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McCarthy is Right to Block Schiff and Swalwell for Intel Committee 

McCarthy is Right to Block Schiff and Swalwell for Intel Committee 

Actually, I have mixed feeling about the Speaker blocking opposition members from committees.  Traditionally, it has been the prerogative of the minority to pick its members.  Unfortunately, then Speaker Pelosi abused that tradition and cynically used her power to block two Republican members from her Select Committee supposedly “investigating” the January 6th Capitol Hill riot.

Pelosi doubled down on her effort to create a one-sided prosecutorial panel by breaking yet another tradition.  She used her power as Speaker to appoint two favored Republicans who would follow the Democrat script – who would be her useful idiots.  Of course, Pelosi had that opportunity because – in a moment of strategic stupidity – Minority Leader McCarthy refused to name any  Republicans to the Committee.

Pelosi has now established a new tradition.  The Speaker can block committee nominees offered up by the Minority Leader.  Had it not been for Pelosi’s cynical political action, I might have been inclined to have opposed McCarthy’s decision.  

I do believe, however, that McCarthy has better grounds for blocking Congressmen Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, both of California, from the Select Intelligence Committee than Pelosi had in rejecting Republican Congressmen Jim Banks of Indiana, and Jim Jordan, of Ohio, from the Select January 6th Select Committee.   Pelosi seemed concerned that they would be the most effective and articulate voices of opposition to the Democrat pre-judged narrative. 

At the time, an angry McCarthy called Pelosi’s action “an egregious abuse of power and will irreparably damage this institution.”  Pelosi’s action certainly damaged the comity of the institution and made her unprecedented action standard operating procedure.  In the final analysis, Pelosi undermined the credibility of her one-sided Select Committee and institutional a more acrimonious political atmosphere to the House.

And this was not the first time that Democrats led the fight to boot Republican members from Committees.  Pelosi led the fight that got Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green, and Congressman Paul Gosar booted from their committees for what they deemed provocative language – allegedly calling for violence against other members.  It was more a matter of interpretation – applying literalness to figurative speech.

McCarthy has also indicated a desire to remove Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee.  She has been consistently at odds with American foreign policy.  McCarthy’s rationale is that Omar’s highly anti-Semitic statements – and her support for the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) movement – made her unfit to deal with American foreign policy – including secret strategies.  

However, booting Ilhan is a much more difficult task since Foreign Affairs is a standing House Committee – which means it would take a vote of a majority of all House members to oust her from the Committee.  McCarthy can act unilaterally in terms of select committees.

Schiff earned his ouster by using his access to highly confidential information for partisan political purposes.  It is widely believed that he leaked selective information to the press to feed bogus accusations of Trump’s complicity in Russian election interference.  

He continuously proffered claims of Trump conspiring with the Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.  In fact, he lied when he said that he had seen the hard evidence  – but that he could not reveal the specifics because the “proof” was confidential.  His lie was exposed when Special Counsel Robert Mueller reported that “no American” was found to have conspired with Russia – and that included Trump.  That alone earned Schiff expulsion from the Intel Committee.

Swalwell’s problem was having a Chinese mistress who was a spy for Beijing.  That was an egregious lack of good judgment.  Given what we know about Chinese methods, Swalwell should have been more guarded.  It was one of those issues where the appearance is as bad as the reality.  Members of the Intelligence Committee should be above even an appearance of impropriety – and not be so easily suckered.  

McCarthy is not blocking Schiff and Swalwell without reasonable cause – especially in view of the new standard set by Pelosi.  It is not a matter of retribution.  Schiff and Swalwell fail to me the high standard we should expect from members of the Intelligence Committee.

Ilhan Omar?  I think McCarty should drop his opposition.  Yes, she seems to be at odds with American foreign policy, but having an opposition view is not justification for botting her.  A good Congress depends on the resolving of opposition views.  (Not like Pelosi’s January 6th Committee – in case you did not see the comparison.)

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

8 Comments

  1. Felrankvstetson

    Omar was booted five days ago. Three on a match, you win.

    Santos stepped down from all committees that McCarthy assigned him too cuz he has the right stuff unless he’s lying. Now he draws a paycheck for doing absolutely nothing. Living the lie. You win again.

  2. Darren

    Had Schiff done this as an attorney in a court of law, he would be disbarred!

  3. Randall

    They should be removed COMPLETELY from office! They should be barred from any public office!! To be honest they couldn’t be trusted even as garbage collectors.
    They’d be collecting themselves.
    If they arrest all the traitors they’ll have to build a more prisons, our government is riddled with them !!

  4. Mike f

    Larry, So good to see that we can always count on you-once a partisan hack, always a partisan hack. You pretend like there is an equivalence to Pelosi refusing to seat two flame throwers on the special committee to investigate trump. Neither Banks nor Gym Jordan could possibly delve into the issues around Trump in a pragmatic way, and, though you hate to admit it, that was what the committee was all about, and that is what their results were. Alternatively, both Schiff and Swalwell are intelligent men who work for the good of the country and never should have been removed from the House Intelligence committee, it was obviously tit for tat, and one of the things that McCarthy promised to do in order to get the votes for the speakership. However, one would never expect a hack like yourself to admit that. As for Omar, the vast majority of her comments are anti-Israel, not antisemitic. You, of course, have made it clear in the past that you do not understand the difference between those two concepts. While we have been allies of Israel for many years, and in the beginning that was warranted, they are no longer the “good guys” in the middle east. They are theoretically a democracy, but have been leaning fascist for years. Their settlements on the west bank are illegal, yet they continue to move settlers in those areas. The time to start to move away from Israel and be a true “middleman” in the middle-east is long past, and that is what Omar reflects. Of course, that is not what Republicans want, as there is a large block of votes that may not be happy to see the United States move in that direction, and as per usual, it is about the votes, not doing what is right…

    • Larry Horist

      Mike F … You bias is showing. Pelosi began abusing her power to invoke partisan punishments. She removed GOP members from all committees because she found their language offensive. Even if it was that has never been the basis for banish members elected by the people to do the work of the people. McCarthy only removed Schiff and Swalwell from the highly secretive Intel Committee because they posed a threat to the confidentiality of information. Schiff actually misused his position to make false claims and leak information. your devotion to political narratives is make you look stupid. But then I have never thought of you as very bright.

  5. Bemused Berserker

    Well, I agree with you on Swalwell and Schiff the Schitt, but disagree with you on Omar. Why, because she’s openly and unashamed Anti-Semite, who will not apologize for her comments. So,,, some GOP Representatives dis something to some people/person. They schittcanned the Somali Skank.
    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  6. frank stetson

    OMG, and I don’t drink….who was that Stetson?

    IMO, there are some salient differences here. I am glad that the Republicans opened the door to a no-holds barred partisan select committee selection process. And sure, we’ll take the credit just like the nuclear option we created. We were assholes then, this time it’s the Republicans. I guess filibuster will be next, who will nuke that one? Well, it’s neutered already, WTF.

    Imagine the day when the House only has one party on each select committee, won’t that be grand.

    I am a stanch believer in the Founder’s desire to make all this stuff as complex as possible allowing the minority to have the volume of a majority voice. Filibuster, getting your guys on-boarded to committees,, super majorities for the good stuff, —- all great ways for a minority to be heard.

    HOWEVER:
    Pelosi rejected caustic and obstructionist members for a SELECT committee, a committee with very narrow focus and very tight time frames. On top of that, McCarthy boycotted further assignees, it was his way or the highway with these two candidates. Additionally, politically, everyone knew it was only a matter of time, like 1/23, that the select committee would probably end. You have to imagine that Pelosi did not unilaterally cut these folks secretly without prior communication, that she must have called/talked to Kevin first. I am guessing it was his reaction that forced her unusual, but not unprecedented, action.

    Kevin publicly stated what he would do IF he became Speaker. He did it. He removed standing members from STANDING committees. That may be a first.

    As for Greene and Gosar getting the boot — WTF – they should have been expelled.

    Greene:
    Actively trafficking in racism
    Makes a number of anti-Semitic remarks
    Espouses and supports totally baseless conspiracy theories

    But the big one was her online comments encouraging violence against Democrat officials. That’s not spicey rhetoric, that’s way over the line for a House member.

    Questionable guilt says Larry? She admits doing it. MTG herself said: “”I was allowed to believe things that weren’t true, I would ask questions about them and talk about them and that is absolutely what I regret. If it weren’t for the Facebook post and comments that I liked in 2018, I wouldn’t be standing here today and you couldn’t point a finger and accuse me of anything wrong.” And then she went through her plethora of reluctant retractions.

    Gosar posted an animated video of him killing New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He never retracted, stepped back or apologized.

    Come on Man, where do you draw the line between free speech and yelling fire in the movie theater? Gosar had a sword, man. OK, it was anime, but to many, the virtual world is real. Personally advocating and depicting killing your competitor is just hijinks? Frisky rhetoric?

    Swalwell dated, got told she’s a spy, and immediately ceased; that’s his crime. And he served on the impeachment.

    Schiff has a number of accusations and allegations on a myriad of things, that’s his crime. And he served on the impeachment.

    Nope, these things are not the same but glad you lowered the bar even farther, keep up the good work.

  7. Ac

    Larry,
    The term “alleged” seems appropriate here. As it’s use is equally legitimate for your charges leveled at Democrats.
    What we have here are groundless allegations. In fact comparisons you make between Pelosi and McCarthy amounts to disrespecting a leadership pro’s ability doing the job and accomplishing results, then betting the farm on a long time wannabe who couldn’t lead a peewee football squad.
    Who, in.good faith, makes secret deals in exchange for votes to win the Leader’s job knowing making good on those deals would hamstring carrying out the Leader’s responsibility to the House and beyond that, the country .
    Allege as you may, positive accomplishments yield more return. The proof is in getting it done.
    McCarthy is beholden to 20 loose cannons on the Ship of State’s deck. McCarthy’s skills as Leader truly are alleged. While Pelosi delivered results.
    The right attacks those they can’t win against in the honest legal form.
    The right should at least appear like they know better.
    But, maybe that would be possible if Trump was not the roll model they and their Republican friends blindly worship.
    In the rear view mirror? An indictment is the key. That he will not be indicted is what Trump and his MAGA conspiracy theorists are betting on.

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