Other voices: Revenge? Republicans need to chart a path forward

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Kevin McCarthy, recently deposed as House speaker, has urged Donald Trump to move away from a message of “revenge.” McCarthy was referencing a speech Trump gave last month in which the former president told supporters he would be their “retribution” if he again wins the Oval Office.

“If you want to become president,” McCarthy told The Wall Street Journal this week, “it has to be about rebuilding, restoring and renewing America. If it’s revenge, you won’t get the opportunity.”

The California Republican makes a compelling case. Let’s hope that House Republicans — in addition to Trump — heed his advice.

The House last week approved a formal impeachment inquiry regarding President Joe Biden’s involvement in his son’s various business dealings. This is payback for the unprecedented attempts by congressional Democrats to remove Trump from office.

Republicans should continue to probe Hunter Biden’s overseas money grabs. The president’s son faces nine counts of tax evasion. But talk of bringing articles of impeachment against Biden is premature, barring new revelations.

In addition, such talk risks alienating independent voters who are disgusted with the perpetual cycles of reprisal that have become so common as decorum between members of the two parties has evaporated in the Beltway.

Republicans in the past three national elections have squandered the chance to make significant electoral gains. But another opportunity awaits next November. Biden’s popularity is in the tank. His economic policies have left many Americans agape when they pay for groceries, gasoline and other staples. The cost of owning a home has soared out of reach for many buyers thanks to high mortgage interest rates, a result of Bidenomics and inflation. The border is a disaster. Crime has increased in many parts of the country. The world is a much more dangerous place than when Biden took office.

The president’s poll numbers reveal that swing voters are desperate for an alternative to the Democratic agenda that has brought us to this point. House Republicans must articulate a path forward, drawing on the principles of individual liberty, fiscal prudence, responsible budgeting and regulatory moderation. They must draw a stark contrast to the “defund the police” rhetoric of the far left with an agenda that emphasizes a commitment to public safety. Energy policy and the border also present the GOP with ample openings to highlight this administration’s failures.

By all means, keep shining a light on Hunter Biden and his shady dealings. But the GOP’s electoral fortunes ultimately hinge on how proficiently its representatives articulate a positive path forward for the country, not on their efforts to extract revenge.

— The Las Vegas Review Journal

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