House Snipe-Hunter in Chief Jason Chaffetz wasted countless amounts of taxpayer-provided time and money generating pseudo-scandals out of nothing, and vowed to continue to do so if Clinton won. His conduct perfectly reflected the Clinton Rules: i.e. “We know the Clintons are guilty; the only question is what are they guilty of and when will we find the evidence?” But surely this is about the Checks and Balances and…sorry, I can’t go on:
Of course, Republicans could have left it at that. But Jason Chaffetz, the head of the House Oversight Committee, has decided that not only are blatant ethics and constitutional violations now OK but also that criticizing blatant ethics and constitutional violations is not OK.
On Thursday, Chaffetz opted to go full Salem on the nonpartisan Office of Government Ethics, attacking Shaub for having done his job. The Republican threatened to subpoena Shaub if he refuses to participate in an official transcribed behind-closed doors interview. The calculus here seems to be that if nobody sees this crooked behavior by supposed ethics guardians like Chaffetz, then it didn’t happen.
OGE, set up post-Watergate, is nonpartisan and advises executive branch officials on avoiding conflicts. Shaub’s five-year term expires in January 2018.
Chaffetz demanded in a letter that he appear before lawmakers in the aforementioned closed-door, transcribed interview, to answer questions in a deposition-style setting. Richard Painter, who served as the ethics lawyer for George W. Bush, told the New York Times that this was “political retaliation” by Republicans against nonpartisan ethics officers for doing their basic duty.
Chaffetz is, needless to say, a risible hack. He would be an cartoonishly overbroad villain by the standards of House of Cards. And yet, the punchline is that he essentially dictated coverage of the Clinton campaign. And with the help of the ghost of the slave power, one of his pseudo-scandals ended up putting Trump in the White House, where Chaffetz can now ignore his unprecedented corruption and unfitness for office. Just superb work.
Incidentally, Chaffetz is also the perfect representative of another transparently obvious scam that the media eagerly fell for: #NeverTrump. Refuse to endorse Trump when he looks certain to lose, reap the rewards for your Great Integritude, and then quietly endorse Trump the second he has any apparent chance of winning. And, now, Chaffetz will not only allow Trump to do whatever he wants as long as he gets to kill people in exchange for upper-class tax cuts, he will try to silence people who believe the House should make some effort to fulfill its constitutional role.
There should be a lesson about refusing to take Our Benevolent Republican Daddies seriously, but instead I’m guessing we’re going to get another round the million of Paul Ryan, Impressive Policy Wonk Who Sincerely Cares About the Poor People He Wants To Take Health Care and Food From instead. Ooooh, look over there, Hillary sent some emails!