Joe Biden is officially a victim of the new rules that every Democratic president is going to face from here on out. That’s thanks to his party’s overzealously tying an impeachment around Donald Trump’s neck before the 2020 election.
Both Biden and the Democrats are not going to like where those new rules lead when the Republican party, in all likelihood, takes back the House of Representatives in early 2023.
Traveling back in time for a moment, remember that Donald Trump’s first impeachment was based on a third-party whistleblower who notified Rep. Adam Schiff of a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. On this call, a quid pro quo was allegedly discussed in which Trump would make aid to Ukraine conditional on Zelensky digging up dirt on his future opponent, then-candidate Joe Biden. It was all the rage on CNN, and enough, according to the Democrats, to impeach Trump.
The impeachment bar, usually reserved for the gravest of behaviors and circumstances, was thus officially lowered to shady phone calls, when the proper course of action would have been a strong rebuke and a censure of the president. Ezra Klein, of Vox at the time, made the case on MSNBC for the normalization of impeachment for such conduct. Klein is about to get his wish.
Last week, Reuters reported, in a leaked phone call of which they also claim to have audio, that President Biden, while speaking with then-president Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan, urged his Afghani counterpart to change the messaging that his military could keep the Taliban at bay, seemingly attaching this as a condition to air support for Ghani’s forces.
Biden, of course, was not looking for inside information on Gov. Ron DeSantis or former ambassador Nikki Haley for an upcoming election. But the standard that his own party established for impeaching a president no longer requires such parsing.
The President clearly tied military assistance to Ghani changing his own messaging, even though, as has now been revealed, Biden knew the conditions on the ground could not hold. The United States removed their contractors and air fleet mechanics who kept the Afghanistan air force on guard, effectively grounding Afghan air support and allowing the Taliban to move unabated across the country. This ultimately led to a catastrophic situation at Kabul airport as Afghanis fell off departing airplanes and 13 American service members were killed in a terror attack.
Tying international aide and military assistance to a presidential favor is what precipitated Donald Trump’s impeachment. It should now lead to the impeachment of Joe Biden in the House, even if Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has shot down the idea should the GOP regain control of the Senate.
These are the consequences Joe Biden’s party has reaped — the eventual impeachment of every president going forward should the opposing party control the House. The Democrats are going to have to live with their actions, norms be damned, as they were warned. Joe Biden really shouldn’t be impeached for the conditions he set on that phone call, but that no longer matters. The game has new rules, and he is going to be made to play by them.
Should Biden be impeached over that phone call, or more appropriately for the avoidable deaths of 13 Americans, the most in a single day in Afghanistan since 2011, his party and their media allies will surely call it a sham and a political stunt. However, they won’t be able to say they weren’t warned.