A petty power play.
There is a growing sense throughout the federal government that Republicans will twist and manipulate any and all government function until it serves Republican needs in whatever function needed. We see it in immigration services, the Justice Department, the White House ignoring subpoenas, Trump refusing to turn over taxes or the Senate refusing to hear evidence, Republicans are finished with normal government that they find inconvenient.
Thus it is that Devin Nunes and his fellow Republicans are refusing to even sit with the intelligence committee led by Adam Schiff to hold hearings on the use of artificial intelligence in national security, a completely non-partisan but critical topic. Nunes and his fellow Republicans won’t show up because they don’t want to talk about artificial intelligence. Nunes and Republicans only want to discuss FISA abuse and the roots of the Russian “conspiracy” theory:
Short and simple, the Republican minority refuses to “play” until they get what they want, when they want it: Per Rawstory
“Until the Committee prioritizes oversight activities related to urgent and critical concerns, Republican Members cannot support distractions from our core responsibilities,” the Republican minority threatened in a letter . Apparently convinced that “emerging technology and national security” are “distractions” rather than “urgent and critical concerns.”
Even more important is the shocking means by which the Republicans are going about their protest. As is typical of Republicans post-impeachment, laws, rules and decorum are out the window, a quaint notion of old. Republicans fully believe they are entitled to run the federal government how they want, taking up what they want, and acting how they want, and fck the law – and you, too, by the way.
Citing concerns about FBI abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), Republicans complained that committee chair Adam Schiff, D-Calif., had not prioritized a review into the origins of the Russia investigation. Republicans were not known for fussing over FISA warrants in the aftermath of 9/11, but now point to the Justice Department inspector general’s report that found the bureau’s warrant applications against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page contained “significant errors and omissions.”
Oh, blow me.
This is nothing more than wanting to stuff the airwaves with Nunes rants about how unfair it all was that the Trump campaign and all its criminals, those surely about to be pardoned. An 8th grader can see that the goal is to clear the field for further Russian interference in electing Donald Trump in 2020.
Because Republicans are in the minority and cannot force the traditional agenda, they simply refuse to play and act like victims. They do not care about the rank hypocrisy, that they brought us Benghazi, BENGHAZI, BEHGHAZI!! Which makes them look like asses. No, that doesn’t matter. When Republicans held the majority, they did not once allow the Democratic minority set the agenda matter. They are following the lead from the White House, where nothing matters anymore except that Republicans are going to do what they want, and no law or tradition will stop them.
Coincidentally, Nunes’ ramped-up antics come after the Intelligence Committee’s final report  on Trump’s withholding of U.S. aid to Ukraine in an effort to force a formal investigation into a would-be political rival. That report included phone records that indicated Nunes, as a member of Trump’s transition team after the 2016 election, had been in touch with Lev Parnas, the indicted Florida businessman who assisted Rudy Giuliani in his dirt-digging ….
….“We hope this Committee can move past political investigations and publicity stunts and get back to the important work we traditionally have undertaken on a bipartisan basis,” Nunes and his Republican colleagues concluded in their letter, publicly announcing plans to “boycott” their own positions of oversight. It was “concerning,” GOP members wrote, that Schiff prioritized “publicity events rather than the more productive work that occurs in the Committee’s classified spaces.”
In other words, the Republicans demand that the Intelligence committee focuses upon the conspiracy that Nunes prefers as retribution for the focus upon the abuses that outed Nunes as nothing more than an extension of the Trump administration. It takes some real stones for Nunes to sit there and criticize Schiff and the Democrats who did root out intelligence that demonstrated – to every neutral observer, that Trump did extort the Ukraine in one of the most corrupt acts in the nation’s history, as even attested to by many Republican senators.
So, like Republicans throughout government, Nunes and his committee feel unchained to break all precedent, laws and norms to get their way, to rule with an iron fist, and do Trump’s bidding.
This is just the start of what promises to be the “vengeance period” in which neither laws nor decorum apply anymore. The only thing at issue now is Republican push for power without fear of consequence.
This is life under the new Republican dictatorship. When they don’t get what they want, they refuse to participate, which is better than what’s happening elsewhere. In other branches, Republicans simply do what they want, consequences be damned. In their belief, the only legitimate government is Republican government. It is not unusual for dictatorships to come around to this point.
Terrifying, and it will get worse.
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