GOP Congress Renews Same Old Con Game With Voters

GOP Congress Renews Same Old Con Game With Voters
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
GOP Congress Renews Same Old Con Game With Voters
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
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Big news over the Thanksgiving holiday was that the House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed James Comey and Loretta Lynch about the 2016 campaign-related probes into Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and, presumably, Russians.

Great news for conservatives, right? But everyone knew right away that the timing was suspicious. The House will turn Democratic after the first of the year, and the chairmanship will be turned over from Republican Bob Goodlatte to Democrat Jerry Nadler. We've watched Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein avoid a congressional subpoena for months now, so there is no reason to expect former FBI Director Comey and former Attorney General Lynch will show up for a GOP grilling in the next month. But even if they do, does anyone expect to get the real story after waiting for more than two years?

Of course not. We all remember the fake Benghazi investigation run by the oh-so-disappointing Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., with the fake blessing of the House leadership. Big talk. No action. It's all a con game by Republican swamp dwellers who want to convince voters they are getting something done while making sure there is no chance of upsetting the apple cart. This gambit smells like the rotten work of phony conservative Paul Ryan, who is ending his term as House speaker with virtually no accomplishments for the Republican agenda.

Here's the bottom line: If the GOP wants us to believe that it is serious about getting answers, then the subpoenas have to come from the still-to-remain Republican-led Senate and not from the lame-duck House. Attention, Lindsey Graham! If you really have changed your spots and can be counted on to fight for the truth, it's time to step up. As the incoming chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Graham will have the power to do what Goodlatte can't do — hold Democrats’ feet to the fire and bring to light the true story of Hillary Clinton's illegal, immoral and unethical attempt to subvert the 2016 presidential election by hijacking the powers of the executive branch in her own partisan service.

I’m not holding my breath because, like every conservative, I have been serially abused by the Republican leadership of Congress, and I no longer believe any of their promises that this time it will be different. If it is different, let’s get Rosenstein on the witness stand, in public, and let him explain exactly what he meant when he told Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe that he would be willing to “wear a wire” in his conversations with President Trump. And when Rosenstein demurs with his little giggle and says he can’t answer on advice of Justice Department counsel, then have the sergeant-at-arms pick him up out of his chair and haul his scrawny butt to lock-up. That might restore a tiny bit of confidence in me that Republicans are not just part of the D.C. members-only club and are actually interested in protecting the Constitution from “enemies, foreign and domestic,” as they swear to do in their oath of office.

Speaking of protecting the Constitution — and the country — when can we expect the Republicans to fulfill their campaign promise to secure our border? With the House of Representatives about to be turned over to Nancy Pelosi and her gang of subpoena-happy Democrats, the chance to get funding for Trump’s border wall is rapidly disappearing.

I know what Democrats would do if they wanted to get a massive spending project through Congress without having sufficient votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster. They would use the so-called reconciliation process in order to move the project ahead with a simple majority vote in both houses. That’s exactly how Pelosi and Harry Reid passed Obamacare with only Democratic votes back in 2010. Pelosi, Reid and Chuck Schumer know how to wield power, and they do so unapologetically because they say they are working on behalf of the people. Well, who exactly do Republicans think they serve? If it’s the people of the United States, who elected President Trump on the unmistakable assumption that he would “Build That Wall,” then it’s time to get busy and give Trump the funding he needs. It’s now or never.

President Trump is hinting that he will allow a government shutdown if funding for the wall is not included in the next spending bill, which is due on his desk no later than Dec. 7. If he had a Republican Congress that was fighting for him, the shutdown would not be necessary. Instead, he would have a spending bill and a reconciliation bill that provide the $5 billion he is asking for. That’s a far cry from the $940 billion that the Affordable Care Act was estimated to cost when it was passed nearly nine years ago, so you would think Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could get it done. Yeah, right!

When it comes to politics, Democrats are professionals; Republicans are strictly amateurs. But when it comes to conning their voters, Republicans are the true pros.

Frank Miele, the retired editor of the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell Mont., is a columnist for RealClearPolitics. His "Why We Needed Trump" trilogy is available at Amazon. Visit him at to comment on this column or follow him on Facebook @HeartlandDiaryUSA or on Twitter @HeartlandDiary.

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