Congress is back in session and it’s enough to make one wish the government shutdown – or more accurately, the government slowdown – extended to the legislative branch too. I, for one, will only believe the government shutdown is real when Uncle Sugar stops collecting payroll taxes. Until then, it’s just a particularly degrading form of street theatre.
But Democrats, now in control of the House of Representatives, are feeling their oats. In the first, holiday-shortened week of the new session, they wasted no time pursuing their long-stated priorities. Here are some of the highlights: they introduced an impeachment bill on day one sponsored by Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Al Green (D-TX). They shutdown the investigation overseen by Devin Nunes (R-CA) and the House Intelligence Committee into the use of the FBI and Department of Justice by the Clinton Campaign to undermine Trump. The Judiciary Committee, chaired by Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) is preparing to subpoena up to 100 Trump friends, associates, and appointees including the highly provocative act of subpoenaing acting Attorney General Matt Whittaker.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has been called the shadow speaker, proposed increasing the federal income tax rate to 70 percent so that she could fund a massive green boondoggle. Her confiscatory tax plan was immediately defended by the establishment media. Paul Krugman said it ‘was not at all outlandish’ and the Washington Post wrote that, in fact, it’s quite a modest proposal. After all, she didn’t propose a 90 percent rate. That’s the rationale used by every extortionist with a gun: ‘You don’t like when I take half the money in your cash register? Fine, I’ll take it all. Now shut up and pay if you know what’s good for you.’
Representative Steven Cohen (D-TN) introduced a bill to abolish the electoral college. The effect of that, of course, is to tear down one of the vestiges of republican government and turn presidential elections into national plebiscites so that Idaho and Arizona and Wisconsin and Kansas are forever ruled by California, New York, and Illinois. It’s a terribly destructive idea that Democrats and some foolhardy Republicans are pushing. One Progressive intellectual told me recently that one of the Left’s main objectives over the next few elections is a drive at the state level to re-enfranchise convicted felons, reduce the voting age to 14 (he conceded that they would be willing to accept 16), and allow illegal aliens to vote. Florida took a big step in this direction in November when it gave the vote back to felons who, remarkably, make up nearly 10 percent of Florida’s voting age population. Give Progressives their way and the country will be run by criminals, children, and non-citizens.
Minnesota representative Ilhan Omar, a Somali-born Muslim woman, competing last week in the Democrats’ Identity Politics Olympics (‘IPO’), burnished her intersectional victim status with the equivalent of social justice steroids by claiming that she is the first refugee elected to Congress. It is true that Omar has been accused of committing fraud in her immigration and student loan applications, but the first refugee in Congress she is not. There have been at least four others. In particular, there was the late Senator Rudy Boschowitz, also from Minnesota, whose family fled Nazi Germany, as well as Reps Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida whose family fled Castro’s communist Cuba. Boschowitz and Ros-Lehtinen are both Jewish which makes it, shall we say, awkward, for Omar to acknowledge them all. Not that she knows, or cares, that what she said is flat wrong. All that matters is getting what she wants and, as Barack Obama put it, fundamentally transforming America.
Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib, also a Muslim woman looking for laurels in the Identity Politics Olympics, couldn’t name refugee status among her many, compelling qualities for office, so she claimed that she was the first Palestinian elected to Congress. She isn’t. Both Justin Amash, also of Michigan, and John Sununu, are of Palestinian descent. Nonetheless, she repeated this claim to much acclamation just before promising to impeach President Trump and calling him a mutherfucker at a reception for Progressive donors and activists sponsored by MoveOn.org.
Yet, what is most striking about her comments is not the words but the context in which they were originally uttered. Tlaib was recounting a discussion with her young son after the election. According to Tlaib, one of her sons said, ‘Look, Mama, you won. Bullies don’t win,’ and she replied, ‘Baby, they don’t. Because we’re gonna go in there and impeach the motherfucker.’ Her sons are 13 and 7. And this is the language she uses when she speaks to them. I object far more to her speaking to children that way than her crudity in front of adults. Nonetheless, her admission is a clarifying moment. For the Left, there are no boundaries in their political war against middle America and that includes the degradation and weaponization of their children.
So how did we get here? In part it was the rise of the Republican kakistocracy that has run the party for the past quarter century. I’d love to blame Democrats, but that’s like blaming a scorpion for stinging you. They’re just pursuing the political agenda dictated by the ideas they believe in. I wish I could say as much for Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy’s Republican Congress. Just two years ago voters handed Republicans control of both houses of Congress and the presidency. And what did Team Ryan do with a once in a generation opportunity? Nothing. They failed to repeal Obamacare, failed to build the wall, failed to enact common sense border security, failed to pass an infrastructure bill, failed to pass, let alone balance, a budget (something Ryan promised repeatedly to do, if only he became Speaker), and failed to rein in the deep state that unilaterally enacts most of the new laws every year. They passed a tax reform, but even that was botched thanks to the lobbyist feeding frenzy that determined what made it into the final bill.
With Democrats in control of the House of Representatives the next two years are going to make the last two look like an age of innocence. But every time you’re sick of dangerous Democrats remember that they’re in power because of the feckless leadership of Congressional Republicans.