Democrats have the Senate, the House of Representatives and the White House. At this point in the Biden presidency, some would say it has been a squandered opportunity for the Democratic Party. But that is a discussion for another time.
One thing Democrats have done on the House side of Capitol Hill is empower a committee tasked with investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.
At this point in their investigation, it is probably not a reach to say the Democrats on the committee have used the committee’s investigatory power in politically self-serving ways.
Meanwhile, Republicans are a solid favorite to take back power in the 2022 midterm elections, and on the table for some GOP voters is whether or not Republicans will return the favor with their investigations beginning in 2023.
Our member of the House for Southwest Alabama hopes that is not the case. U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl argued revenge tactics would be counterproductive during an appearance on Sean Sullivan’s highly rated FM Talk 106.5 radio show earlier this week.
“I’m not saying ignore it, but that’s one of my biggest fears in taking over in 2022 — we quote, unquote, ‘want to get even,’” Carl said. “I’ve never been one to want to get even. I think that is a waste of energy and a waste of time. We need to move forward. This country needs to move forward. We need to come up with some positive things to get us on some stable ground.
“Here in Mobile, there are so many things we need to do versus spend all of my efforts trying to get even,” he continued. “Getting even is for suckers. I’ve never been one to understand getting even because life has a way of getting even with people.”
He is not wrong. However, is a style of politics devoid of the nasty side of human emotion a winning formula?
Such a formula would be if perhaps all parties involved in American politics adhered to some rule that forbids demagoguery.
Unfortunately for Carl, Democrats and many of his fellow Republicans are unwilling to abide by that rule.
A lot of the rhetoric in 2020 was about holding Donald Trump accountable. The same goes for the rhetoric in 2016 that called for Hillary Clinton to be held accountable.
The dirty little secret is that rarely are these targets ever held accountable. Aren’t we still awaiting Trey Gowdy’s definitive Benghazi bombshell about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama? The same scenario is likely of this Jan. 6 committee.
Carl is right about the counterproductivity, but only because historically, select special whatever committees are time squandered.
The late Charles Krauthammer once wrote a column about why politics was essential for any civilization. Nothing else is possible without some mechanism to work toward an agreed-upon civil society.
“Politics is the moat, the walls, beyond which lie the barbarians,” Krauthammer wrote. “Fail to keep them at bay, and everything burns.”
That’s true of politics in the 2020s United States of America. Despite what you may see about the Jan. 6 riots or any other BLM riot/protests throughout the country, Americans live mostly peaceful lives and that is, in part, due to a solid political structure that allows us to create rules and laws to live by.
However, politics has also taken on being a pathway to wealth and power, sometimes at the expense of the stated purpose to keep a civil society intact.
You have two factions, Democrats and Republicans, and between them, blurred lines differentiating the two. No one can quite define where one ends and the other begins, beyond a self-declaration.
Sometimes we have this naïve view that the two parties are split by ideology, but that is not always the case. They are just vehicles to power that are not necessarily wedded to ideological orthodoxy.
If one side declares the ends justify the means, then a moral equivalency is created. A system where there are two sets of rules for both of the participants is not sustainable. It will just create favorable circumstances for one party and ultimately, the two-party system of American politics becomes a single-party system.
What most of us may agree to as “right” may not be likely or even possible under a system made up of flawed human beings.
While we ponder these deep moral and philosophical questions about politics, there are elections to win.
Those who chant “Lock her up,” “Impeach 45” and “Let’s go, Brandon” are all here to stay. Those are the people that vote in party primaries. Perhaps they care a little too much.
If you want to change things for the better, you have to be in power. If you want to be in power, you have to win elections. The question is, can you win meaningful elections without catering to the hyper-emotional elements in your party?
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