Good afternoon from Capitol Hill. Over a month after the events of January 6, a wall is still up around the U.S. Capitol.
With many other pressing issues on the table, the Senate will be spending the week impeaching Donald Trump. Again.
The conviction of the former president is unlikely to succeed, given that 17 Republican senators would have to vote with their Democratic counterparts to do so. In a previous point of order raised against the constitutionality of impeaching a non-office holder, only five Republicans voted that the action was appropriate.
But that hasn’t stopped Democrats from pushing ahead. They intend to make the case that Donald Trump “incited” the rioters on January 6. He did not. As David Marcus put it in the Federalist today:
Given politicians’ common use of “fight” metaphors and language and the information coming out showing that the riot was pre-planned and began while Trump was speaking, it’s absurd to suggest he did. By that standard, Democrats should be paying reparations to the business owners whose stores were looted on their commands for racial justice. So let’s just stop with all that.
So what is this really about? Two things, and both are now clear priorities for congressional Democrats. The first is to humiliate, punish, and demean anyone who voted for Trump, worked for or with him, or even glanced favorably in his direction. The second is to remove the possibility that Trump can ever again run for office — which would be the outcome of a successful impeachment proceeding.
The arrogance exerted here was once unfathomable, but has now become rote. Democrats, with the cooperation of some Republicans, now want to control your candidate options in elections. More than that, they want to control how those you elect can represent you, based on their constantly-narrowing notions of “acceptable behavior.”
This was on display last week when Democrats voted to strip Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) from her committee assignments for facebook posts she made prior to her election to office. Rep. Greene recanted those statements in a floor speech, and apologized for them in an unusually genuine and candid press conference the next day.
But for the left, that is not enough — she must be punished for the sin of wrongthink, and those that voted for her must also be punished, by having their representative functions diminished as well.
In attempting to control members of the minority party, and by setting the criteria for who can serve and how — instead of leaving that up to the voters — Democrats are playing a dangerous game. It’s also a wildly hypocritical one.
If Rep. Greene, a freshman Member of the minority party, has views that are “powerful and dangerous,” what of the statements from legitimately powerful Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who urged her supporters to physically harass Trump administration officials?
Or what of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) accusing police of “state sanctioned murder” for returning fire after being fired upon, or the claims by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) that government detention centers for illegal migrants are equivalent to concentration camps?
What of the many Democrat lawmakers who encouraged many of the protests which turned violent over the summer — and supported bailing out the rioters? Or what of Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) who got cozy with a Chinese spy, but was just re-appointed to serve on the House Intelligence Committee?
The hypocrisy here is self-evident. But more importantly, a majority policing individual statements of minority members is fundamentally undemocratic. There is a check on behavior every two years — it’s called elections, and it’s where voters express their approval or disapproval. The more partisan leaders insert their own judgment into the business of representation, the more they expand the chasm between the ruling and the ruled.
Enfranchisement is foundational to self-government. Millions of voters already have diminished faith in the power of their vote, which is their voice. Removing their ability to vote for candidates, or stripping those elected members of representative duties when they do, will only further that belief and continue to degrade the institutional trust that continues to hold us together — but only just.
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One More Thing…
Watch as CPI’s Government Affairs Director Phil Reboli partners with Gun Owners of America to unpack Joe Biden’s plans to dismantle the Second Amendment.
Director for Policy