In today’s toxic environment found inside “the swamp,” I am often reminded of the old saw about evil flourishing when good people do nothing. I consider this a truism, an absolute, a defined value that is not zero. Unfortunately, I have had the opportunity to see this phenomenon up close and personal.
As the Mueller investigation trundles along with the narrative unraveling at a shocking pace, one would think that sooner or later, the Congress would get fed up and would call a halt to this travesty. This investigation has cost the American people millions of dollars and individual citizens millions in legal fees and severe damage to personal reputations. What is becoming more apparent with each passing day is that a handful of very powerful people in the last administration (some of whom made it into the Trump administration) have perpetrated the greatest political scandal in American history. Their names are known and their crimes are obvious, but to date, not a single criminal charge has been levied against any of them. Innocent Americans have been ruined by their actions yet Congress, and in particular the United States Senate, has done nothing to pursue justice for America. This is so disappointing.
In the 18 months that I spent working on the Presidential transition and in the Trump administration, my greatest disappointment was in my own Republican party. As we tried to staff up the various departments and agencies, we continually came in contact with those who were late arrivers at the Trump bandwagon. To that end, far too many Never Trumpers and those who were Machiavellian in method were able to sneak through and ended up populating the key positions within the administration. Even within the White House, one would have a hard time finding anyone who was with the President from the start. In Congress, the problem is even worse.
Historically, the House of Representatives has held many factions. Certainly, there is a great chasm between the Republicans and Democrats, but even within caucuses, there are sharp divides. Though the Democrats are showing the strains of disagreement on ideology, those divides are more pronounced on the Republican side.
Among the elected Republicans in the House, the Freedom Caucus, those staunch movement conservatives who try to hold the line based on conservative principles, are severely outnumbered. It is very difficult for a strong-willed and articulate conservative to get elected, and once elected, it is extremely difficult to get anything done. There is always more money going to establishment types, as conservatives tend to frighten the moderates who truly do not believe in small government or fiscal responsibility. This strong plurality of establishment Republicans is far too interested in being liked than they are in governing. This group is beholding to Big Business and countless other special interests and is scared to death of the media. Further, this is exactly the segment of Congress that will not lift a hand to help the President, thus the pernicious, corroding and corrupt legacy of the progressive movement is allowed to quietly sustain itself. The Senate is far worse.
Perhaps the character of the Senate dictates a more convivial approach to legislative affairs, but I think it has more to do with the fact that once elected, a Senator is essentially untouchable. They can do whatever they want and very few people will ever try to blow the whistle on them. Just look at how many Senators claim a home state and who seldom, if ever, actually live there. When it comes to supporting the President’s agenda, the water is even murkier.
There is ample evidence to support the notion that many Republican senators do not support the President. Look at how many get wobbly on tough nomination and confirmation issues. Look at how many proclaim loyalty and support but campaign and fundraise as, or with, Never Trumpers. Look at how many are quick to criticize the President and his administration yet offer no alternative solutions. Many of these phonies want to be in the picture with the President, but they do not want him campaigning for them. Honestly, sometimes I think the Republicans would rather be in the minority in the Senate. That way they could do nothing, feign moral outrage, raise loads of money and get re-elected like clockwork. That’s a really good gig.
Thus, we circle back to the beginning. If it is true that evil flourishes when good people do nothing, what happens when bad people are in charge? The documented wrongdoing of very powerful people is being laid bare for the entire world to see and not a single utterance has been forthcoming from the Upper Chamber. Does that mean that bad people populate the Senate? If actions speak louder than words, then drawing conclusions based on observed behavior might lead one to some very chilling outcomes.