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The Republican Revenge Agenda


When the 118th Congress begins its sessions on January 3, 2023 it will once again be divided, with Democrats holding the majority in the Senate and Republicans taking over the House. Even before the votes had been cast, Republicans announced that they would be pursuing an ambitious agenda. It’s an agenda aimed at enacting revenge on Democrats for their relentless pursuit of justice by demanding that Donald Trump be held accountable for his multiple illegal actions both during and after his time in office.


The role of representatives in Congress is to enact the will of the voters who put them there. They are supposed to propose legislation that will improve the lives of their constituents by putting their tax dollars to constructive use. When possible, they are supposed to reach across the aisle to negotiate with their political rivals to arrive at some form of agreement that will benefit their respective parties.


Not so with the incoming Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Instead they have announced an agenda of retaliation aimed at grinding government to a standstill as they launch a revenge tour to punish Democrats for their multiple hearings, impeachments and possible criminal indictments of their hero, Donald J. Trump.


Investigate, Investigate, Investigate

One of the roles of Congress is to provide oversight into the day-to-day operations of government. They are required to serve as a check on Executive overreach. Rather than doing they duty, House Republicans have been erecting roadblocks, ignoring illegal activities and generally refusing to do the duties they were elected to perform.


Now that there is a Democrat in the White House, Republicans have magically re-discovered their duty. Upon taking the majority in the recent midterm elections, they are promising to launch a series of investigations into a variety of highly partisan issues. The result would be to grind the daily functions of government to a halt as they obfuscate, delay and refuse to abide by they very oaths they swore to uphold.


Republicans used the midterm strategy of focusing on what they viewed as the weaknesses in the Biden agenda. They wanted inflation and immigration to be the major issues that they hoped would create a Red Wave of Congressional Republicans who would command huge concessions if they overwhelmingly won both the House and the Senate.


But the Red Wave never happened. In what can only be described as a “gift” to Democrats, the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs Wade, effectively banning a woman’s right to choose in many Red states. The resulting backlash was that women turned out in droves to vote to protect their abortion rights. Instead of inflation, abortion became the motivating factor in their choices. This is despite Republican efforts to suppress voter participation by enacting more restrictive requirements in the name of “election reform”.


The Red Wave was also blunted by the Democrats' risky strategy of promoting election deniers over more qualified candidates as their opponents. When many of these Trump-backed pretenders went down to defeat, it gave Republicans only a slim majority in the House and left them in the minority in the Senate. Their hopes of a Red Tsunami, along with a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate went down with each defeat.


Because of this, whoever becomes Speaker will have to accede to the demands of the lunatic fringe of the party in order to get anything accomplished. Chief among these demands are multiple calls for investigations, and even possible impeachment proceedings, against Biden and those in his administration.


So, what kind of investigations are Republicans suggesting?


Hunter Biden

Hunter Biden is the Republican boogeyman. He is both a drug-addled sex fiend and an espionage super spy. He is Verbal Kint and Keyser Söze, the character in the movie The Usual Suspects who is both a simple-minded dupe and a criminal mastermind. And he is the key to exposing Joe Biden’s corruption and illegal business deals with both Ukraine and China. And Republicans have an actual smoking gun with a laptop that allegedly belonged to Hunter Biden.


Except the story behind the laptop, or in this case, laptops, has more holes in it than an entire warehouse of Swiss cheese. First, the owner of the Delaware repair shop, a self-described Trump supporter, where the laptops were dropped off, is legally blind, so he could not say if he could honestly identify the person who left them there as Hunter Biden. Second, the aforementioned person had to be prompted when asked his name, which he gave as Hunter, then after much hesitation, added Biden. And finally, the chain of possession of the damning electronics is murky at best, so it’s entirely possible that the so-called “evidence” was fabricated after the fact.


The laptop contained large amounts of pornography along with thousands of emails, some that claimed to trace a series of payments from “H” to someone called “the big guy”, which Republicans swear points to Joe Biden. Trump lawyer Robert Costello claims he can identify Hunter Biden’s image by virtue of seeing a disembodied penis, which begs to question what Costello has been viewing.


After the owner failed to pick up the repaired laptop, the shop owner, Mac Isaacs, was able to get the suspected laptop to Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani contacted Steve Bannon and eventually turned over the material contained on the laptop to Matt Gaetz, who had it introduced as evidence in the House of Representatives should there be an eventual hearing on the matter, which of course they intend to do.


While their case is as thin as an onion’s skin, they will nevertheless proceed in the hopes of uncovering some criminal wrongdoing the way Bill Clinton’s Whitewater investigation morphed into him eventually being impeached for lying about a relationship with a White House intern.


COVID

What exactly Republicans are hoping to accomplish by holding hearings related to President Biden’s COVID response is unclear. They will certainly argue that Biden exceeded his authority when he enacted lockdowns, but to what end? There are no more restrictions. There are no more vaccine mandates, although there are recommendations and funding is still needed to continue providing these vital tools. Republicans will conveniently ignore their own denials as untold thousands died needlessly due to their willingness to fight these safety measures.


But, they promised their followers a show, so it would be rude to disappoint them by not grilling Dr. Fauci and other medical experts with their own Web MD knowledge of the virus. Fortunately, Dr. Fauci will be spared another embarrassing encounter with Rand “I’m a doctor too” Paul because the hearings will be held in the House and not the Senate. But there will certainly be those in the House who will be pushing their own conspiracy-induced theories both about the effectiveness of masks and vaccines.


And so they will have pointless hearings aimed at continuing a division between the educated and the know-nothings.


The “Chaotic” Afghan Withdrawal

QAnon kook Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has already submitted Articles of Impeachment to the House floor alleging President Biden was derelict in his duty in his overseeing the withdrawal of US troops from its longest war in history. Apparently she believed that Biden should have gone to Kabul to personally supervise getting our people out safely. If he was killed in the process, such are the spoils of war.


Since the paperwork has already been filed, it’s just a matter of changing the dates for this process to begin. But in doing so, Republicans may be faced with some nasty facts. President Biden was only carrying out orders enacted by the previous administration, which saw saddling Biden getting Americans out of this morass as an albatross to use to point to Biden’s inability to handle the situation.


Republicans will also forget how Donald Trump wanted to invite members of the Taliban to Camp David to unilaterally negotiate Afghanistan’s future without any input from it’s recognized government.


Since they are ignorant of history, they can ignore the images of America’s withdrawal from Vietnam as evidence that any such operation, with the enemy breathing down your neck, is inherently chaotic.


Like the proposed COVID hearings, the hearings into the Afghan withdrawal will be just another waste of taxpayer dollars to push a political agenda.


The FBI “Raid” on Mar a Lago

The most ludicrous hearings Republicans are proposing are the ones to investigate the FBI’s motivation into executing a search warrant to obtain illegally held government documents that were being kept at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago country club in Florida. Republicans continue to support Trump’s claims of innocence, that he was entitled to the documents as both his personal property and/or protected by some vague Executive Privilege. They nod in agreement as he asserts that he somehow magically declassified these top secret documents just by thinking about them.


These are arguments that lack any logical defense, but like they did in the Mueller investigation, they insist on ignoring Trump’s criminal activities and instead turn their attention to investigating the investigators as a means of distraction in the ever fading hope that it will somehow slow down the process enough to allow Trump to regain the White House and then enjoy the protections of the office as he did previously.


When a Special Counsel was appointed to oversee both the Mar-a-Lago and January 6th investigations, Republicans attempted to equate Hunter Biden’s actions with that of Trump and demanded a Special Counsel be appointed to oversee that case.


During his time in office Donald Trump repeatedly referred to Democrats as “do-nothings”. He conveniently ignored the fact that then Majority Leader Mitch McConnell let almost 400 Democrat-sponsored bills languish on his desk in what some termed a legislative graveyard. If they follow through, as they most certainly will, on their promises of hearing after hearing, they will certainly grind Washington to a halt.


History will not be kind to them, but then again, they aren’t the types to learn from history.

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