time for Biden to start hiring lawyers.

This would normally be where I make the argument that Biden’s actions in Afghanistan, even if they amount to bad leadership, don’t rise to the level of “high crime and misdemeanor” the Constitution specifies for impeachments. But that would be granting too much good faith to Republicans, who are clearly looking for any opportunity to make trouble for a Democratic president.

Graham, after all, has been talking about impeachment almost from the moment Biden took office. After his buddy, former President Donald Trump, was impeached for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection against Congress, the South Carolina senator warned that Democrats could face some blowback for their support of last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests. “If you use this model, I don’t know how [Vice President] Kamala Harris doesn’t get impeached if the Republicans take over the House, because she actually bailed out rioters and one of the rioters went back to the streets and broke somebody’s head open,” Graham said in February. “So we’ve opened Pandora’s Box here, and I’m sad for the country.”

Aside from the opportunity to hassle Biden — think of impeachment as Benghazi on steroids — this talk from Republicans is probably just another effort to destigmatize Trump’s very real offenses. He was the only president in history to face two impeachment trials. But if every president gets impeached sooner or later, then no particular impeachment is particularly meaningful. Forget about whether a president is self-dealing or undermining our democratic system. When it comes to impeachment, it’s all just politics, right?

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