The Establishment Is Reasserting Itself in Return to Politics as Usual

The Establishment Is Reasserting Itself in Return to Politics as Usual

( – Apparently, the establishment didn’t get the memo in 2016 when America voted out the old way of doing business in Washington, DC. Career politicians refused to listen to the voters, buckled down, and fought the president at every turn. It’s nearing the end of President Donald Trump’s first term, and the members of the DC swamp establishment in the Democratic and Republican parties are feeling confident they can return to business as usual.

If one needs proof, just look at the defense spending bill and the omnibus/COVID-19 relief legislation passed on Monday, December 21. It says it all. In the spring of 2018, the president warned Congress that he would never again sign a bill loaded with wasteful spending chock full of liberal wishlists. The only reason Trump says he signed it that year was to help the military.

Now, Congress is acting defiantly and returning to politics as normal. In the process, they are praising bad legislation as a major achievement for the American people.

The Defense Bill

Every year, Congress passes the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Its purpose is to fund the military and national security for the US Department of Energy. However, this year, Congress went beyond the scope of the traditional purpose of the NDAA.

Three things in the bill propose major problems, giving rise to a potential veto. At the heart of each issue is transparency. Congress buried two controversial pieces of legislation that should stand on their own. However, Congress has a habit of combining issues to push through policies that have nothing to do with the stated purpose of a piece of legislation to push their agenda without critique or criticism.

So, what are the two controversial pieces?

  1. The legislation creates a commission to consider removing or changing the names of bases, symbols, displays, and monuments that honor Confederate military leaders during the Civil War.
  2. Congress wants to dictate troop levels overseas. However, the Constitution does not give them that authority. Constitutionally, that responsibility is given to the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. The 2021 NDAA would complicate Trump’s plan to withdraw soldiers from Afghanistan and Germany.

The third issue is one Trump should ask for legislation on independently. However, he wants to use the NDAA to repeal Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. That provision protects Big Tech from civil penalties when people post content on a social media platform. Congress withheld Trump’s request.

The Senate is expected to return between Christmas and New Year’s to override a veto if there is one.

Omnibus/COVID Relief Bill

Much of this bill is a direct slap in the face to President Trump and his voters. For example, in 2015, then-candidate Trump made immigration a central campaign issue. During the president’s four years in office, he worked tirelessly to dissuade people from coming across the southern border.

However, in the new bill, Congress authorized families of illegal immigrants to receive stimulus checks retroactive to April. If signed into law, this bill would give them $1,200 – $1,800 from the spring and the $600 authorized earlier in the week. How is this supposed to dissuade illegal immigration?

Republicans agreed to reduce greenhouse gases by authorizing a 15-year reduction of hydrofluorocarbons used in cars and air conditioners. This is a prelude to the Green New Deal.

Whatever happened to the concerns about the national debt? It’s been thrown out the window in Congress. America is well on its way to a $30 trillion deficit.

Unfortunately, there’s so much more.

Here is the worst part of the swamp in creating this bill – the leadership did it on their own, offering members of Congress only a few hours to read a 5,000-page bill, and forced them to vote up or down on it. No one read it. Not the politicians, media, or the public — they didn’t have time.

Establishment Tries to Regain Control

This is the way the swamp establishment loves to do business. It was the very reason Trump was elected in 2016. However, the establishment of both parties never liked Trump and wanted him to go away as soon as he was inaugurated. In their minds, he was a temporary nuisance to them.

These bills are loaded with pork, inflate the deficit, and do little to help American’s during a time of suffering caused by government actions during COVID-19. Yet, Republicans and Democrats are standing side-by-side celebrating these two bills. They are singing their own praises.

It’s the swamp establishment returning to its roots as it tries to put a stake in the Trump experiment.

Will it work?

We’ll know over the next four years one way or another.

Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst

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