Let’s look to the future.
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Please light a candle: I want to search for an honest man.
Politicians generally are loathsome. Their ethics change to meet the situation.
Of course others are terrible, too.
Evangelical Christians told me in the late 1990s that character in a politician mattered. Bill Clinton had to be impeached.
Evangelical Christians told me in 2016 and 2020 that character in a politician didn’t make any difference at all. Donald Trump had to be elected.
I hope that was just the evangelicals speaking, and not God himself. If it was God himself, I might be out of luck in my search for an honest man.
Let’s look to the future: We’ve spent two years with Republicans insisting that legislative investigations of the executive branch are a joke. The investigations are all motivated by politics, Republicans should not participate, witnesses should ignore subpoenas.
Democrats, of course, said the reverse: Investigations are legitimate, everyone should participate, witnesses should naturally respect subpoenas.
Fast forward to the first week of January 2023, when Republicans take control of the House of Representatives. Republican investigations into the withdrawal from Afghanistan, conditions at the border, Hunter Biden, and who knows what else are about to start.
What will Republicans say? Legislative investigations of the executive branch are serious. Everyone should participate. Witnesses should obey subpoenas.
What will Democrats say? Legislative investigations are all political. Nobody should participate. Witnesses should ignore subpoenas.
Or, perhaps, clever Democrats: The executive branch should comply with all appropriate legislative investigative efforts. It just so happens that nothing the Republicans do is “appropriate.”
Get me a bucket of water. I want to extinguish my candle.
Mark Herrmann spent 17 years as a partner at a leading international law firm and is now deputy general counsel at a large international company. He is the author of The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law and Drug and Device Product Liability Litigation Strategy (affiliate links). You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.