You know, it’s one thing for a politician to lack common sense, Lord knows that happens occasionally, but when they lack political sense, that’s like feasting on grapes at a Borgia family banquet in your honor. But these days, the House GOP seems to be having a wee problem closing with the concept ot time itself.
It’s not like the risk of losing the House a couple of weeks ago was a total shock for the GOP. Even with the Democrats doing everything in their power to tamp down expectations of a blue wave, conservatives were under no such self deprecating illusions. Conservative talking heads on MSNBC, CNN, and even FOX News were bemoaning the apparent loss of the house, and warning of losses in the 30-40 seat range. When FOX stops talking about whether the GOP will lose the House or not, and starts talking about whether Nancy Pelosi can be the next Speaker, that should be a canary in the coal mine.
So why did the House committee wait until two days before Thanksgiving to hit James Comey and Loretta Lynch with “trip down memory lane” subpoenas? Shit, if they were really serious about this, they could have issued those subpoenas a month before the election, as one more last ditch effort to gin up their base for the midterms. These stupid things were issued with the knowledge that both Comey and Lynch could “run out the clock” on appearing, simply by fighting the subpoenas until the House changes hands. My opinion, for what it’s worth, is that it was one last grandstanding bow by the GOP. I can’t see any real appetite in the House leadership to get their asses kicked publicly by Comey again on national TV.
But while outgoing GOP House members may have thrown away their last free shot at causing the Democrats trouble at no expense to themselves, the Democrats can’t afford to be so feckless. We also have one last “freebie” bow in our quiver, and we can’t afford to waste it. There are still 5 weeks of “unified GOP control” left, and they have to pass a temporary budget extension in those last weeks to avoid a partial government shutdown. This is the last time for the next two years that Democrats can say “Hey! Don’t look at us, they have the votes to pass anything they want!” Let’s not waste it, shall we?
The GOP, especially in the House, is going to need Democratic votes to pass the budget extension, for the simple reason that Paul Ryan can’t control his caucus any more than you can control drooling on your pillow when you sleep. That’s because Ryan has never been able to get them to even agree on the menu for the House cafeteria, much less fiscal matters, and it’s going to be even worse now. Ousted Teahadists like Dave Brat are so petty and vindictive that they wouldn’t even vote for a kidney transplant for their mothers, and turfed out suburban moderates are going to feel no great compunction to make His Lowness look good on their way out the door.
So, Paul Ryan is going to need Democratic votes to pass the extension, and he’s going to need a lot of them. This is our last chance to stick it up his ass on the way out with amendments, so we better not miss it. Hell, maybe we could even call it the “Packers Suck!” Amendment, and really frost his apricots. But this time, we don’t want to get greedy, we don’t want to give them the excuse that we’re gilding the lily, adding poison pills to wreck the budget, so it’s our fault that the government shut down. There should be only one amendment to the budget on the democratic side.
And that amendment must be, of course, to protect Robert Mueller’s investigation. And the amendment doesn’t have to be long, complex, or strident. It can be summed up nicely in two short clauses;
a) The Special Counsel shall only be removed for cause, this cause to be confirmed by a three judge panel chosen by lot from the Appellate court roster for the purpose of determining cause.
b) Upon completion of the Special Counsel’s final report, said report shall be transmitted to the House and Senate Judiciary and Intelligence committees at the same time that it is transmitted to the Attorney General for consideration.
See? It really ain’t all that hard. And we’ll never get a better chance to protect Mueller’s investigation than we will right now. Forget about the House for a minute. For the next 5 weeks, the Senate majority for the GOP is stalled at 51-49. And Corker, Flake, and Heller are on the way out the door, with no reason at all not to get themselves a little payback before they pack their cardboard boxes. Just let McConnell try to strip the provision before the Senate vote, it will only fail in the bounce back to the Hose without Democratic support.
Everybody knows that the Democrats want to hit the ground running in 2019, and we should. But here’s a chance to remove what could be a major distraction in 2019, and do it on the GOP’s nickel to boot. And to put the cherry on top, just think about how many 3 am poop tweets it will generate on all of those long, sleepless nights for The $1 Store Caligula. Talk about a win-win!
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