The title is a description of the content of my re cent article “*sigh* OK, time to get messy” that appeared in the comments section. Actually, I got a kick out of the description since, while I consider myself an “opinion commentator,” the word “fiction” could easily apply, since while the actions described were both politically and legally feasible, they required guts, something the Democrats have shown little of in recent years.
In fact, six months ago, I would never have written the article. And then a magical thing called “November” occurred. Normally, November is culinary spring training for the gluttony of the December holidays to follow, but last November Christmas came early. Instead of turkey we had 40 shiny presents under the table, each containing a brand spanking new congressional seat!
And now it looks like my work of “fiction” just might be headed for the bestseller list. Because these freshman legislators don’t give a fat rats ass about political niceties, not being political creatures themselves. They campaigned on holding Trump’s feet to the fire, and their constituents gave them a stick and a bag of marshmallows. And ow, they’re inviting their older brothers and sisters to a sing along around the campfire.
You’ve got Democrats suddenly talking openly about not only hefty fines, but actually jailing administration flunkies who defy lawful subpoenas. And not just rookie congressmen and women. You’ve got veteran members like Connelly and Cicilline talking about jailing witnesses for contempt of congress, Elijah Cummings talking about “Going to the mats,” and one judiciary member said they were planning on proposing that the committee look into the mechanics of renting “detention space.” And don’t even get me started on Maxine Waters. That woman has been dying to hear iron clank for more than 2 years now. I can see her starting a “rewards program,” for every three nights stay, you get an upgraded cell with a hot plate and an extra foam pad for your bunk.
Whether it’s actually imminent or not, this tactic is brilliant. talking heads at FOX have been on and on about how unhinged and irrational these freshman Democrats are, and now these freshman are going all “Animal House” on them. And the more senior Democrats are like parents handing their departing freshman an American Express card and telling them, “You can always learn on the job, spend the next four years getting fucked up. Oh, and I’ll be there for the toga party on Saturday night.”
This is a beautiful pressure point game. His Lowness is already ordering everybody he has ever spoken to or even looked at to defy any congressional subpoena. There are already cracks in that strategy. Reporting says that Deutsche Bank is already complying with congressional subpoenas, and I have little doubt that Mazar’s will be soon behind. The fact that FOX has been highlighting their instability, and Trump himself is calling them “angry Democrats,” only increases the paranoia and uncertainty.
If you’re a Hope HIcks, or a Don McGahn, or a Reince Priebus, are you actually going to risk a fine of “up to $25,000 a day” for non compliance, or worse yet a locked door and take out food, just to be a loyal soldier? Especially people no longer in the administration, and subject to executive privilege? And how about the expense of a lawyer to handle all of this for you? News flash. A Trump pardon won’t fix this, contempt of congress isn’t a crime, it’s a sanction for non compliance. And while you’re at it, you might want to ask that Trump rally goer whether Trumpenstein actually paid his legal fees after he punched a protester in the face at a rally as the guy was being led out, and got busted. Enquiring minds want to know.
My fantasy-of-the-month-club selection this month is that congress comes back to work nest week, and on Tuesday Richie Neal sends a letter to Steve Munchkin saying, “Hey, twerp! Friday, 5 pm. 6 years of tax returns, or the contempt motion goes to a vote in committee Monday morning, with the full House to follow on Tuesday.” And send a copy to the IRS commissioner too, hell, it’s actually his call anyway. There is no better ceremonial whipping boy for this than a guy who looks like a guy with bare legs in a trench coat when he wears sunglasses.
For the last two years, the operational wisdom has been “never say never” when it comes to Trump doing insanely stupid shit. Happily, we may be entering a period when the exact same thing can be said for congressional Democrats. These guys and gals are full of piss and vinegar, they’re feeling their oats, and the GOP has absolutely no idea of what to do about them. It’s like Charlie Brown kicking Lucy in the ass when she pulls the ball away. Stay tuned, this could end up being more fun than the original barrel that all of those monkeys came in.
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