Republicans Show Contempt For Ethics; Trump Plays The Press

Among the first actions by the House Republicans were rules changes to reduce the power of the Office of Congressional Ethics, and then reversing course. The bad news is that it highlighted their priorities. The good news is that it did show that Republican House members are susceptible to pressure. The media does tend to concentrate more on ethics than policy. An action such as this was bound to receive more scrutiny than actions such as destroying Medicare as we know it, or reducing health coverage for those who have received coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

The impact of the adverse media coverage was helped by many voters taking this seriously. Google searches for “who is my representative” surged. Republican members of Congress were flooded with phone calls.

Donald Trump also played this well when he tweeted on the subject. If you look at the headlines alone, it appears that Donald Trump protested and the Republicans backed down. He called the Office of Congressional Ethics “unfair,” and protested more on the timing of the action than the actual rules changing. It doesn’t appear that he would object to reversing course on the principle of “draining the swamp” as long as they acted to (in his view) making America great first. Of course this doesn’t make very much sense as setting the rules for the upcoming Congress is among the first matters handled.


  1. 1
    Mike Hatcher says:

    I think people on both sides of the aisle will like some of the things Trump does, and they will dislike many of the things he does. However, the overall theme of his actions has been, and will be what you said in your last sentence: "…doesn’t make very much sense..".

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    Ron Chusid says:

    Much of the problem comes from Trump’s lack of knowledge–in this case not knowing that setting the rules is the first order of business.

    Trump’s lack of knowledge is responsible for many of Trump’s off the wall statements. Trying to be partially optimistic in the face of what will probably be a bad situation, maybe not coming from government will result in him looking outside the box and coming up with some solutions which have not been tried by the insiders. Whether they will be good or bad solutions is a big question.

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