Sunday, July 14, 2019

You Only Just Noticed Dept: Congressional Theatrics

     This recent bit of drama before Congress has created a fair amount of buzz:

     Former ICE Director Tom Homan had a few choice words for Rep. Chuy Garcia during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Friday (video below). Homan resented the Democrats’ use of him as a stage prop in their political theater. Expressing my views exactly, Homan observed: “First of all your comments are disgusting!” Garcia echoed him, schoolyard style.

     Homan continued: “I’ve served my country 34 years. This is out of control. And yes, I held a 5-year-old boy in my arms…I knelt down beside him and said a prayer for him because I knew what the last 30 minutes of his life was like. And I had a 5-year-old son at the time. What I’ve been trying to do for 34 years serving my nation is to save lives. For you to sit there and insult my integrity and my love for my country and for children…that’s why this whole thing needs to be fixed. And you’re the member of Congress. Fix it!”

     The exchange was quickly terminated by Democrat Congresswhore Elijah Cummings, the committee chair. Cummings, dimbulb though he is, realized that Homan’s testimony had departed from the Democrats’ script. He realized that to allow Homan’s righteous anger any more exposure would fatally damage the Democrats’ carefully planned theatrics. Fairness be damned; partisan politics uber alles!

     But wait: there’s more! The response of the Republicans on that committee was tepid. They made no serious attempt to counterattack the Left’s outpouring of calumny and vitriol on a good and faithful civil servant.

     Is it really any wonder why the Democrats are roundly hated by decent Americans...or why the Republican Establishment is roundly scorned for its pusillanimity? This is the Democrats’ standard procedure: to pour out accusations and contempt on Republicans and Republican appointees, and deny them any opportunity to reply. The Republicans almost never counter these foul tactics. Decorum must be maintained! Collegiality matters more than truth or fairness, don’t y’know.

     Do we need any further explanation for the contempt private citizens feel for elected officials – Democrats and Republicans both?

     If there is such a thing as normality in politics, either it fails to apply to politics in our time, or we must admit to a “new normal” that departs radically from all previous conceptions.

     If you recall the years when Barack Hussein Obama occupied the White House and the Republicans controlled the House of Representatives, you probably also recall the flaccidity of the Congressional Republicans before the Obamunist steamroller. A memorable moment arrived when John Boehner, then the Speaker of the House and one of the most powerful men on Capitol Hill, was asked why his caucus didn’t do more to thwart the Obamunist tide. Boehner replied that as the GOP controlled only one half of one third of the federal government, its power was sharply limited. In effect, he implied that he and his co-partisans in the House could do nothing more to thwart the Democrats’ many statist thrusts against the American economy and the Constitution, and should not be expected to do more.

     Today, the Democrats control one half of one third of the federal government. Yet the above is the merest look at the crap they get away with. If it weren’t for President Trump’s executive actions, the agenda he brought to the presidency would be paralyzed. It certainly gets no serious consideration in Congress.

     Many a commentator has opined that the Democrats’ presidential clown parade is making that party seem unacceptable to all but a tiny minority of left-wing loonies. It’s hard to argue otherwise. How, then, do the Democrats regularly succeed at outmaneuvering and outplaying the nominally stronger and better positioned Republican forces? Why doesn’t the GOP display more backbone, especially in the face of scurrilities such as those displayed in the above video?

     Essayist James Lileks recently wrote that to have a functioning two-party system, it’s necessary to have a second party. Allow me to quote Glenn Reynolds: Heh! Indeed. But which party, judged on its performance, is missing from the pas de deux?

     Many have commented scornfully to the effect that the Republicans seem to prefer to be a minority party – a “loyal opposition” rather than a governing force responsible for good decisions and their implementation. The evidence for that position is mounting steadily. Republican inanition in the face of Democrat hijinks of the sort reported above makes it a difficult stance to disprove.

     The consequence for a weak will in governance is being shoved aside, rendered irrelevant to events. The consequence in electoral politics is being derided and dismissed. That’s a part of the reason the GOP lost the House majority in 2018. It could cost them the Senate majority in 2020.

     Consider the animosity a number of highly placed Republicans have shown toward President Trump. It strikes me that Trump’s powerful will to progress is at the heart of it. A Republican caucus that prefers to avert responsibility for actually governing would naturally be appalled by such a Republican president. It would be far more comfortable with the sort of go-along-to-get-along attitude exhibited by the two Bushes. Yet let it be noted: the GOP didn’t succeed in holding onto its majorities during either of those administrations. The sounds and scents on the political winds are much the same today as they were then.

     No, it’s not a happy thought. But it’s what I see.



Putting this piece into my next QUICK HITS.

It's something I really hate: the utter squishiness of the establishment.

Ed Bonderenka said...

Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows are on that committee.
Did they not stand up for Homan? Why not indeed?

Sam L. said...

Not so much a "loyal opposition" as a "willing servant", as I see it. The GOP will not get money from me.

Bill said...

I dare anyone on here to convince me that the goals of Republicans are not the same as the goals of Progressive