Cowering GOP Congress makes Dems proud
Hats off to Florida Republican Reps. Ron DeSantis, Matt Gaetz and nine of their GOP House colleagues who sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking for an investigation and prosecution of eight Trump protagonists and Clinton supporters.
This is especially timely since it is being reported today that the inspector general of the Department of Justice (DOJ) has sent a criminal referral of former FBI official Andrew McCabe to the U.S. Attorney's office in Washington, D.C.
In addition to McCabe, those targeted in the letter include former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former secretary of state and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and former FBI Director James B. Comey.
My question: Why did only 11 Republicans sign the letter? Where were the other 237 and especially the nearly 40 who are not running for reelection? What’s their excuse for not joining in the letter? What are they afraid of? They have nothing to lose. Once upon a time, blacks and whites thought that having a black mayor, police chief, or superintendent of schools would have an impact on reducing crime, raising black graduation rates, lowering black school suspension rates, and improving race relations.
Having a black, liberal Democratic president of the United States would of course bring an end to all of those problems.
History shows that all such thoughts were total fallacies — especially having a black president.
In a similar vein, Republicans and conservatives have argued that all the country needs to solve its problems is a Republican Congress with a Republican president.
So how much of a difference has it made that Republicans control the Congress and the White House in terms of policies? As to Congress — not much at all. We have seen that the GOP’s own DOJ has no respect for its own GOP Congress’s authority. Just this week, the DOJ missed the deadline and refused to provide key GOP Committee chairs copies of memos written by former FBI Director James B. Comey regarding discussions with President Trump. Playing these committees like a yoyo, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — who many consider to be a Special Counsel Robert Mueller clone — has sought an extension. Of course, they buckled. It’s the same attitude Obama’s DOJ and Attorney General Eric Holder had for the GOP Congress. Holder became the first cabinet member in history to be cited for contempt of Congress.
Will the GOP Congress declare its own attorney general, deputy attorney general and FBI director in contempt of Congress?
If you really look at the situation, one could argue that the deputy attorney general, and perhaps Trump’s FBI director, might be more comfortable with a Democratic Congress which would not seek any information which would shed a negative light on former Obama DOJ officials.
A Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. House and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. Senate would make sure any violations of law by Comey, Clinton, or Lynch would be buried and investigations into any crimes ended — with the full complicity and approval of their mainstream media allies.
As of this writing, the GOP’s own attorney general, his deputy and the FBI leadership are giving a huge middle finger to their own party’s Congress — with no consequences.
And what are the GOP congressional wimps doing about it? As of yet — nothing!
Do you think for one minute that a Democratic Congress would tolerate that disrespect for the oversight mandate by a Republican administration? The problem in Washington is that no one respects — or fears — the Republican Congress and its leadership. At least not all is lost. While most Republicans in the House and Senate act like cowering sheep to appease the "get Trump" Washington swamp, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. has stood up and said no to his GOP and Democratic antiTrump colleagues wanting to shield Special Counsel Mueller from being fired by Trump.
McConnell said such legislation, even if passed by a GOP controlled Judiciary Committee and chairman, would not get to the Senate floor.
A similar effort in the House is led by Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa. and, unfortunately, has the support of many of his fellow Republicans.
The question is whether Americans — Republicans in particular — should give the GOP another chance at leadership. Why have a GOP Congress that Democrats are proud of?
Clarence V. McKee is president of McKee Communications, Inc., a government, political, and media relations consulting firm in Florida. He held several positions in the Reagan administration as well as in the Reagan presidential campaigns. He is a former co-owner of WTVT-TV in Tampa and former president of the Florida Association of Broadcasters.
In case you missed it, a memorial to honor lynching victims has opened in Montgomery, Alabama. Kudos to Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), for his relentless pursuit of justice for black folk, and for bringing public attention to this important issue.
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice is gaining attention because of its in-yourface-impact from the weight (literally) of the depictions of the 4000 men and women whose lives were brutally taken between 1877-1950.
The victims’ names, sometimes those of whole families, are etched into 800 steel columns which hang suspended - like so many bodies- in the open air museum. The metal columns identify specific places where the tortures were committed against citizens of this nation; from every quarter where lynching incidents took place- across the South, and near-South.
The legacy of lynching is difficult to fathom. It remains one of the hardest historical facts to swallow about this country, facts relegated to obscure historical documents; accounts kept in old journals; hidden stories, swept under the proverbial rug of our consciousness.
So many families of the victims have been rendered silent by the sheer horror of the brutality visited upon them- unspeakable acts of public killings- often celebrated in open-air festival-like environments where children were brought to see and hear the murders of mostly men - a few women - and where adults took photos of themselves enjoying the spectacle of black bodies swinging from trees/gallows.
Often, lynching was treated as sport, or entertainment: post cards were made with images of the carnage, and sent through the US mail, and penned with upbeat notes to friends or relatives!
That is why the large public viewing of the memorial is so important: lynching was often a public event, to which folk were sometimes invited to picnic.
That such a terror was visited on so many, it remains stamped on the psyches of every black person. I believe that as a result, we have developed- or inherited- a natural hardwiring that warns us, in advance, of any/all threats to our persons.
Some of us are more keenly aware of this extra sense, than others.
In fact, I believe that much of our hyper-vigilance toward real/perceived threats to our bodies is a direct result of the cumulative terrors experienced during slave captures/sales, the brutality of the chattel slave system, and lynching, e.g., the black lives matter movement, systemic mistrust of police, near-universal over-protectiveness of our adolescent males, to name a few.