Kevin McCarthy’s Impeachment Gambit: ‘A Dubious Mission in Search of a Crime’

More from our inbox:

  • How Much Freedom Should We Give Our Children?
  • Passing the National Popular Vote Compact
  • ‘Women,’ Not ‘Girls’

Credit…Haiyun Jiang for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “McCarthy Opens Inquiry of Biden, Appeasing Right” (front page, Sept. 13):

Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s announcement that the House of Representatives — which he leads with subservience to a vengeful far-right minority and a former president to whom he has sold his political soul — has opened an impeachment inquiry into President Biden is clearly a low point in our politics.

The scheme by Republicans to punish the president, which comes without evidence, is a desperate gasp. It is motivated by former President Donald Trump’s persistent call for retribution and by congressional Republicans, whose only agenda has been one of obstruction, replacing meaningful efforts toward legislation that could benefit the American people.

The heavy weight of evidence supporting Donald Trump’s multiple indictments has not resonated with the vast majority of Republicans, who are determined at all costs to distract from his legal embroilment by elevating Biden family activities to a level of criminality.

In Kevin McCarthy, House Republicans have a leader whose actions, beginning with his tortuous unprincipled path to the speakership, have been focused solely on a need to preserve his fragile position.

He has embarked on a dubious mission in search of a crime, potentially at great cost to the country.

Roger Hirschberg
South Burlington, Vt.

To the Editor:

Haven’t the Republicans learned from the indictments of Donald Trump that such actions only bolster allegiance from the ranks of the accused?

Apparently not.

President Biden faces a real hurdle in his re-election bid. Despite a growing economy and low unemployment, his approval stands around a dismal 40 percent. Till now, efforts to gain greater traction have been unsuccessful. It pointedly reflects the fact that a majority of Democrats have ruled that the president’s advancing age and repeated gaffes should disqualify his bid for a second term.

So a welcome boost for Mr. Biden may lean on the vigorousness of the G.O.P. efforts to undermine him.

Heck, if it works for Donald, why not Joe?

Howard Quinn

To the Editor:

Kevin McCarthy is holding onto the Republican Party by a thread. The decision to begin an impeachment inquiry into President Biden, without even holding a vote on it, demonstrates the lengths to which the speaker is willing to go in order to maintain control of a party that is increasingly divided.

In the midst of a contentious Republican primary, Donald Trump’s legal troubles and culture war fanatics, Mr. McCarthy has become a leader of appeasement. This much was evident when it took 15 rounds of voting for him to even become speaker.

From here, that thread is about to snap. Moderate Republicans are pushing back on the inquiry almost as much as far-right members of the House are advocating for it — a wholly unsustainable situation. The political concessions thus far are piling up on one side. The Freedom Caucus has become a vocal minority, and that’s particularly toxic for the Republican Party’s future.

While this inquiry is aimed at Mr. Biden, Mr. McCarthy’s future is at stake as well.

Kevin Li
Basking Ridge, N.J.

How Much Freedom Should We Give Our Children?

Credit…Yann Bastard

To the Editor:

In support of “To Help Anxious Kids, Give Them More Freedom,” by Camilo Ortiz and Lenore Skenazy (Opinion guest essay, Sept. 6), I note the following:

In many traditional societies, as soon as children can toddle, they are expected to contribute to their family’s needs. Family members need fire; a toddler can fetch sticks for it.

Expectations increase in difficulty and complexity as the youngster grows and has daily opportunities to watch, learn and practice adult ways. Children are neither shielded from danger (they learn from watching others and their own experience) nor thanked for their contributions (they are sharing family responsibilities, not doing parents a favor).

In some societies, children are self-sufficient by age 10 and discharge major responsibilities alone, such as taking the family’s animals — its entire wealth — to a remote pasture for the day. And in many societies, after weaning, a child is routinely cared for by the next oldest sibling, not the parents.

At unbelievably young ages, children in many traditional societies are autonomous and willing participants in their family’s economic and social lives. From their examples we know that children, even young ones, are far more capable and responsible than most of us allow them to be.

Cornelius Grove
The writer is the author of “How Other Children Learn: What Five Traditional Societies Tell Us About Parenting and Children’s Learning.”

To the Editor:

I read what Camilo Ortiz and Lenore Skenazy had to say about giving kids more freedom and found their ideas thought-provoking but classist. While this advice might be very helpful to parents of children who live in certain ZIP codes, there is a strong middle-class bias here.

There are neighborhoods where parents would love to have the opportunity to have their children walk freely, run errands to the grocery store or play in a playground. Unfortunately, in some areas the incidence of gun violence, both targeted and random, renders these options moot. When I read much too often about young children being shot while outside their homes, I understand that the anxiety is quite appropriate.

People who are not as privileged as the ones this article was referring to have real reasons to be scared for their lives and the lives of their children. Many children in our country do not have the luxury of being “free range.”

Wendy L. Forman

Passing the National Popular Vote Compact

To the Editor:

Re “Trump’s Electoral College Edge Seems to Be Fading,” by Nate Cohn (“The Tilt” newsletter, nytimes.com, Sept. 11):

The discussion of the Electoral College being undemocratic becomes moot if the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is adopted by states with a total of 270 electoral votes. Under the compact, states would commit to award their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote.

Currently, 16 states and the District of Columbia with a total of 205 electoral votes have signed on to the compact. That means only a few more states with electoral votes adding up to 65 must pass the compact to make the Electoral College reflect the national popular vote. For instance, any five out of the following six states — Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Virginia — would be needed to reach 270.

Democratic activists need to get their counterparts in those target states on board. Having a president who is elected by the majority of voters can actually be accomplished.

James A. Steinberg
Rhinebeck, N.Y.

‘Women,’ Not ‘Girls’

Credit…Shira Inbar

To the Editor:

Re “On the Internet, Everyone Wants to Be a Girl” (Sunday Styles, Sept. 10):

In the resurgent feminist movement of more than half a century ago, women insisted on being called “women.” We felt that “girl” — then widely applied to women of all ages, particularly in clerical office jobs — reduced us to the status of perpetual children.

It is disheartening, then, to read that some young women now are reverting to being “girls,” particularly at a time when the rights of women are widely under attack in this country. Language matters!

Ellen D. Murphy
Portland, Maine

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