It looks like the Republicans come January will control both houses of Congress. The government will still be divided, so neither party will make any big legislative changes in the next two years. The president will no doubt use executive orders to get around Congress to push the Dems’ agenda, but such tinkering is hostage to the next president. So what should the Republicans do for the next two years?
We know what they shouldn’t do, and that’s indulge in happy talk about “bipartisanship” or “reaching across the aisle” or trying “to get things done.” The Democrats have swung so far to the left that there’s very little common ground, outside a national emergency, on which to base cooperation. The moderate Democrat is a near-extinct species, and the radical ideologues have cowed them into compliance. Most Dems who have some common sense and respect for the Constitution’s checks and balances against tyranny have been silenced.
So first, the Republicans must ignore charges of “obstructionism” and “partisanship.” The first principle of the Constitution is “first do no harm,” and one way to do that is for our Senators and Representatives to “set ambition against ambition,” and use their Constitutional powers to stymie the Dems’ tyrannical ambitions. These days that means, as Florida Senator Marco Rubio put it, that the Senate’s “most important job” in a divided government is “to stop bad things from happening,” like confirming the president’s nominees for the courts, his cabinet, and other federal officials.
So no more talk like “the president deserves to have his nominees ratified.” That, and the Republican preemptive cringe when it comes to race and sex, is how we get Supreme Court justices whose only recommendation is their race and/or sex. Like Orwell’s saints, all Biden’s picks should be presumed guilty until proven innocent.
In other words, the next two years should see a concerted effort to start holding accountable the bipartisan, big-government guild that too many Republicans have joined, accepting many progressive assumptions about, for example, the role of the federal government in creating, managing, and expanding federal agencies.
Some commentators have, with good reason, focused on the most dangerous bipartisan consensus: the redistribution of taxpayer money through entitlements. The consequences include our metastasizing federal deficits and debt paid for by borrowing or creating money, thus mortgaging our children’s and grandchildren’s futures. And it compromises our military readiness by starving the Pentagon of needed funds to counterbalance China’s long military build-up specifically designed to challenge the U.S.
Unfortunately, reforming entitlement spending is unlikely to be seriously addressed even if the Republicans take control of the government in 2024, despite the fact that increasing longevity and fewer workers mean the big three budget-devouring entitlements––Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, which along with other health-care spending already devour half the annual budget––will face an influx of retirees into the system, at the same time that payroll taxes diminish, putting even more strain on the nation’s budget.
The problem is too many voters have become addicted to government largess and regard it as a sacrosanct right, deterring politicians of both parties from fixing this mess. For example, the House is charged with initiating government spending, the so-called “power of the purse.” But representatives in the past have faced fierce media attacks that demonize congressmen who want to use that Constitutional power to address this problem.
For now, then, the Republicans need to tackle what they can do––exercise their oversight powers to investigate publicly executive-office functionaries of agencies that are the mechanisms for federal interference in the sovereign states, individuals, families, and civil society. And the most dangerous of these agencies is the FBI and its boss, the DOJ, which have the power, backed up by lethal force, to investigate, surveil, charge, and try citizens.
For six years, we have witnessed the politicization of these agencies and the abuse of their power that has disregarded the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal treatment under the law. From the Russia hoax to Hunter Biden’s laptop, Hillary’s rogue server to the January 6 political prisoners, the FBI has brazenly used those powers to benefit one political party at the expense of the other. This violation of the bedrock principle of equality before the law has brought us closer to tyranny.
Moreover, the House Judiciary Committee has already done much of the investigative work in their 1050-page report “FBI Whistleblowers: What Their Disclosures Indicate about the Politicization of the FBI and the Department of Justice,” which blames the political corruption of agency chiefs Christopher Wray and Merrick Garland.
The report’s Executive Summary, for example, writes that the FBI leadership “is artificially inflating statistics about domestic violent extremism,” and “pressuring line agents to reclassify cases as domestic violent extremism,” thus “misrepresenting the scale of domestic violent extremism nationwide” by “categorizing January 6th-related investigations as organic cases stemming from local field offices, instead of all related to one single incident.”
Similarly, Biden, at the behest of the National School Board Association, suggested the FBI used “the Patriot Act against American parents,” and then, at the direction of DOJ chief Merrick Garland, had “the FBI Counterterrorism Division set up a special ‘threat tag’ to track school board-related cases.” The FBI also “had abused its foreign intelligence authority to spy on American citizens, including people associated” with Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. And the FBI “is clearing the Bureau of employees who dissent from its woke leftist agenda,” and “actively seeking to ‘purge’ FBI employees holding conservative views.” As a result of this illegal use of the agency, the ‘“criminal side’” of the FBI is being ‘“dragg[ed] down,’” resulting in resources being ‘“pulled away’” from ‘“real law enforcement duties’” like child sexual abuse.
These are just a small sample of Christopher Wray’s and Merrick Garland’s politicization of their agencies and violations of their oaths to uphold the Constitution. And the reason is clear:
To manufacture a “crisis” that the Biden administration is not letting “go to waste,” in order to expand its un-Constitutional assaults on the Dems’ political enemies.
The gravity and danger of this corruption cannot stand. If there is a Republican House and Senate, or even just the House, public hearings must be held, with subpoenas issued and Wray and Garland forced to testify under oath, or be prosecuted if they refuse, and charged if they commit perjury. And these hearings should be just the beginning of holding accountable those who politicize their public office.
For that road ends in tyranny: “arbitrary power,” as Aristotle wrote, “which is responsible to no one, and governs all alike, whether equals or betters, with a view to its own advantage, not to that of its subjects, and therefore against their will. No free man willingly endures such a government.”
The corruption of government agencies is a textbook illustration of an assault on our freedoms. We need our new House of Representatives and Senate to show that they ßare worthy representatives of free men.