It’s hard to imagine a worse time to feel good about congressional Republicans than when the week you are doing your income tax return coincides with the week that they once again caved into virtually every Democrat demand in appropriating money for the remainder of the fiscal year. Really, what is the point of having gone through this charade eight years while we gave the Republicans first the House, then added the Senate and now added the presidency?
In essence you feel like the spouse who has been betrayed time again after lubricious promises by the errant mate. Telling yourself that anything is better than the alternative (Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)) has worn thin. Where do you go to get the promises Republicans made fulfilled? Well not to Washington, D.C.
The Republicans promised to build the wall. There is not a dime in the new budget for constructing the new wall. The Republicans promised to reduce the debt and balance the budget. The new budget increases the debt by nearly a trillions dollars. The Republicans promised to reform welfare. The new budget fails to reform welfare in any of its insidious forms. The only people who got “wins” out of the budget were Mr. Schumer (the Gateway tunnel) and Ms. Pelosi (continued funding for abortion on demand through Planned Parenthood).
What did the Republicans get? Well you could say that they got increased funding for the military but only by increasing welfare spending by $60 Billion. Otherwise the Republicans got bupkis.
Meanwhile the Republicans have failed to deal with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) despite a nearly four month lead time. They have failed to address changes in the Iran Nuclear Deal. They have failed to vote on dozens of nominees for both the judicial and executive branch. Short of passing the tax reduction act, just what is it that the Republican Congress has accomplished? And quite frankly if President Trump wasn’t there shoving and threatening every day of the week, the Republicans would have let that slide also.
But the greatest sin for the Republicans is their steadfast refusal to use the Constitutional powers of Congress to hold the Washington bureaucracy accountable for blatantly illegal and corrupt practices. The Congress has virtually unlimited powers to subpoena records and testimony from the bureaucracy and to enforce those subpoenas through findings of contempt of Congress. But they don’t. Lois Lerner, the disgraced IRS supervisor, backed by then IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, refused to turn over all of Ms. Lerner’s emails pursuant to a congressional subpoena and subsequently lied to Congress when they proclaimed that they had done so. And the Republican led Congress did what? That’s right nothing. The bureaucracy populated by President Obama’s appointees has steadfastly ignored and refused congressional subpoenas without fear of punishment. And first amongst those miscreants is the corrupt senior administration of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – the Seventh Floor. Even the successor to the disgraced former director, James Comey, at the behest of the embedded corrupt leadership of the FBI resisted disclosing information, has resisted providing Congress information relating to the whitewash of Hillary Clinton and the discredited investigation of Mr. Trump. Only the rare commitment of Speaker Paul Ryan to find the FBI in contempt produced any results. And given the routine lying, evasion and withholding that has come to define the Seventh Floor leadership it is probable that the FBI continues to withhold key information.
The Wall Street Journal in its March 27 issue carried a column by William McGurn which noted:
All this is true. But missing here is any discussion of the powers Congress itself has, including but not limited to the subpoena and contempt powers that ultimately forced Mr. Wray and Mr. Rosenstein into compliance.
If it only has the backbone, Congress can get what it wants out of the federal bureaucracy. Several executive-branch officials—including Justice’s Bruce Ohr and FBI lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page —will soon testify before the House Intelligence Committee. Possibly some or all of them will invoke their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
If Congress insists on its prerogatives, however, that wouldn’t be the end of the story. Witnesses who plead the Fifth can still be compelled to testify. The price is that the compelled testimony, and evidence derived from that testimony, couldn’t be used against the witness in a prosecution.
Mr. McGurn notes that the subpoena and contempt powers of Congress are in addition to the “power of the purse” and the impeachment process. (Yes, for those of you who were forced to endure a teachers union led education in the Portland Public School, Congress can impeach more people that just the President.) But Congress has routinely failed to use those powers either.
The very real problems in America – immigration reform, welfare reform, debt reduction and national security – can remain unaddressed without causing lasting harm to democracy. But the failure of Congress to hold government accountable – worse yet to protect those who abuse their office and the democratic processes – has so eroded the trust of the people that the continuation of the American democratic experiment is at risk.
Five hundred and thirty-five worthless souls prowling the halls of Congress, each with a retinue of sycophants. Five hundred thirty-five worthless souls searching not for the truth but rather for the next television camera or interview. Five hundred and thirty-five worthless souls creating ten problems for every one that actually needs solving. There is not a dime’s worth of difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. They exist solely and only to get re-elected and to ensure that the “swamp” remains filled and undisturbed.
There are nearly ten thousand “staffers” to feed the egos of these five hundred thirty-five worthless souls. That does not include the hundreds of additional employees to provide security and ministerial services to the Congress. All those people to accomplish nothing.
Are there any Republicans who might actually be trying to solve the problems of the country? Darn few. There are members like Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) who, having done their very best over the last several years, are leaving in disgust. But for every Mr. Gowdy there are a dozen back stabbing, self-aggrandizing popinjays like Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Bob Corker (R-TN).
In the end, this is a problem that the United States Constitution foresaw and provided the appropriate powers to remedy. And in the end, if all three branches of government refuse to exercise those powers on behalf of the people, the ultimate solution lies with the people to refuse to return those miscreants at the ballot box. So before we throw up our hands, or even just throw up, resolve to refuse to return a single incumbent Republican to Congress. I resolved to do that before the 2016 election and I intend to continue it this election.