Here’s What Trump and the GOP Aren’t Telling You About the Reversal on Congressional Oversight

One of the bigger stories over the last couple of days centered around a rather shady move by House Republicans to strip away power from an independent watchdog group that monitored the behavior of members of Congress. It wasn’t just the move to strip away power from this group that angered a lot of people, but how they went about it. They used a secret, closed-door vote over a holiday weekend when they hoped nobody would notice.

Well, people did — and the backlash was swift. Even Donald Trump spoke out against the move:

Within hours, Republicans reversed course.

Instantly Trump was being praised as a “strong leader” who stood up against a rather sketchy move to eliminate independent congressional oversight, while many Americans saw this as a victory for those who had publicly expressed their anger over this extremely questionable move by House Republicans.

Sorry folks, but there’s absolutely nothing to celebrate here and Trump damn sure wasn’t any sort of “strong leader” who stood up against Republicans trying to make unethical behavior easier to get away with in Congress. Let’s not forget that, aside from being one of the most dishonest human beings on the planet, Trump’s still refused to release his tax returns. That’s rather shady and — dare I say — unethical.

The reason why Trump was upset over this move wasn’t because he opposed it, it’s because the optics of it were horrible. It looks really bad when one of the first things a new Congress does is hold a fairly secretive meeting during a holiday where a top priority was to gut an independent watchdog group that oversees the very people voting to get rid of that oversight.

Just look at what Trump said, “… as unfair as it may be” — “it” being the independent ethics watchdog. So it’s not as if Trump was taking some sort of a moral stand against members of Congress trying to make getting away with crooked behavior easier. This was Trump trying to make himself look good (what’s new, right?) by appearing to oppose this move, when the truth is Republicans are still going to gut the power this watchdog has.

What Republicans will likely do is wait a few months until a story that dominates the headlines for a few days rolls around, then they’ll once again target this group when they think nobody will notice.

But make no mistake about it, they will eventually get rid of independent oversight of congressional behavior. This reversal of course was nothing more than smoke and mirrors, an “optics move” for Donald Trump to make himself look better and Republicans to “save face” after miscalculating the backlash they’d receive following this extremely shady vote.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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