The Constitutional Work–Around for Term Limits

I’ve always wondered why the National Education Association (NEA) and the country club conservatives in the Republican House and Senate leadership aren’t allies, instead of enemies. Both organizations use the same tired talking points to defend inert members from the forces of accountability.

When education reformers urge legislative bodies to adopt merit pay for teachers and thereby reward the best teachers with the most money, the NEA counters that experience is crucial and paying teachers according to seniority rewards that excellent system.

Bill Schorr, San Clemente, CA

In the same fashion, when congressional reformers urge House and Senate leadership to adopt an amendment adding term limits to the Constitution, leadership rejects the proposal out of hand, claiming seniority is crucial to keeping Congress the paragon of competence it is today.

It’s no accident that education, Congress and penal institutions all grant more privileges based solely on how much time you’ve served.

Cong. Francis Rooney (R–Doomed) wants to remove Congress from that list. Rooney has formulated a brilliant method of implementing term limits that does not require an amendment to the Constitution. Rooney’s Thomas Jefferson Public Service Act would place no limits on how long a member could warm a seat in Congress — that requires an amendment — instead Rooney would reduce a member’s paycheck to $1 per year after they served six terms in the House or two terms in the Senate.

My wife is skeptical. She believes after 12 years our ‘public servants’ have already made themselves millionaires, so the $173,999.00 pay cut won’t bother them. She is not alone.

FedSmith.com downplays Rooney’s bill, too, “…most Congressmen make a career out of remaining in Congress (often moving on to the Senate). Many become millionaires within a few years after their election and, of course, they also receive a pension under the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS).”

What both overlook is the loss of status if Rooney’s bill passes.

When Newt Gingrich was running the show, Republicans imposed term limits on committee chairmen. In the House and Senate, Republicans are limited to six years as the jefe of any committee.

At the end of their term as chairman these members must surrender the gavel, without any reduction in salary or benefits. Many retiring chairmen look upon that gavel as the closest thing to Thor’s Hammer they will ever wield. Giving it up is such a personal Ragnarök that they retire from Congress rather than revert to being hammerless rank–and–file member regardless of their salary.

I’m thinking not getting an envelope on payday would have the same effect. It’s one thing to talk about being a ‘public servant.’ Becoming one and working for free is something entirely different.

I’m willing to grasp at Rooney’s straw if there’s even a slim chance of success.

Rooney is so serious he’s prepared to become very unpopular with his colleagues. In an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier, Rooney correctly termed arguments against term limits legislation as “elitist paternalism.” He already has seven co–sponsors for his bill and he intends to put the heat on nominal term limits supporters.

“There are 90 co–sponsors on term limit by [constitutional] amendment bills and there’s something called the ‘Term Limit Caucus.’ Let’s see what they want to do,” Rooney explained. This is where Rooney drops off Christmas card lists.

Co–sponsoring a term limits constitutional amendment is exactly like promising to repeal Obamacare. It’s showy and consequence–free.

The chance of the amendment coming up for a vote is exactly the same as the chance of Donald Trump being named Man of the Year by La Raza. If the unthinkable happens — see Obamacare vote — and term limits comes to the floor, co–sponsors will cheerfully betray their voters just as Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins did.

Rooney’s bill will put these poseurs on the spot. There are 26 members of the Term Limits Caucus, yet only two are co–sponsoring his bill. Rooney should have 31 co–sponsors and that’s before he goes after the amendment popinjays.

Baier went to Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell for a comment on Rooney’s bill. In a voice dripping with disdain, McConnell gargled, “I would say we have term limits now, they’re called elections, and it will not be on the agenda in the Senate.”

True and the current system has given us McConnell as an example of what term limits would prevent.

Rooney’s only misstep so far came in his announcement. He quoted former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn (R–Great American) who said Americans “are frustrated with the federal government.” True again. But Coburn is no longer in the Senate, because he imposed term limits on himself.

I fear the time–servers Rooney is trying to persuade will hear that name and ask themselves, “yeah, and when was the last time Coburn was on TV?”

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More Evangelicals Selling Their Soul to Support a Loser

It’s sad to say another Christian group has decided to maintain access to DC power rather than tell the truth regarding the shortcomings of a prominent politician. Maybe it’s the ego rush when calls are returned. Or maybe it’s the meetings in off–limits–to–the–public Capitol hideaways that persuades these organizations to publically support a man who’s repeatedly failed to live up to expectations.

Their support would make perfect sense if I was referring to Donald Trump. His personal failings are legion, but he’s delivered. I’m talking about the Evangelical embrace of Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell. His personal life lacks ‘hos and handsy–ness, but his public life is steaming pile of defeat and insincere promises.

Christopher Weyant, The Boston Globe

McConnell’s failures are manifest in the Family Research Council’s scorecard on the 115th Congress. FRC tries manfully to make a silk purse out of McConnell’s ear, but the task is impossible. Once you get past the hyperbolic lead, “A record number — 245 Members of Congress — scored a perfect 100 percent…last year.” One realizes most of the votes counted for nothing.

If FRC rated on legislative effectiveness the scores would max out at 25 percent.

The House passed eight laws and one resolution used for scorecard evaluation. Four of those bills failed in the Senate. McConnell’s ‘accomplishments’ were so paltry, FRC had to use the routine confirmation of appointees for most of the scorecard.

That’s the legislative equivalent of giving participation trophies at the end of ballerina ball season.

Separating what the House passed from what the Senate failed to pass shows just how much damage McConnell single–handedly does to the conservative cause.

This political mastermind is responsible for the defeat of bills designed to stop funding Planned Parenthood and forcing Christian organizations to provide contraception coverage that conflicts with their Christian belief. McConnell is responsible for the defeat of the clean Obamacare repeal and it’s ‘skinny’ brother. And just this week McConnell passively watched the Pain–Capable Unborn Child Protection Act’s defeat even though it had a majority of 51 votes.

Yet there is zero criticism of McConnell’s serial failures! Instead FRC blandly refers to defeats requiring 60 votes without explaining why a simple majority of 51 isn’t enough.

This self–imposed 60–vote requirement is an internal Senate rule that only dates back to 1975. Before if a bill was scheduled to come to the floor and a senator or party opposed the measure, they had to conduct a genuine filibuster. This meant the senator had to hold the floor, blocking consideration of any other legislation or Senate business.

Senators read aloud, told stories or simply listened to the music of their own voice during their time at the podium. The filibuster was an around–the–clock affair and sympathetic senators had to continue the delaying drone by volunteering to take a shift. This took a physical toll and many filibusters ended because the opposition simply ran out of gas.

The other way to conclude a filibuster was a cloture vote to end debate. That’s what requires 60 votes.

Today if the minority party wants to filibuster a bill it simply informs McConnell and he considers the bill blocked until 60 votes materialize to bring it to the floor. McConnell could revert to the pre–1975 filibuster this week if he wished. Changing the rule only requires a majority and he has 51 votes.

Democrats would be forced to go public with their obstructionism. Voters would see which party is blocking the function of government and I don’t think Schumer could stand the heat.

But this small–minded, political coward won’t make the change. McConnell is a double–minded man who in his heart doesn’t believe in the conservative principles he claims to support. McConnell is a defeatist who fears success. That’s why he told AP “Republicans will welcome the [post 1975] filibuster when they return to the minority.” And he’s just the man to lead them there.

The thought that Republicans could pass conservative legislation that rolls back at least some of leftism’s excesses and puts the onus on Democrats to repeal those bills never enters McConnell’s mind. He just keeps the furniture dusted until his inevitable Democrat take over.

McConnell’s wasted an entire year in which Republicans controlled the presidency, House and Senate. It may well be one half of the time during the Trump administration when the GOP controlled all three branches.

An accurate FRC scorecard would give every GOP senator a zero rating, because their votes keep McConnell Majority Leader.

McConnell is a weakling who will never change Senate rules unless he’s pushed and pushed hard. It’s time conservative and Christian organizations told the truth about the man who is single–handedly blocking the agenda of the people who sent Republicans to Washington.

Let’s Revive Extreme Vetting for Politicians

It’s amazing the American public can be so right in general and so wrong in particular when it comes to evaluating Congress. The Gallup survey found the approval rating for Congress as a whole is currently a dismal 20 percent. This means our DC swamp denizens are tied with members of the opposition media, lawyers and car salesmen when it comes to the public’s general distaste.

But at the same time, when rating their individual member of Congress, the public gives that representative a much better grade of nearly 50 percent. Somehow the fact their representative is part and parcel of the entire wretched institution escapes voters.

On Election Day the situation is even worse.

We’re told in most cases familiarity breeds contempt. In politics familiarity evidently stupefies, because an absolutely stunning 98 percent of the incumbents up for re–election in 2016 were returned to office.

Members of Congress are evidently as hard to fire as employees of the Veterans Administration.

Re–elect numbers at the sure thing level only serve to make Republican cowardice when faced with the daunting prospect of keeping their promises that much more repugnant. Sending the same people back election after election only guarantees voters will get the same lack of results election after election.

What’s the solution? Strange as it may seem Mexico may have a suggestion and I don’t mean revolution or cartel government. Find out by clicking the link below and finish the column at Newsmax:

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/constitution-military-tlaxcallan/2017/08/15/id/807832/

 

Newest Congressional Perk Comes with Sidearm

The lunatic that opened fire at Republicans practicing for the annual Congressional baseball game may have only succeeded in making Congress even more remote and detached from the lives of the people the members allegedly represent.

Now the Washington Post reports panicky representatives “are traveling the halls of the Capitol — and the streets of their home towns — with security details.” The question is how do they justify the expenditure and the resulting imposition on the public?

Easy, they have an inflated estimate of their own worth.

Members of our Imperial Congress, in their minds, have gone from being representatives of the people to becoming caretakers of the people. And without our caretakers how would we get along?

In reality, every member of the House and the Senate is a public servant, no more important individually to the functioning of the Republic than the cop on the beat. It is only en masse that the individual politician starts to become a special case.

While being short one representative out of a total 435 isn’t going to cripple the nation, losing them in bunches would be a symbolic loss with worldwide repercussions. That is why I reluctantly support the fortress–like atmosphere of the Capitol and House and Senate office buildings. We can’t always rely on the Flight 93 Militia to guard those buildings from attack.

Individual members in their district and outside the government complex should not have “security details.” And the Capitol Police should have no role outside the federally controlled part of DC. Larger gatherings of elected officials and politicians who feel particularly threatened should ask for protection from local authorities.

Otherwise one might get the impression the local police, that are good enough for the public that elects them, aren’t worthy to protect senators and representatives.

However, there are other questions involved in this issue, too. Like who created this political environment and how should citizens expect politicians to respond? I have some ideas, but you’ll have to click the link below to explore them as you read the remainder of my Newmax.com column.

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/congress-representatives-senators-security/2017/07/27/id/804136/

 

Illinois Leftist Democrat Petitions Congress With a Rifle

In all the discussion of the shooting during Republican practice for the Congressional baseball game, I was struck by the fact no one thought it odd that none of the other participants tried to help seriously wounded Rep. Steve Scalise to safety.

They knew he was hurt. They saw the trail of blood as he tried to drag himself off the field. But no one went to his aid. Like a herd of wildebeest fleeing a lion attack, the wounded and slow were left behind.

Now that the coast is clear, members of Congress are leaping out of the dugout and discussing ways taxpayers can protect them in the future.

Certainly this unprovoked attack was cowardly, but the fact the victims were politicians doesn’t require mobilizing the nation. I’d feel equally outraged if the Bernie Bro had shot up a gathering of Jaycees — that notorious hatchery of young capitalists.

What I’m trying to do is put the incident in perspective.

Fact is if you were offered a choice between being the cashier in a tow truck facility and a member of Congress, people interested in personal safety should choose Congress. The last member to be killed in an individual attack was Leo Ryan in 1978. Before Scalise was shot, the last member attacked was Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in 2011. Prior to that it was John Stennis in 1973.

Four attacks in 44 years isn’t exactly the definition of danger.

If you’re looking for a “public servant” that’s actually in danger while doing his job, talk to a mailman not a politician.

An intelligent, as opposed to hysterical, response to the shooting confronts taxpayers with a paradox: most individual members of Congress are eminently replaceable mediocrities. It’s only in clumps that congressmen are valuable. I wouldn’t go so far to say the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but you get the idea.

Losing members in bunches of 20 or 30 would convulse the country and subject the remaining members to crippling workloads. Mitch McConnell might have to establish the four–day workweek in the Senate.

So I reluctantly support the security state measures taxpayers are subject to when they enter the Capitol and House or Senate office buildings. Off–Capitol gatherings that attract 20 or more members — say two lobbyists having lunch with an open seat at the table — also deserve enhanced security. But I draw the line at individually assigned protective details.

Naturally that’s exactly what big–government politicians and Democrats too passive to be responsible for their own safety are talking about. Many of the politicians who promise to “fight for you” are seriously considering protective details for every member of Congress. An extravagance Politico calculates would cost over $1 billion.

Instead, I support Rep. Thomas Massie (R–Don’t Tread on Me) who introduced a bill that would require gun–phobic Washington, DC to honor concealed carry permits from other states. This would let DC politicians defend themselves.

Massie explains, “After the horrific shooting at the Republican Congressional Baseball practice, there will likely be calls for special privileges to protect politicians. I do not want to extend a special privilege to politicians, because the right to keep and bear arms is not a privilege, it is a God–given right protected by our Constitution.”

I’d support Massie if the bill only applied to politicians, particularly if the alternative is taxpayer–paid bodyguards. Those micro–potentates don’t need anything else to feed their egos. Why can’t they take their chances with everyday life just like the rest of us?

A Washington Post reporter described an encounter Sen. Orrin Hatch (R–Methuselah). Hatch invaded an elevator with three members of his security detail. The Postie asked whether more of his colleagues should receive security details. Displaying the noblesse oblige that’s made him a byword for the common touch, Hatch replied, “I think all of you deserve protection, too. I think we have to protect everybody.”

No word on whether he offered to detail one of his three bodyguards to accompany the reporter.

Individual security details will soon become 535 mini–motorcades clogging up the nation’s streets in the name of “national security.”

Taxpayers don’t need to harden the DC bubble. Let politicians experience life like the rest of us. The argument is made that these indispensible marshmallows are the nation’s leadership. They get death threats, suffer road rage incidents and people say mean things about them. My response is, so what? I’ve been on the receiving end of all three offenses and I’m not looking for a taxpayer–paid Praetorian Guard.

Harry Truman said if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. My advice to politicians is if you won’t carry the heat, don’t get out of the office.

Business Learns Trump Giveth and Trump Taketh Away

Conservatives always knew Trump’s policies would be a dog’s breakfast of competing initiatives and impulsive proposals. His State of the Administration speech only served to confirm it.

There were solid assurances to reestablish the rule of law and promises to develop a “historic” tax reform program that will make US businesses more competitive with other countries.

Unfortunately, waiting for tax reform from a Republican Congress that supports business because it makes campaign contributions and ignores competition because it doesn’t, is like waiting for a pause in an Obama monologue.

Rather than wait, Trump issued an order that requires the executive branch to remove two old regulations for every new one it issues.

That’s a great start; although something tells me at least initially the regulations deleted are going to be those covering the sodium content of salt pork issued to the Army of the Potomac.

But how does removing burdensome regulations on US business square with requiring those same businesses to provide paid family leave? I know it’s a logical progression from universal Pre–K, which is taxpayer–funded daycare, to paying mothers to raise their own babies, but it’s not logical for Republicans trying to make America competitive.

Trump’s new Commissar of Motherhood is going to be regulating up a storm. What number employees is the cutoff for coverage? Will men get to take advantage of paid leave? What about men who can’t decide if they are a man or a woman? Can homosexuals take off to raise a surrogate child? Is a polygamist limited to children from one wife or do all qualify? Does a mother of twins get twice as much leave? Can a divorced husband take off if he still gets along with the ex–wife and she has a child? Will leave only apply to immediate family or will it be like chain immigration and apply to cousins, uncles and people with similar last names?

Do mothers who abort their child get time off to sooth a guilty conscience? How long does the leave last? If a woman gives birth to a girl and a few years later she decides she’s a boy, can mom take another leave to help with the transition? If a woman adopts an infant, does she qualify? If a woman serves as a surrogate mother can she take paid leave, too?

Will the payment be a percentage of salary or a fixed rate? Will there be a means test? How about a citizenship test? Does a woman continue to earn seniority as she cares for junior? Does the leave clock for a premie start when the child was born or when it should have been born? If a mother’s state already has a paid leave program does she have to choose one or can she double–dip?

Just answering those few questions will generate reams of regulations. Will the Commissar get a free pass on the new one–for–two regulatory rule and start from scratch? Or will he have to persuade other agencies to donate old regulations he can sacrifice on the altar of red tape?

I’m sorry, but this has Ivanka’s fingerprints all over it and no one that I know of voted for her.

This program better left to the states. California, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island already have leave programs. The other states are free to follow their lead and burden their businesses, too.

This is not to say I downplay the importance of motherhood. I don’t. Conservatives put much more emphasis on the nurturing of the nuclear family than the left does. Strong families build a strong society.

Let’s say Virginia, where I live, wanted to encourage working mothers to stay home with their children for the first three months. I could support a plan that takes inspiration from the foster parent program.

Virginia pays foster parents $462 a month for children under age four. It could start a new Leg Up on Life program that pays working mothers a similar amount for the first three months of the child’s life. This encourages mothers to take time off from work to establish a relationship with the newborn and removes some of the financial pressure.

In the interest of equity I would allow both working and non–working women to be eligible. In the interest of keeping the program simple, the payment would not be means tested. If women already had paid leave from their place of employment, they could collect both payments.

This program has the advantage of being simple, non–federal and no burden on business. It encourages mothers without discouraging job creation. Best of all it doesn’t establish a federal entitlement Democrats could increase at some time in the future, like Trump’s does.

Ryan’s Obamacare Lite Is Another Travesty & Betrayal

Freshman Rep. Moira Walsh had an unusual explanation for some of the bad lawmaking in her state capital during an interview on Rhode Island’s WPRO, “It’s the drinking that blows my mind. You cannot operate a motor vehicle when you’ve had two beers but you can make laws that effect people’s lives forever when you’re half in the bag?

Too bad Moira isn’t in Congress. Booze would be a more acceptable explanation for Paul Ryan’s Obamacare replacement bill than the truth, which is this bill is a betrayal of conservatives seven years in the making.

As the Heritage Foundation points out this slap in the face protects the Democrat base that got free or heavily subsidized coverage at the expense of the GOP base that earns the money to pay for Democrat’s discount insurance.

As I’ve pointed out to friends in the past the price of an Obamacare policy isn’t bad if you remember your premium is buying for two policies: One for your family and another for the moochers.

Ryan evidently believes Republican meddling in the health insurance market is such a big improvement over Democrat meddling that he’ll rule for decades. The truth is the base didn’t vote to swap incompetent meddlers we don’t know for incompetents we do know.

Our mistake was believing the lie that once Republicans controlled all three branches of government they would repeal Obamacare.

My doubts began when “repeal” was amended to “repeal and replace.” Why replace Obamacare’s socialized medicine with the Republican’s Obamacare Lite?

A simple return to the situation that existed before the passage of Obamacare could mean a reduction of up to 30 percent in the cost of insurance premiums and the return of the missing doctors. That alone should be enough win re–election.

The insurance market circa 2008 will cause problems in the dependency class that doesn’t like their handouts interrupted. But I have news for Ryan and his RINO gang — they don’t vote for you anyway. Your voters are the people this bill continues to burden.

Ryan and the rest of his brain trust would rather betray the voters who supported them than risk headlines from the Opposition Media about taking free insurance away.

Ryan’s bill fails in three major areas.

First it does nothing to increase competition in the insurance market. Insurance companies still can’t sell nationwide, the “lines around states” Trump mentioned in the debate. This change alone would lower prices because companies would compete against each other. That’s why you can afford homeowner’s insurance and you can’t afford health insurance.

Second it does nothing to lower prices because the onerous and expensive coverage requirements for every policy are still included. If the consumer wants to buy a policy that covers him from Q-tip to transplant, fine he can pay for it. But if all he wants is major medical, he should be able to make that choice.

Finally it penalizes Republican states that didn’t expand Medicaid and rewards Democrat states that ran up a tab on Uncle Sam. The bill promises this will be phased out in the future, but we’re supposed to believe a Republican Congress that won’t boot 25–year–olds off daddy’s policy today will find the backbone to cut Medicaid tomorrow?

This debate isn’t really about health insurance and discussing it in those terms lets leftists set the parameters. This debate is about personal liberty. The liberty, as an adult, to make your own decisions regarding the future.

Government isn’t the national airbag saving the impudent and foolish from the consequences of their own stupidity. This only encourages more irresponsibility among the demographic whose only long–term commitment is a tattoo.

Healthcare isn’t a right. You don’t have the right to make someone go to medical school, graduate and then treat you for a price you think is reasonable, any more than you have a right to make the barber cut your hair.

I hope there are enough conservatives in the House to defeat Ryan’s disingenuous travesty. Because if they don’t it, means Obama won.

It’s obvious only difference between Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House and Paul Ryan is velocity. The train just moves slower and the conductor’s assurances are less believable under Ryan, but the final destination is still Greece.

Passage of this bill will raise a very pertinent question for conservatives: Why do you have a stronger belief in conservative principles and the power of the free market than the politicians who get your vote?

Why should we pretend anymore?

My suggestion next November is vote for the politician who promises to give away the most; at least he’s not a hypocrite. Maximize benefits now and hope the money doesn’t run out until after you’re dead.

What’s the Point of Having a Majority If GOP Doesn’t Use It?

Last week, during an aside in his speech at the Values Voters Summit, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R–TX) shared an insight into the timid appeasers comprising GOP congressional leadership. When he first entered the House in 2006 the talk was of the big things the Republican majority was going to accomplish.

stopfeeding_rinosThen he attended a GOP House conference meeting and found leadership worried. They explained that yes, the plan was to do big things. But there was “a small chance” Republicans might lose the majority. So to play it safe, the leadership wants to do small things, win the election and keep the majority.

Then, they’ll do great things.

Gohmert was just a freshman member at the time but he spoke up, “If there’s any chance we might lose, then this is the time to do the big stuff.” But Gohmert was ignored.

Conservative voters are still waiting for those “great things.”

Elect a Democrat and they wield power. Elect a Republican and they hold office.

GOP leaders hoard their majority like dwarves hiding under the Lonely Mountain, until the Dragon Pelosi shows up and snatches it away. This explains why a constitutional ignoramus like Nancy Pelosi in her four years as speaker did more to advance the leftist agenda than the last three Republican speakers combined did for the GOP.

This week conservatives have another example of GOP cowardice. The headline in The Hill read: “GOP averts vote on impeaching IRS commissioner.” “Averting” is a GOP leadership specialty.

Here a just a few times these surrender monkeys have ignored their conservative base:

  • House GOP Scurries To Avert Homeland Security Shutdown — allowing Obama’s unconstitutional illegal alien amnesty to continue.
  • Shutdown Averted: House Passes Funding Bill Despite Majority of GOP ‘No’ Votes — continued funding for Planned Parenthood and its organ harvesting.
  • Aiming to avert shutdown, Obama to meet with Congress leaders at White House — part of a plan to have the next funding bill passed during a lame duck session with                                       spending finalized before Trump may take office.

Each one of these surrenders only serves to make Congress more irrelevant and the president and his appointees stronger and more defiant. That’s why this impeachment vote was so important. The Obama administration turned the IRS into its political enforcement arm without any consequences.

Lois Lerner specifically targets conservative political organizations for IRS harassment. She delayed and denied tax–exempt designations for five years, while at the same time approving applications of groups supporting the administration.

Commissioner John Koskinen brought in by Obama to “clean up” the IRS, mislead Congress about disappearing email. Didn’t protect other IRS data that Congress specifically ordered him to preserve. Failed to protect subpoenaed documents and another 24,000 Lerner email messages. As Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R–UT) told the New York Times, “He provided, I think, a whole series of false testimony. You can’t be under a duly issued subpoena and mislead Congress, and when you provide false testimony there has to be a consequence.”

Koskinen and the IRS are tailor made for a visit to the woodshed. Although powerful, the IRS has no natural constituency outside government. Impeach the EPA director and every druid in the nation will be chaining themselves to the Cherry Trees. Go after Agriculture and it’s tractors and nutritionists laying siege to Washington.

But the only constituency for the IRS is lobbyists who milk it for tax loopholes.

What’s more, the IRS is beatable. Just ask the Church of Scientology. It fought a war with the IRS to force it to grant Scientology a church tax exemption. GOP leaders whine about the media and bad PR, yet there is no Fox News for cults to give the Scientology side of the fight. And the church lacked the base of the Republican Party.

Yet Scientology won, while the GOP surrenders. Scientology fought the IRS for 25 years. GOP leadership won’t fight for 25 news cycles.

The impeachment of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was designed to send a message to a rogue executive branch that in the future Congress is going to assert its constitutional power. Unfortunately Paul Ryan was the messenger.

Now instead of a vote on impeachment, the House will hold yet another hearing where Koskinen will be able to peddle the same lies and half–truths he did before, content in the knowledge these putzes are powerless.

Then after the election — maybe on Christmas Eve! — a quiet vote on impeachment will be held and the issue will go away.

This is why Trump is the nominee instead of the establishment candidates. Conservatives are tired of a “leadership” that defines victory as holding a successful hearing and winning a news cycle.

We define victory by winning.

Laws that Are Good for Us Aren’t Good Enough for Them

Last December I wrote of Sen. David Vitter’s lonely fight to make our elected panjandrums and their courtesans live under that same laws we do. You can find that column here.

As you might imagine this is very difficult because our “public servants” mostly consider themselves better than the public they serve.

Sen. Vitter believes in the principle that restaurant food is better if the cook eats it, too. And the same goes for legislation, although politicians don’t have to eat the bill — not even Nancy Pelosi needs that much roughage.

Just live by the laws they pass, like the rest of us do.

I interviewed Sen. Vitter last week and he’s making progress on requiring Washington to suffer under Obamacare, too, but even with a Republican House and Senate the struggle remains an uphill climb.

Complete details are here in my Newsmax column:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/SenMitch-McConnell-No-Exemptions-Obamacare-SenDavid-Vitter/2015/02/26/id/627072/

Why the Widget Method of Evaluating Congress Is a Leftist Plot

Conservatives don’t want Congress to do more to control control our lives, they want Congress to govern and that’s a big difference. In the country’s current state a Congress that governed wisely would be analyzing previously passed laws and repealing the counter–productive, the wasteful and the unnecessary.

So why do many conservatives, and worse conservative media outlets, use a measure designed by the Left to evaluate the productivity of Congress?

It’s time to change how we evaluate Congress. Complete details at (incidentally, ignore the Newsmax headline, it has almost nothing to do with the column):

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/John-Boehner-Congress-EPA-The-New-York-Times/2015/01/02/id/616082/