San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Kevin McCarthy’s partisan impeachment trial is further dividing America

Opening an impeachment investigation with no evidence and almost no possibility of success shows where McCarthy’s priorities lie
Gabrielle Houser
Illustration by Gabrielle Houser

Last week, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy made his latest attempt to desperately cling to the speakership by announcing he would officially be opening an impeachment investigation into President Joe Biden.

McCarthy launched the investigation without a formal House vote, despite having no evidence of any wrongdoing by the president and no indication of a successful impeachment being possible.

The move came after he had faced weeks of pressure from House Republicans, who threatened to oust him as Speaker. It should be no surprise, however, that McCarthy gave in to their demands; his speakership has been marked by his yielding to the most conservative members of the Republican party.

He had to endure an embarrassing 15 rounds of voting to be elected the Speaker, giving concession after concession to members of his own party. Even then, he only won by having several representatives vote “present,” which lowered the threshold of votes he needed.

After this difficult rise to power, McCarthy’s priority has become maintaining it.

Among his strongest Republican opposition is Rep. Matt Gaetz from Florida. Prior to McCarthy announcing the impeachment investigation, Gaetz said he would force a vote against McCarthy should he “stand in (their) way on impeachment,” going so far as to say he would begin every day in Congress with “the prayer, the pledge, the motion to vacate.”

On top of that, federal funding runs out at midnight on Sept. 30, which would lead to a government shutdown should no appropriations be passed. A number of Republicans, including Gaetz, refuse to pass measures that don’t have substantial spending cuts. However, they also say they will trigger a vote to remove McCarthy if he turns to Democrats for help passing a spending bill.

With threats looming in several directions, McCarthy had to do something if he wanted to remain Speaker. The easiest of his options was launching an impeachment investigation against Biden.

The allegations against Biden claim he is directly connected to his son’s business dealings, using his position of power to help him make millions of dollars. They also allege he lied about having knowledge of his family’s business dealings. There is no evidence to support these claims.

In addition, an impeachment vote would be extremely unlikely to pass. Republicans have a slim majority of the House, holding 10 more seats than the Democrats.

Even if McCarthy and other Republicans rallied their fellow party members to vote in favor of impeachment, they’d have little room for deviation. The initiative would then fall apart in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Pursuing an impeachment with no evidence and almost no possibility of success adds fuel to an already divisive political climate. Republicans and Democrats are the furthest apart ideologically that they have been in the past 50 years.

The impeachment inquiry is continuing this divide by forcing Americans to choose a side: Biden and the Democrats or McCarthy (or, more accurately, his puppeteer, Gaetz) and the Republicans.

This division is already being displayed through the polling data gathered regarding the opening of the impeachment inquiry. Opinions on the subject are divided down party lines, with Republicans saying that the inquiry is legitimate while Democrats argue that it’s politically motivated.

Despite a majority of Republicans favoring an impeachment inquiry, the more extreme faction of his party isn’t appeased.

Gaetz called the impeachment investigation a “baby step” toward impeachment, which should “move faster.” Several other House Republicans, such as Cory Mills, Andrew Clyde and Bob Good, bluntly said that the action would not protect him from a motion to vacate.

This continued line of threats shows that House Republicans see that McCarthy will do what they want if they continue to threaten to call a vote against him, regardless of if the motion is actually triggered or not. So why would they stop now?

About the Contributors
Natali Gonzalez
Natali Gonzalez, '23-24 Arts & Culture Editor
Natali Gonzalez is an MA student in Rhetoric and Writing Studies. Originally from Ogden, Utah, she got her BA in English Teaching from Weber State University. While there, she worked as a research assistant examining the role of technology in K-12 education. She also worked for Upward Bound as an instructor and tutor. Now, at SDSU, she looks forward to learning about professional writing alongside increasing her knowledge about teaching practices. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys being outdoors, especially exploring the San Diego beaches and going on hikes, and doing yoga and meditation.
Gabrielle Houser
Gabrielle Houser, '23-24 Graphics Editor