ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "Congress" Category

Playing The Victim Card

[ Posted Wednesday, October 5th, 2022 – 15:38 UTC ]

The Republican Party has gone through a number of complete 180-degree ideological turns in the past few years (since Donald Trump's hostile takeover bid), but one of the most shameless is how they have now perfected a tactic they used to roundly criticize Democrats for using: "Playing the victim card." A few decades back, when marginalized groups started demanding real political power (or even just "a seat at the table"), Republicans would heap scorn on them for "playing the victim card." To them, this meant these marginalized groups were trading on the injustices they had suffered throughout history to get favored status that would dilute the power of straight White males. They rarely came out and admitted it in such stark terms, but that was at the heart of it. By their rights, these marginalized people should have just pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and achieved the American dream and power without any help or consideration from society at large. As far as Republicans were concerned, playing the victim card was a bad and weak and shameful thing to do.

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Friday Talking Points -- The Calm After The Storm

[ Posted Friday, September 30th, 2022 – 17:00 UTC ]

We've long thought that America is at her best when disaster strikes. We've thought this since the massive 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, in fact, which we rode out in San Francisco. And we saw firsthand that when life is disrupted, it is disrupted equally. Everyone is affected, so everyone puts aside all their differences and just pitches in to help in the immediate aftermath. Maybe this is a rosy-tinted view, but it still holds mostly true.

Case in point is Hurricane Ian, which just devastated Florida and seems on its way to devastate the Carolinas next. Ian has been one of the biggest hurricanes in American history already (fifth-largest, from one news report) and we haven't even begun to comprehend the scope of the damage or how long it will take to recover from it. The damage isn't even over yet, and most of the East Coast will at least get some heavy rains before Ian disintegrates.

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Joe Manchin Gets His Comeuppance

[ Posted Wednesday, September 28th, 2022 – 15:37 UTC ]

A U.S. senator just got his comeuppance this week, and it really couldn't have happened to a more deserving guy. Senator Joe Manchin was forced to pull his pet bill (that would have greenlighted a pipeline in West Virginia), due to lack of bipartisan support. Because he backed down, the government now appears to be in no danger of shutting down this Friday. Both the Senate and the House appear to be on a glide path to passing a short-term budget deal that will kick the "government shutdown" can down the road to mid-December, at the end of the lame-duck Congress. So all around, it's good news: the government will continue to be funded, and Joe Manchin has now gotten a taste of his own medicine.

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Questions The January 6th Committee Has Left Unanswered

[ Posted Tuesday, September 27th, 2022 – 15:01 UTC ]

Overall, two big things have struck me about the committee's public presentations: how tightly organized they are, providing "good television" (which is not just rare but unheard-of for congressional committees); and how disorganized the scheduling has always been. Most of the hearings have not been announced with much lead time (one was thrown together in a single day), and confusion reigns over what each hearing will consist of.

Perhaps this is all meant to tease the public -- "Tune in, or you might miss a big surprise!" That could be. Or perhaps it is just the committee's internal wrangling -- they reportedly have a hard problem reaching consensus on this stuff, so you get conflicting reports ahead of time as to what to expect next. That could be, too.

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From The Archives -- R.I.P., R.G.B.

[ Posted Monday, September 26th, 2022 – 17:40 UTC ]

Program Note: Sorry for the lack of a new column today, but I had family visiting and therefore was away from politics for the day. I went looking for a column to run again today and came across this, from a little more than two years ago today. Thankfully the worst of my predictions didn't happen, but things sure turned out a lot worse than the rosiest of my projections. In any case, it's already been a long two years and we're going to have to put up with this situation for a long time to come as well, so here's a look at what started it all.

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Friday Talking Points -- Trump's "Secret Telepathic Unilateral Preemptive Irreversible Declassification" Defense

[ Posted Friday, September 23rd, 2022 – 17:26 UTC ]

We do try to avoid it in general, but this week it is impossible not to lead our news wrap-up with the ongoing Donald Trump Follies. Spoiler alert: it wasn't a very good week in Trumpland.

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Which Hunt?

[ Posted Wednesday, September 21st, 2022 – 15:44 UTC ]

Today Letitia James, the attorney general of New York, announced a civil case against Donald Trump, three of his children, and the Trump Organization. This stems from a long investigation into fraud committed by the company, mainly tax fraud and bank fraud. It is the first actual legal case against Trump that has been announced, and his reaction was entirely predictable -- calling the whole thing a "witch hunt." But this isn't the only legal problem Trump faces, even if it was the first out of the gate. Trump could soon be looking at criminal charges in more than one jurisdiction and for more than one crime. So the real question is which hunt has the best chance of succeeding?

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The Lame Duck Will Be Busy

[ Posted Monday, September 19th, 2022 – 14:34 UTC ]

The lame-duck Congress, which will take place from just after the midterm election to the end of the calendar year, is shaping up to be a rather busy one. This isn't too unusual, since punting things to the lame-duck period is always a tempting option for politicians worried about their re-election. But this year's lame duck might be more significant than most, because of what is being teed up for it. They'll only have two months to act on all of it, minus all the breaks they'll take for the November and December holidays. And it looks like they'll have a lot to get done.

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Friday Talking Points -- Ukraine, Trains, And Lindsey Graham

[ Posted Friday, September 16th, 2022 – 17:13 UTC ]

We fully admit that headline isn't really close enough to the original to trip off the tongue very well. But we're in an optimistically cheerful mood, so we're not going to change it.

These were really the three big political stories of the week. Last weekend saw the culmination of an incredible performance by the Ukrainian military. Within a week, they had retaken over 2,000 square miles of their country, as the Russian invading forces mostly just fled. That is beyond impressive, and may prove to be a real turning point in the whole war.

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Crisis Averted As Biden Shows Leadership

[ Posted Thursday, September 15th, 2022 – 15:00 UTC ]

President Joe Biden has averted a major crisis by getting the freight rail carriers to agree to a compromise with their Union workers. Details of the compromise are still slowly trickling out, but the big achievement was getting the railroad companies to allow workers to schedule doctors' visits without being penalized for taking time off (unpaid time, mind you). Biden was reported to have been angry that the rail companies hadn't budged an inch on the time-off policy, so this is a clear victory not just for the workers but also for Biden and his team.

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