TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Congress Deserves Failing Grade For Work Ethic And Motivation

Why would anyone want to serve in the Congress of the United States in the political climate of today?

Take North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven, for example. Unlike most high-ranking Republicans, he does not have the courage to denounce racism, bigotry, misogyny, sexism and other attributes of his party’s presidential nominee.

Back in the day, anyone who uttered the statements made by Donald J. Trump would have had no chance at gaining any support, save and except for a small radical minority. But then, back in the day, when North Dakota had Sens. Conrad and Dorgan, Hoeven could not have been elected.

At this point, hard-core GOP supporters will stop reading this … and that’s OK, because I’m directing my comments at “thinking individuals,” not them. By the way, I do find many of my GOP friends disagree with me, but unlike some of the rabid people on this planet, they don’t take it personally.

How is it we can pay Congress so much in salary, medical and retirement benefits that far exceed the income of most Americans — while, unlike the public work force, they don’t have to go to work to earn their pay?

Now, before you have a heart attack, I am referring to those like Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio, who campaigned for a year without showing up in the Senate most days and even missing his votes. Contrast his record with that of Sen. Bernie Sanders, who campaigned vigorously while showing up for work to earn his pay.

Congress spent millions on the Benghazi hearings in an attempt to smear Hillary Clinton. Three important things happened:

1. The CIA told both parties that U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, who chaired the panel, lied about and falsified the (classified) information he used to accuse Secretary Clinton of (allegedly) leaking the information and (allegedly) burning a spy in the process.

2. The family of Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed in the attack on the embassy in Libya, condemned the GOP for politicizing his death. They placed no blame on Clinton after looking at the total picture of what happened. If they were satisfied, what did Gowdy and company want to do other than assassinate Secretary Clinton’s character?

3. Absolutely nothing was uncovered by the Gowdy committee’s hatchet job. The taxpayers deserve a roughly $14 million refund.

Those D*mn Emails Again

Now that same Congress has grilled FBI Director James Comey — a man with impeccable credentials, a lifelong Republican, with a stature well beyond those who questioned him — about why he did not prosecute Hillary Clinton over the email servers she used while serving as secretary of state.

Time and time again, they tried to impugn his integrity … tried to imply he gave her special treatment … tried to suggest he was part of an FBI cover-up. It blew their minds when the director frankly and consistently answered their questions. He fully justified his actions and those of the FBI staff involved in the investigation.

It caused GOP hair to fall out when Director Comey said the final decision was not to prosecute, one in which he was joined by all those working within his department.

Comey had nothing to lose if he prosecuted. But being a man of character, he did not join in the political assassination attempt. He did his job and explained himself in a most commendable way.

Where else but in this broken Congress could we witness a man with such impeccable credentials be questioned in this manner?

Perhaps there should be a Committee to Investigate Committees. Or, should I say, there should be rules about what is appropriate subject matter for said groups.

Maybe they could instead act on the long list of federal judicial vacancies, as well as the vacancy on the Supreme Court. Maybe they might even work on the budget!

Maybe Congress should enact a rule requiring attendance and working five days a week, like the rest of personkind.

You know, a lot of folks correctly point out that Donald Trump is a lightning rod for bigotry and hate and mistrust. I was one of them initially — for that matter, I still am — but he has a lot of support for that kind of behavior in the Congress of the United States.

The political climate at the federal level — and in many states — is dangerous, to say the least. Hate groups flourish. The KKK is on the rise again. Too many people of color are being murdered — yes, I said murdered — by individuals in law enforcement who have no business in that profession.

We are so fortunate in this area that our law enforcement men and women are well-trained, intelligent and caring. They are truly here to “Preserve and Protect.” (Except in enforcing the fireworks laws …)

We have judges who know what their function is, prosecutors who know their jobs and defense attorneys who truly have no peers. But there are areas of this nation where that simply is not the case.

This election will have consequences far exceeding anything in recent presidential history. The GOP still has a chance to reclaim its roots by introducing an adult to defeat Trump at their convention, and they have many who could. But as long as there are cowards who follow the lead lemming right off the cliff, not only will Hillary Clinton win by huge margins, but the GOP will be lucky if it ever recovers.

When men like GOP presidential wannabe Paul Ryan don’t have the courage to slam Trump into the ground for the horrible things he says, their lack of leadership will surely destroy their party.

Ryan and Hoeven — no guts, no glory! Kasich, Romney … they are alternatives who could give Clinton a fight.

Mark my words: When the GOP endorses Trump, they will have elected Hillary Clinton president of these United States. And if Clinton picks Sen. Elizabeth Warren as a running mate, the GOP will find no one at all within its ranks to compete with that.

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