Victor Davis Hanson: Will GOP turn cheek or seek eye-for-an-eye retribution if they retake Congress?

Conservative scholar Victor Davis Hanson, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute, posed an interesting question about how Americans can expect the Republican Party to behave if they retake control of Congress in November, as many expect, given that Democrats not only lowered the bar during the Trump era, they threw it out the window.

“Leftist professionals in politics, government, and private enterprise debased themselves for short-term political gain, or in furor at their bogeyman Trump, or in anger at the unwashed,” read the subtitle to the latest offering from Hanson published in American Greatness.

Insisting the left “bequeathed a number of new protocols during the Trump derangement years, he asked whether the GOP will abide by them “should they take back the House and perhaps the Senate—and the presidency in 2024 as well.”

“Will they follow the New Testament’s turn-the-other-cheek forbearance, or go for Old Testament style eye-for-an-eye retribution?” Hanson asked, adding, “Will Republican magnanimity suffice to shame the Democrats to be more professional in the future? Or will tit-for-tat deterrent reciprocity alone ensure a return to norms?”

Specifically, he asked if the GOP will seek to impeach President Biden like Democrats did with Trump, citing as a possible cause Biden “deliberately not enforcing and, indeed, undermining U.S. immigration law.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., pretty much answered that question on Sunday, telling Fox News host Maria Bartiromo that the GOP would not use impeachment “for political purposes.

“Look the one thing we learned that the Democrats did, is they used impeachment for political reason. We believe in the rule of law. We’re not going to pick and choose just because somebody has power,” McCarthy said, adding that “at any time if someone breaks the law” impeachment may be considered.

Citing former special council Robert Mueller, Hanson asked if there will be “a $40 million, 22 month-long special counsel investigation of the Biden-family influence-selling syndicate—arrayed with a ‘dream-team,’ ‘all-star,’ and ‘hunter-killer’ right-wing lawyers to ferret out ‘Big Guy’ and ‘Mr. Ten Percent’ quid pro quo profiteering?”

With so much to work with, Hanson didn’t stop there:

“Would a Republican-led House set up a special committee to investigate the racketeering and “conspiracies” across state lines that led to a near “coup” and “insurrection” marked by “the riots of 2020?” Would such watchdogs offer up criminal referrals for all those responsible for attacking a federal courthouse and torching a police precinct or for setting an historic church afire? Or causing $2 billion of damage, over 30 deaths, and 1,500 law enforcement officer injuries—while carving out illegal no-go zones in major downtowns?

“Given the need for “accountability,” the “threats to democracy,” and a need for “transparency,” would another congressional committee investigate the Afghanistan fiasco of summer 2021? Will it learn who was lying about the disaster—Joe Biden or the Joint Chiefs—and how and why such a travesty occurred?

“Would a rebooted January 6 committee reconvene under new auspices—with Democratic members limited to those selected by a new Speaker McCarthy—to revisit the lethal shooting of Ashli Babbitt, to review thousands of hours of released surveillance video, to subpoena all email communications between the previous congressional leadership and the Capitol police, to demand the lists of all the FBI informants in the crowd, and to interrogate the sadistic jailers and overzealous prosecutors who have created America’s first class of political prisoners subjected to punishment without trial?”

 

He went on to note that “a multifaceted legal inquiry would eat up most of Biden’s final two years in office,” assuming the president can maintain enough mental acuity to remain in office that long. And that as “accomplished leakers,” the GOP could feed cable TV with an ample supply of “bombshells” and “walls are closing in” special news alerts.

Democrats have gifted Republicans a full bounty of possibilities Hanson said, referencing the possibility of a GOP-majority Senate considering ending the “disruptive” and “anti-democratic” filibuster, or ramming a national voting law through the Congress “demanding that all national election balloting must require a photo ID.”

He even cited Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s childish ripping of President Trump’s State of the Union speech on national television to ask if a Speaker McCarthy would follow suit during Biden’s next SOTU address.

On and on the possibilities go, expanding beyond the walls of Congress and encompassing not just the corporate and professional classes, but the wider political class.

“Leftist professionals in politics, government, and private enterprise debased themselves for short-term political gain, or in furor at their bogeyman Trump, or in anger at the unwashed. They have now set precedents, which if embraced by conservatives and applied to the Left, would be called unethical at best and fascistic at worst,” Hanson concluded. “In the end, all the warped grandees accomplished was to further discredit the entire notion that those with high salaries, prestigious degrees, impressive titles, and insidious influence are somehow less likely to lie, connive, cheat, and conspire than those whom they libel and attack.”

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