Tag Archives: GOP caucus

Let the probe begin

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It’s not how many of us wanted this process to move forward, but I’ll accept it as a step toward rooting out the cause of the infamous insurrection of Jan. 6.

The U.S. House of Representatives, with just two Republican members joining their Democratic colleagues, today voted to form a select committee that will take a deep dive into the insurrection.

GOP Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — both of whom voted to impeach the disgraced 45th POTUS for his role in inciting the riot on Capitol Hill — voted “yes” on the committee creation. They both also signaled a willingness to serve on that panel.

My version of political perfection would have produced a bipartisan commission approved by the Senate. The GOP caucus slammed that door shut, leaving any look into the event up to the House. The lower chamber’s approval does not require Senate endorsement, so the House will proceed on its own, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The Wall Street Journal reports: “It’s clear that Jan. 6 was not simply an attack on the Capitol building, it was an attack on our democracy,” Mrs. Pelosi said in a speech before the vote Wednesday. “Every member here knows that Jan. 6 was an attempt to subvert our democracy,” she said. “But many across the aisle refuse to admit the truth.”

House Approves Creation of Select Committee to Probe Jan. 6 Attack (msn.com)

Indeed, the Republican resistance to examining the horrific event simply boggles my mind. The mob that stormed Capitol Hill that day launched a full assault on the entire government. It targeted Republicans as well as Democrats. It injured several law enforcement officers; two of them died in the melee. So, members of the political caucus that professes to be strong on “law and order” has resisted efforts to get to the truth of the attack.

Moreover, they have dug in to fight efforts to prevent future attacks.

So now it falls on the Democratically controlled House to select the committee. Pelosi is indicating she might appoint at least one Republican to sit on the panel.

This isn’t the perfect path toward finding some key answers to this horrifying assault on our democratic form of government. Given the stubborn refusal by Republicans to seek the truth behind it, this select committee will have to do.

Who are the slackers, Congress?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The idiotic notion that federal employees do not need more time off from a federal holiday is laughable on its face.

It comes from Republicans in Congress who contend that the Juneteenth federal holiday signed into law this week by President Biden is just another excuse for federal employees to loaf instead of working on behalf of Americans.

Really? Who are the real slackers here? Congress is about to take a whole month off from legislating, debating and hammering out laws on our behalf. They’ll be back home or perhaps vacationing in posh locations abroad. They will contend they are doing their constituents’ work while at home, that they don’t really ever take time off.

Get real, jerks!

Juneteenth commemorates the day that Union soldiers informed blacks in Galveston that President Lincoln had issued a proclamation more than two years earlier that freed them from enslavement. Juneteenth is a holiday more than worthy of national recognition and honor.

Members of Congress are among the biggest slackers of any demographic group in the United States. So for the GOP caucus to rely on a moronic notion that granting more time off for federal employees makes me want to hurl.

Now comes the fight … maybe

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

This just in: U.S. Rep. Chip Roy of Austin might decide he wants to lead the House Republican caucus because the presumed heiress apparent, Elise Stefanik of New York, is too liberal.

Ah, yes. Let’s have a fight, shall we?

The House GOP caucus ousted Liz Cheney of Wyoming because Cheney is appalled at the conduct of Donald Trump. She happened to have the bad form to criticize the former president for inciting the Jan 6 terrorist attack on the Capitol Building while Congress was in the midst of certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Why, those Republicans just cannot stand the notion of one of their leaders criticizing such abhorrent conduct. So they booted Cheney out of her leadership post.

OK, that’s done. Now comes the fight to find a successor.

Roy said Stefanik’s voting record is too, um, moderate to suit his taste. He wants a fire-breather in that leadership job. Hey, kinda like Liz Cheney, whose own conservative credentials are beyond dispute.

Is Roy going to sing from the same page as Stefanik, giving Trump a pass on his insurrection-incitement? That appears for all the world to be the only credential any card-carrying GOP member of Congress needs these days to assume a leadership role.

This’ll be fun to watch.

Go ahead, Rep. Roy. Let’s see what you have.

Hey, Rep. Cheney: Keep messaging!

(Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The U.S. House of Representatives Republican caucus has thrown in with the former Liar in Chief and decided that a truth-teller among its ranks has no place in its leadership.

Rep. Liz Cheney this morning was stripped of her title as chair of the House GOP caucus, the No. 3-ranking post among congressional Republicans.

Prediction: Liz Cheney isn’t going to skulk away quietly.

Indeed, she said today that she intends to do all she can to ensure that Donald Trump never sets foot in the Oval Office ever again.

Good for you, Rep. Cheney.

Be not confused here. I detest Cheney’s politics. I do admire her courage in standing firm against Donald Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 insurrection and her vote to impeach Trump a second time when he exhorted the terrorists to storm Capitol Hill.

Cheney told the truth about Trump. Her colleagues in the House are having none of it. They have shamed themselves and their governing institution.

Liz Cheney: My new hero

(Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Man, it is hard to believe that I am actually pulling for Liz Cheney to fend off this idiotic challenge to her leadership post within the House Republican leadership hierarchy.

The Wyoming lawmaker is being vilified by the Trumpkins who have seized control of the party. Her offense? For voting to impeach Donald J. Trump after the then-POTUS incited the insurrection against the government as it was certifying the results of the 2020 election that went for President Biden over their guy, Trump.

I wouldn’t vote for Rep. Cheney if I lived in Wyoming. She is too much of a right-winger to suit my taste. On this single matter, I find myself rooting for her to survive the challenge launched by the likes of Trump-loving loons Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.

The House GOP caucus has been virtually silent about Gaetz, who’s being investigated for alleged sex trafficking. As for the QAnon queen Greene, I ain’t hearing much worry from the GOP on her, either.

So now we have Liz Cheney trying to fend off the GOP hyenas. I would much rather have a Republican Party that fuels its existence on the basis of policy differences rather than its fealty to a lunatic like Donald Trump.

I’m pulling for Liz Cheney. If she loses her House GOP caucus post, I hope she keeps her throat cleared and continues to tell her colleagues that they are making a terrible mistake in backing the purveyor of The Big Lie.

What if Barack Obama had done this?

I know you’ve heard political pundits ask this question: What would the Republican response be if Barack Obama had been accused of doing what Donald Trump has been accused of doing?

Well, we all know the answer to that one. Congressional Republicans would go ballistic. They would be apoplectic. They would file articles of impeachment while the echoes of the allegations were still ringing in their ears.

However, the question by itself ignores what I believe is a necessary corollary question, which I haven’t heard anyone pose: How would congressional Democrats respond if President Obama were accused of the transgressions that have been alleged against Trump?

I realize the second question results in a more problematic and unclear answer than the first one. Indeed, the whole rhetorical exercise speaks directly to a supreme hypothetical question. Politicians say they don’t like answering hypothetical questions, and I do not blame them for that reticence.

This is my take only on it, so here goes.

I believe GOP acquiescence to Trump’s misbehavior is a symptom of slavish fealty to one man, the president. It also reveals a lack of seriousness among GOP politicians to the oath they took to defend the Constitution against such abuses. This relative silence underscores the chokehold that Trump has placed on the Republican Party.

It also might reveal that Democrats did not hold Trump’s immediate Democratic presidential predecessor in the same almost-holy regard as their Republican colleagues feel toward Donald Trump.

Thus, I harbor a good bit of hope that had Barack Obama had pressured a foreign government to dig up dirt on, say, Mitt Romney or even Donald Trump that more than a token number of congressional Democrats would be as appalled as they are today at the actions of a Republican president.

The stone-cold devotion of today’s Republican congressional caucus to the president stands as a violation of the oath they all took to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution.

Get ready for the next clown show

Ladies and gentleman, step right this way. You’re going to witness another clown show brought to you by the congressional Republican caucus that is running interference for a crooked president of the United States.

The arena this time will be the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, which in the morning will begin its hearing on whether to impeach Donald Trump on at least two counts: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The House Intelligence Committee has produced 300 pages of incontrovertible evidence that Trump sought a personal political favor from a foreign government; he conditioned military aid to that foreign government on delivering that favor; his personal lawyer was involved in conversations with federal budget officials and those within that foreign government.

And yet …

Congressional Republicans continue to insist that Trump did nothing wrong. There’s nothing to see here, they say. They don’t stand up for the president’s moral character or his standing as commander in chief. They seek to deflect attention from the allegations by criticizing the motives of Trump’s foes and suggesting that Ukraine, and not Russia, attacked our electoral system in 2016.

The Judiciary Committee will open its hearing and Chairman Jerrold Nadler will have his hands full as GOP members seek to be recognized for “points of order.” The No. 1 GOP doofus well might turn out to be a Texan, I should add. Louis Gohmert of Tyler, a former appellate judge — if you can believe it — is likely to become the Main Man leading the opposition against what looks to me like impeachable offenses committed by the president.

What absolutely astounds me is how and why Republicans continue to dig in when the evidence blares out loudly that Donald Trump violated his oath of office. 

I am scratching my head bloody over that one.

Let the clown show commence. Chairman Nadler is going to earn his congressional salary. Of that I am certain.

House condemns Trump’s racist tweets … what happens now?

This is no surprise in the least.

The U.S. House of Representatives, controlled by Democrats, has voted along most party lines to condemn Donald Trump’s racist tweets aimed at four progressive Democratic members of the House.

All the Democrats voted for the resolution. Four Republicans joined them. The rest of the GOP caucus stood with the president. I am sorry to say that my congressman, Van Taylor of Plano, stood with Trump and his idiotic notion that the Democrats — all of whom are U.S. citizens and three of whom were born in the United States — could return to their country of origin.

Oh, the racism element? They’re all women of color. One of them hails from Somalia, but she moved here when she was 12 years of age.

All of the women were duly elected to the House in 2018. They all have left an immediate imprint on the body. Sure, I have grown impatient at a couple of them. Rep. Rashida Tlaib used some profane language about impeaching the president even before she took office; Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become the most ubiquitous freshman member of the House in my recent memory.

But they do not deserve to be treated with such racist rhetoric by the president of the United States.

My question now is this: What happens with this condemnation?

Trump won’t give a damn about it. His Republican allies in Congress won’t care, either, as they have followed virtually in lockstep with a president who brought zero political history with him to the White House. Yet the GOP remains loyal to this guy? The reasons for that fealty boggle my mind.

I am not going use this blog to declare that Donald Trump is a racist. I am going to endorse the House resolution that declares that his Twitter tirade against four member of Congress was racist to its core. Of that there can be no doubt.

Why do congressional Republicans, with so frighteningly few exceptions, fail to recognize what most of the rest of us understand?

Rep. Gohmert shows why he sits on the GOP fringe

U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert sits on the fringe of the Republican Party’s congressional caucus for a reason, as he has demonstrated once again.

The East Texas member of Congress thinks special counsel Robert Mueller should be fired. He doesn’t like that the former FBI director and a crack lawyer is investigating Donald J. Trump on several levels. He is concerned that the counsel might actually find some criminality in his probe into whether the Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russian goons who meddled in our 2016 election.

I need to point out here that the GOP leadership wants Mueller to continue. Even some of the back bench members of both the House and Senate GOP caucus know the consequences if the president gets Mueller removed.

Actually, Gohmert the Goober knows it, too. He said, “The only reason that he is not going and the president is not going to fire him and that I am not calling for him to be fired now is … because of all the establishment Republicans that think they would have to come after Trump if he were fired.”

Oh, really? The Republican congressional leadership would “come after” the president for, oh, obstructing justice or for abusing the power of his high office? Is that what he means?

If that’s the case, then the Republican leadership would be correct to sound the impeachment bugle and Rep. Gohmert is utterly wrong in calling for Mueller to be fired.

Mueller was given a broad mandate when Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed him special counsel; the task fell to Rosenstein after AG Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia matter after serving as a Trump campaign and presidential transition official with ties to Russians who had contacted the Trump political organization.

Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller was hailed by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Gohmert, though, says he had trouble with Mueller’s selection from the get-go.

I’ll offer this bit of advice to Gohmert, which I’ve also offered to the president: If there is nothing to be found — which Trump insists is the case — then let Mueller reach that conclusion and announce it to the world himself.

Meanwhile, Louie Gohmert needs to settle down and let Mueller do his job.

Trump is right: GOP blew it on ACA repeal/replacement

I hope you’re sitting down as you read this next sentence: Donald Trump is correct — to a point — in criticizing the congressional Republican caucus for failing to replace the Affordable Care Act.

The president, who has opened a new front in his all-out war against the Washington political establishment, tore into Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the GOP’s failure to have a replacement ready for enactment when Trump took office.

Do I wish the Republicans had done such a thing? No. I do not like the idea of total repeal of the ACA; I would prefer mending it, fixing it, repairing what’s wrong with it.

My point about the president’s criticism is that the congressional GOP caucus had many years to come up with a replacement plan. It didn’t. It dawdled and twiddled. It didn’t have the wisdom to come up with a reasonable alternative to the ACA. It instead chose to fight with the President Barack Obama on all manner of issues.

Then came Donald Trump to the scene. He won a presidential election while making some grossly overstated promises. He pledged to take Washington by the back of its neck and shake, rattle and roll it to do his bidding.

That didn’t happen, either.

The president was right to at least expect to have a starting point on this repeal-and-replace effort regarding health care insurance. There was nothing waiting for him when he took office.

To the extent that GOP members of Congress were at fault, then the president is correct. They didn’t deliver the goods.

However, the president’s anger at the GOP breaks down because of his refusal to accept any personal responsibility for his party’s failures. It might have been better for Trump to say something like this: “The Republicans in Congress had seven years to replace ‘Obamacare,’ but they didn’t. It’s not entirely their fault, though. As the leader of the Republican Party, I must share in this disappointing outcome. I am the president of the United States, the head of the executive branch of government, which shares power with Congress. I also must share the blame. That’s part of the deal.”

Trump told McConnell that he needs to “get to work.”

Yes. So should the president.