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Why have the GOP House hearings been so lame?
UNITED STATES - JUNE 22: Ranking member Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., right, and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, attend a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
March 14, 2023 3:22 p.m.
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A bubbling conventional wisdom has been taking shape in the recent weeks that might best be stated as a question: what happened to all the Republican investigations? From one perspective it’s early: the new Congress has only been seated for a bit over two months. There have been hearings. There was one just last week into the so-called “Twitter Files.” But they’ve been low energy and mostly a bust. Outside of the right-wing media bubble they’ve been met more with derision than headlines and follow ups. A March 6 Axios headline read: “Jim Jordan scrambles amid claims ‘weaponization’ probe is a dud.” But the reaction inside the bubble hasn’t been any different. As far back as a month ago, Fox News’ host Jesse Watters angrily denounced the underwhelming show.

Some point to Jim Jordan not having the organizational abilities or chops to run impactful hearings. Others point to Jordan getting crosswise with the other top GOP investigator, Jim Comer. The most obvious explanation is that they’re just lame and underwhelming because they don’t have the goods. But even that doesn’t work as an explanation because the same could be said about the previous times we did this under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Something’s different.

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