Colorado’s Rep. Ken Buck appeared on CNN yesterday to level some of the harshest criticism we seen from Buck yet against House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, slamming McCarthy’s appeasement of the far right of the House caucus by encouraging impeachment proceedings against President Joe Biden:
Republican Rep. Ken Buck, a member of the conservative House Freedom caucus, said Wednesday that members of his party were engaged in “impeachment theater” and accused House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of using a “shiny object” to distract from disagreements over major spending legislation.
“This is impeachment theater. [Pols emphasis] We right now are starting the appropriations process. And there is not consensus on the Republican side about what the numbers should be,” the Colorado congressman told CNN’s Dana Bash on “Inside Politics.”
He added later, “What [McCarthy is] doing is he’s saying there’s a shiny object over here and we’re really going to focus on that. We just need to get all these things done so we can focus on the shiny object. Most of us are concerned about spending.”
What’s interesting about this Buck broadside against McCarthy is that the demand to impeach Biden is coming principally from Buck’s fellow Freedom Caucus members–in particular, fellow Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert. It was Boebert’s privileged motion to force a vote on impeachment last month, redirected after much drama to committees to deliberate, that helped elevate the issue to the top of the headlines where it has floated uncomfortably ever since. Along with the constitutionally questionable push to “expunge” ex-President Donald Trump’s two impeachments, which Buck also dissed even as he promised to vote in favor of it, the obsession with rehabilitating Trump’s presidency while attempting to inflict tit-for-tat damage on Joe Biden is a distraction with little political upside for anyone except Trump personally.
But for today, our question is more about Buck’s standing within the Freedom Caucus after having thrown cold water on both expunging Trump’s impeachments and impeaching Joe Biden, high priorities for most of his colleagues. Although Buck didn’t flat-out say impeaching Biden should be off the table, this would seem to be a much more consequential disagreement with Buck’s Freedom Caucus fellows than when Marjorie Taylor Greene called Boebert a “little b—-.”
And MTG got booted from the club for that.
The question is, how far off the Freedom Caucus’ message is Buck allowed to veer?