2017 Proved The GOP Gave Up On Checks & Balances

We’ve seen it time and again throughout 2017: Bob Corker gives a riveting interview condemning Trump and Trumpism; Jeff Flake gives a speech on the Senate Floor that pundits claim will go down in the history books; Lindsay Graham goes on the Sunday shows and calls Trump a “kook” and unfit for office.

But what happens when the cameras aren’t rolling? FiveThirtyEight has Jeff Flake voting with Trump 90% of the time, Corker 85%, and Graham 89%.

Are they really acting as the checks and balances the Founders and Framers of the Constitution envisioned? Short answer: No. They’re not.

Take it from one of the Founders, James Madison, in Federalist No. 51:

“We see it particularly displayed in all the subordinate distributions of power, where the constant aim is to divide and arrange the several offices in such a manner as that each may be a check on the other that the private interest of every individual may be a sentinel over the public rights.” – James Madison, 1788

 

Basically, our system was designed for this precise moment in time. Just in case someone wanted to further their own private interests, the other branches of government could hold them accountable. This isn’t happening by the folks in the legislative branch via their votes, and they’re hardly doing it in their public statements.

Lindsay Graham went from being an ardent critic to suddenly promoting Trump golf courses.

How’d that happen? Could it have something to do with him accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Russian oligarch? Or maybe it was as a result of his emails being hacked? Both happened. Both are true. But nobody will tell you about it.

Devin Nunes, with the assumed go-ahead from Paul Ryan, continually tries to derail the House Intelligence Operations. Aided by Infowars, Breitbart, Fox News, and conservative institutions like Judicial Watch, they’re engaging in a coordinated smear campaign against the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

What about Paul Ryan and the House of Representatives? In a Bicameral legislature, the House has the unique ability to introduce articles of impeachment. In the Nixon Era, Republicans had a sense of morality. It seems that’s no longer the case.

What does this all show us? The GOP is saying loud and clear that they really couldn’t care less about the checks and balances our country was founded on. And it’ll be up to us, we the people, to put a check on them ourselves in 2018.

Nathan is the founder of Millennial Politics and a concerned citizen who hopes to inspire others to get involved in our democracy. He is on the Executive Committee of the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, and you can find him on Twitter @NathanHRubin.
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