Former Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) lost her re-election bid in the 2018 midterms as a Democrat in a very red, Trump-dominated state. Since then, she has become a valuable voice on MSNBC, and on Morning Joe in particular. Senator McCaskill did not disappoint on Wednesday morning, as the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump continued. Specifically, McCaskill discussed the sycophancy of the Congressional Republicans who are nonstop Trump defenders. She commented on how the top Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, which is currently conducting the live interviews to obtain testimony of sworn witnesses in the inquiry. Sen. McCaskill said of those who left:
“And they are talking to the White House, I guarantee you right now, trying to figure out a path forward. And so, we may not gavel in for a while because it will be very difficult for Schiff to gavel in until the Minority shows up.”
After this statement, Senator McCaskill turned her attention to the infamous Ranking Member and former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee when the House of Representatives was under Republican control, Devin Nunes. She said:
“They’ve had their conversation with the White House, and they’ve got their marching orders. Let’s see how they execute them.”
And this is the problem. Per the Constitution, Congress – meaning the 435 members of the House of Representatives and the 100 members of the United States Senate – is supposed to be a co-equal branch of the government. Obviously, political considerations mean that a Congressional body being controlled by the President’s own party will mean that there is a more friendly “check” on that President, and a less friendly “check” if the opposite party is in control. However, there should never be a situation of a Congressional body being controlled by the White House, the President himself, or other members or entities in the President’s administration. These people need to do their jobs. This is a legitimate inquiry into abuse of power, corruption, and wrongdoing on the part of this President and others in his administration.
The reason there is such a carefully constructed Constitution built upon decentralized power is because the Founders foresaw the presidency falling to a corrupt man who had nothing but his own interests in mind. The fact that Donald Trump happened means that they were astute and forward-thinking. They understood the stakes. However, the Constitution is only as strong as those charged with executing its directives, and unfortunately, right now, the GOP is doing just as Senator McCaskill says – they are taking their orders from the White House.
Featured image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr
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