Don’t Vote for People who Think You’re Stupid

Can you BELIEVE it? Shifty Schiff is ABUSING his chairmanship and REFUSING to allow DULY ELECTED Members of Congress to ask questions, all because they are REPUBLICANS! Aren’t you OUTRAGED?!

(Again with the “duly elected.” Lord, give me patience.)

Watch the clip if you’d like to see a textbook example of a publicity stunt. If you don’t want to watch it, I’ll briefly explain: Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee, tries to yield to (give speaking time to) Elise Stefanik, a Republican Congresswoman from New York. Adam Schiff, the Democrat Committee Chairman, gavels her down and tells her she’s not recognized (doesn’t allow her to speak.) Stefanik snaps that this is the fifth time Schiff has interrupted duly elected Members of Congress, and Nunes expresses disbelief: “You’re gagging the young lady from New York?”

To the average American, and especially the average Republican, it looks like that’s what’s happening. Schiff is a big old meany. A evil, misogynistic, Demonrat meany.

Nunes and Stefanik knew that’s how it would look.

They also know the rules. The House passed the rules for how this impeachment process would be run two weeks ago. Everything Congress does is run by rules. According to the rules that were just voted on and approved, Nunes gets 45 minutes straight of questioning time. He can use those minutes himself, or he can yield them to minority staff counsel (the GOP staff attorney, Stephen Castor.) He cannot yield any of those 45 minutes to other representatives. It’s against the rules. After each side’s 45 minutes, each sitting member then gets 5 minutes of questioning time. That’s how it works.

Nunes and Stefanik know this. They’re not stupid; they’re not ignorant; they didn’t forget. They knew exactly how that little scene would play out, and that’s why they did it. So that Elise Stefanik could play victim, so she could rack up brownie points with Trump’s base, so they could make Adam Schiff out to be a villain. They know they can count on Fox News to back up their version (which it obediently did, splashing “GAGGING THE GENTLEWOMAN” across its website.) And they know they can count on the majority of Republicans to credulously believe everything they say.

And of course, Elise Stefanik knows she can turn this manufactured outrage into sweet, sweet campaign cash.

Here’s Rep. Stefanik questioning the witness at the same hearing she’s telling her constituents that Adam Schiff flat out REFUSED to allow her to ask questions in because she’s a Republican:

My Republican friends, they are lying to you. They are manipulating you. They are counting on you to be gullible and ignorant. It’s condescending and offensive.

But you don’t have to put up with it. You don’t have to allow yourself to be manipulated. We can demand better from our leaders. We can demand better leaders.

Don’t vote for people who lie to you. Don’t vote for people who think you’re stupid.

7 thoughts on “Don’t Vote for People who Think You’re Stupid

  1. As your audience reads this, I’m guessing the only one they will conclude is a big meany is you. All because you told the truth.

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    1. I knew when I started this blog that I’d make some folks angry. That’s not my goal, but I’m sure it’s a side effect. It can’t be helped, though. I’m going to keep calling it like I see it.

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  2. You make it appear as if the Republicans had a say in the “rules” that were voted in for this charade of a hearing. Why were special rules instituted for this impeachment process? What is wrong with the normal operating rules? Are the Republicans grandstanding within this artificial environment? Absolutely, but only a fraction of the grandstanding already in play by the Democrats. Should the Republicans just lie down and take it? Absolutely not! I will support every Republican who uses every possible tactic to point out the inappropriate nature of this wasteful circus.

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    1. Hi, John. Thanks for reading. There aren’t really “normal operating rules” for impeachment proceedings conducted by Congressional committees (as opposed to outside special prosecutors, as with Clinton and Nixon) because it hasn’t happened in recent history. And yes, House Republicans are in the minority, and yes, they’ll have to abide by the rules that were passed by the majority. This is not unusual in Congress. I have to disagree with your take that these proceedings are “artificial,” “wasteful,” or a “circus.” Impeachment is a Constitutional process, and an investigation is warranted when there’s evidence of a President abusing the power of his office. I say this as a person who has voted Republican my entire life—right up until 2016.

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  3. Thank you for taking time to respond. Here are some of my concerns with this entire process and why I find it hard to take it seriously. 1. There are first of all no actual witnesses of any wrongdoing. All of the witnesses so far have acknowledged that they have no first hand evidence. 2. There is no clear statement of what the crime is, although if you pin them down you can get a changing response (from quid pro quo, to extortion, to bribery). 3. An impeachable crime should be evident to all observers so there should be some level of bi-partisanship, which there is not. Perhaps all the Republicans are closing their eyes for the party, but I doubt that all of them would be willing to make a significant sacrifice for the party. When only one party believes there is an issue, then the issue is that that party isn’t getting what they want. 4. The witness list is tightly controlled by the Democrats with no opportunity for the Republicans to bring a counter witness – Schiff’s rules. Besides being patently unjust, this forces the actual trial to be played out in the media because the hearing doesn’t allow for open discussion or differing views. 5. The accuser is not appearing in the proceedings. For some reason they feel that an anonymous whistle blower has rights that exceed the right to face your accuser (check the bill of rights). This is being done while they say we have a constitutional crisis.
    With all of the other issues around this process, I am certainly not going to hold the Republicans accountable to a set of rules that was imposed on them, and is patently one-sided. I would love to have the discussion with you on why you parted with Republicans, but I don’t think that is germane to this specific discussion. I did appreciate your article as I felt in a normal situation that you brought out a very good point; but these are anything but normal situations.

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