Democrat Dog and Pony Shows Come up Short
It isn’t hard to point out the failures of Democrats. They’re so numerous it would be difficult to compile a comprehensive list of them. But two recent political gambits by congressional Democrats are falling flat on their face. Biden’s SCOTUS Commission and the congressional J6 commission have completely failed in their purpose of hiding their incompetence in managing anything larger than a fundraising dinner.
Democrats successfully managed to whip their base into a frenzy over the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. It seems like ages ago now, but the #MeToo crowd that trashed Kavanaugh was nowhere to be found when Trump was able to nominate a second Supreme Court justice, Amy Coney Barrett, who was attacked for merely being a mother Democrats didn’t like.
Democrats overestimated their base’s ability to maintain fake outrage for any meaningful length of time. Biden waited roughly six months to establish the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States to come up with recommendations for dealing with the fact that justices were appointed that they didn’t like. One would think the outcome of such a partisan commission, roughly 80% of whom are from Harvard or Yale, would be to recommend term limits and court packing (which is adding justices to the court, not to be confused with “appointing justices we don’t like”).
Unfortunately, the “commission” has failed to deliver the political goods. Not that the Democrat base has even noticed. Besides being completely pointless, the commission throws cold water all over the concept of expanding the court as well as implementing term limits on SC justices.
Not waiting for the partisan paint to dry, Nancy Pelosi established the J6 commission to
investigate the January 6 insurrection further harass Trump supporters. But beyond the obligated political testimonies of the Capitol police, some of whose feelings were hurt on J6, Nancy has had a difficult time getting others to testify -- for good reasons.
Nancy’s congressional subpoenas appear to have fallen on deaf ears for those she’s targeting with her dog and pony show. In a combination of fishing expedition and bankruptcy by legal fees, she subpoenaed the records of Steve Bannon in an attempt to take the mudslinging to a new level. This strategy is unlikely to work if she continues to pursue it, for several reasons.
First, it’s likely that there are some leftist policy wonks following the developments keenly, but most Democrat voters are probably wondering why it’s costing them 10-20% more to put food on their table.
That aside, Pelosi shot herself in the foot from the beginning. By kicking Jim Jordan and Jim Banks off the J6 commission, Pelosi has severely compromised her ability to enforce any congressional subpoenas related to J6. Bannon’s repeated responses to Pelosi’s subpoenas rely on the protection of Trump’s executive privilege rights. However, even without executive privilege, case law isn’t in Pelosi’s favor, either.
Congress has no explicit right to subpoena anyone. That simply isn’t a congressional power, as defined in the Constitution. The congressional ability to subpoena anyone or anything was established via a series of Supreme Court cases. Notably, in the Watkins decision, the SC held:
But, broad as is this power of inquiry, it is not unlimited. There is no general authority to expose the private affairs of individuals without justification in terms of the functions of the Congress… Nor is the Congress a law enforcement or trial agency. These are functions of the executive and judicial departments of government. No inquiry is an end in itself; it must be related to, and in furtherance of, a legitimate task of the Congress. Investigations conducted solely for the personal aggrandizement of the investigators or to “punish” those investigated are indefensible.
Even without Trump exerting executive privilege, Pelosi is likely to fail to compel Bannon, or anyone else for that matter, to testify. Pelosi, by virtue of her kicking Republican members off the commission, has proven beyond anyone’s reasonable doubt that the intent of the J6 commission is precisely to “aggrandize the investigators and “punish” those investigated.” But, since Pelosi’s legal budget is limited only by future taxpayers’ ability to fund such nonsense, she’s likely to cost Bannon and others a material amount of legal fees. Mission accomplished.
One might wonder, with the typical voter having long forgotten the events of J6 or the routine Supreme Court appointments, why Democrats persist in pushing such wastes of time and money. The answer is twofold: Democrats aren’t funding any of this, taxpayers are. We’re on the hook for this nonsense, as are the victims of these purely partisan shenanigans. And second, after their failed “infrastructure” fiasco, Democrats have literally no other platform to run on in 2022. One can understand that Biden is essentially a lame duck after being in office only nine months, and thus such a controversial issue as remaking the Supreme Court is a topic Congress doesn’t want to touch, given many are up for election in 2022. Likewise, the J6 commission is a purely political exercise that isn’t investigating anything. Biden’s DoJ, aside from abusing J6 prisoners, is already “investigating” the events of J6 and a congressional commission is the logical route to milking that issue as much as possible for the midterm elections.
While it’s not possible to shut these dog and pony shows down in the short term, Americans need to know that these aren’t serious efforts by Democrats to improve anything. Once you’ve watched partisan politics at play long enough, you can easily figure out the destructive, expensive games Democrats play at our expense.
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