Let's be clear, if you're the minority LEADER of Congress, it is your business to know what QAnon is and it's an insult to the American people to suggest that you don't. Just because your great leader constantly denied knowing people or malicious entities, doesn't make it acceptable for the minority leader of Congress to openly lie. He's already on camera previously saying QAnon had no place in the Republican Party. His statement is interesting in that he does not address the removal of Marjorie Taylor Greene from Senate Committees. He instead, goes down the route of comparing her comments to statements made previously by Democrat Members;
“...While Democrats pursue a resolution on Congresswoman Greene, they continue to do nothing about Democrats serving on the Foreign Affairs Committee who have spread anti-Semitic tropes, Democrats on the House Intelligence and Homeland Security Committee compromised by Chinese spies, or the Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee who advocated for violence against public servants..."
It's politically stupid to even attempt to compare statements from the past for which members have made public apologies, to an unrepentant dangerous right wing extremist who has refused to apologise. Not to mention, openly advocated for killing lawmakers and the occupation of federal buildings.
He went on to say;
“In the end, this resolution continues to distract Congress, especially given the limited time that Speaker Pelosi and the Democrat leadership want the House to debate and work, on what it needs to focus on: getting Americans back to work, getting kids back to school, and providing vaccines to all Americans who need it.”
This is simply a failed attempt to defend the indefensible. Why would anyone even consider doing this? TRUMP, that's why. He remains a malignant growth on the Republican party. He is the pet alligator that they nurtured fed and defended, as it killed people and ate the party alive. Take moment to watch my visualisation.
McCarthy has now placed his Republican colleagues in a position where they will be forced to go on the record to defend MTG, something many of them will be none too pleased about. The Dems are absolutely right to take a vote to the floor to remove her from her committees. Were I in charge of the Dems messaging machine, I would have a flood of ads ready to go targeting each Republican Member that votes to support her.
His suggestion that the Dems move to relieve her of her committee duties is distracting from the work of the American people is frankly a joke. The fact that he and the GOP have firmly hitched their wagon to Trump and his big lie, is by its very nature concerning. They constantly want to move on in an attempt to avoid accountability for their actions. The trauma that these events inflicted on Members of Congress is well documented. However, what we haven't heard much about, is the impact it had on staffers. That has now been addressed by an open letter signed by 370 staffers who share the trauma they endured. For more detail on this, please see this piece by CNN.
I chose this segment to quote, not to be selective, but to highlight what I felt was important;
"As Congressional employees, we don't have a vote on whether to convict Donald J. Trump for his role in inciting the violent attack at the Capitol, but our Senators do. And for our sake, and the sake of the country, we ask that they vote to convict the former president and bar him from ever holding office again."
Signers of the letter come from over 100 House offices, 15 Senate offices and 10 different committees, including the House Judiciary, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees, according to the organizers.
Let me be absolutely clear, the events of 6 January were nothing short of historic both in the gravity of the action taken and the mental trauma that was inflicted on many who had to endure it. Let's not forget, that for the duration of the assault, Trump and his family were watching on with glee. You cannot diminish a conspiracy to incite insurrection, by a plea to move on.
The other issue for Congressional Republicans was the future of Liz Chaney. Matt Gaetz spent the day leading up to the meeting to discuss her leadership position, convincing anyone who'd listen that she was history. In a QAnon twist though, he conceded that 'the establishment' might protect her and fix it for her to hold onto her position. Looks like the establishment did just that Matt. In a secret vote, 61 Members voted against Chaney. I don't care how you paint it, that should raise serious concerns and I suspect, she is really vulnerable in her home district.
So what does all this mean for Democrats? In short, it's a win, if not only to allow them to focus on vulnerable Republicans for upcoming elections. I suspect that the Democratic message machine will keep dripping this into the narrative as elections draw closer. The real strength of the Dems position is Joe Biden, he's just stepping forward unhindered by the potential civil war brewing on the opposite side of the aisle. His continued use of Executive orders is given cover by the very late agreement reached over power sharing in the Senate. Mitch was left with no choice but to hand over committee control to Democrats, because the action Biden is allowed to take by Executive Order is being given cover by his reluctance to concede control. Add to that, he has to contend with the fact that Trump now sees him as the enemy.
Next week, social media platforms are going to light up as Trump takes to the stage in his performance of 'You ain't seen nothin' yet'.
For him, it will be the opening of the Trump store for business, as donations start to flow. Any strategist worth their salary will be looking closely at just how well fundraising goes. This will be a measure of how attractive Trump is as a social media mute. He will be forced to rely on the likes of 'Team Trump' and the Trump War Room' to stir up emotion. However, they will need to be very careful as social media platforms monitor their activity. I suspect these platforms won't hesitate to step in to halt any sudden spreading of disinformation. No doubt Dems will also be relying on the event to raise money, as they present 'Insurrection The Movie' to an eager public who will want to relive the moment. Sad to say, that's all this will be, a fundraising bonanza, because a conviction is very unlikely.
Impeachment trial aside, where do the Dems go from here? Much is said about the election win, that once again I point out was down to the black vote. However, Republicans made good ground in Congress, gaining over a dozen seats. If this tells you anything, it tells you that danger is lurking around every corner. It is difficult to get your head around the fact that just two weeks into a new administration, mid-terms are in the minds of activists and electoral strategists. How would it feel to clean up the mess and then hand back control to the people who created the mess in the first place? You could argue that Democrats are just passengers at this time, as the GOP embarks upon a civil war for the future of the Republican Party. To some extent you may be right, but remember when Trump sat on his ass for a month in February 2020? LOTS of people died as a result There is no better time than now to start planning and to carefully dovetail campaign messaging to reflect success, as the Biden Administration works towards firing up the economy.
Republican leadership know the danger of the battles they are fighting in plain sight. They know it does harm with moderate Republicans, but the question they are fighting with is, whether there is enough money in moderate Republican values and I think it has been decided that there is not. They are now being forced to consider having to recruit the mob using Trumpian values. Might I be so bold as to suggest, that Trump without his Twitter account is like Samson with his head shaved. It simply does not present the threat that it was. So, the burning question is, will Trump get his account back before 2024? I'm not sure, but I would suggest that he will have many other legal impediments to deal with before he can consider that fight. It's not for nothing that Lyndsay Graham has been holding off the Merrick Garland confirmation.
Right now, the best that Republicans can do is stifle Biden by slowing down cabinet nominations and being as obstructive as possible. However, now that the Democrats have control of the Senate and the House, previously held up legislative goals, will start to make their way to the Senate and the political dynamic will change. It is essential in these first two years, Democrats get as much legislation passed as they need, to make good on promises to the American people. For sure, the American Rescue Plan will inject money into the system and provide a bit of a sugar rush, as hard pressed families are able to grab a breath and just take a moment to think. The last thing Republicans want is for the American Rescue Plan to succeed. I know it's shocking to think that the opposition party want to inflict pain on the people for political gain, but my friends, that's politics
Markets will respond to the cash injection as they always do, but DO NOT read anything into that. Once again for those not listening, the stock market is NOT the economy. They key to implementing the relief package, is to make sure that every cent works for the American people. Central to that effort, is vaccination and the administration clearly recognise that. I think you'll find that Biden has deliberately underpromised on the schedule, so when he turbocharges the effort, it will be seen as a massive win. He's been around a long time and his comms team are in lock step with the program. You will see increasing moves from the right to go after Jen Psaki to paint her as being creative with the truth etc. This is all to be expected and Jen is a big girl and more than up to the task, as she has clearly already demonstrated.
Politics is nothing if not a huge game of three dimensional chess. While we focus on MTG and the war inside the GOP, things are happening quietly in the background in all areas of government. Americans should feel safe in the knowledge that the future is no longer about self enrichment, ego massaging or self congratulatory statements. It's about coherence in government thinking across important areas like defence, foreign affairs and climate change. It's about affordable healthcare, social and racial justice, as well as police reform and prison sentencing. It's about addressing economic divides in society and the delivery of equal rights for people to love who they want, when they want. It's about being given an equal chance to achieve unhindered by race, sexuality, disability or any other social impediment that obstructs opportunity. Immigrants are the lifeblood of American society. That fact may have been obscured and buried by the previous administration, but their contribution must be celebrated and embraced, rather than being abused as it so often is.
Big dreams Martin I hear you say. In response, I say absolutely not. It's about responsible creative policy that does NOT pander to the top 1%. It' not about socialism, its about social responsibility. The diversity of interests and talent that make up the Congressional Democratic caucus, is vital to developing a long term agenda that makes all of the above possible. Big oil, the banks, the fossil fuel industry and Pharma will invest heavily to protect their interests. These areas will need special attention. This brings us back to the thorny subject of campaign finance, but that's a discussion for another day.
Thanks for your time today and stay safe out there.