Yesterday’s statement from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is a welcome view for those who are still dealing with the Parliamentary riots. Military leaders called it “a direct attack on the US Parliament, the Houses of Parliament, and our constitutional process.” They chose those words carefully.
The statement for me emphasizes the basic strengths, not the weaknesses of the national institution. For example, the military continues to respect the sharp lines of civilian control. Parliament resumed operations later in its fateful night because of its many shortcomings. The federal agency, which has career staff working from home, was functioning properly.
These days, certain institutional elements haven’t looked very good. For example, Congress and various supervisors are trying to figure out what went wrong with Capitol Hill police’ plans and response.
The parliament itself staggered, but only for a moment. Check out my interview with Bennie Thompson, Mississippi, for the first-person account of the House leader. He is the chairman of the House of Representatives Land Security Committee. He describes grazing in a safer place without becoming harsh. The unpleasant members were pushed into a crowded area with people who did not wear masks.
“My wife was watching what was playing in real time on TV, so I kept calling,” Thompson said. It reminded me of my wife’s anxiety on 9/11, when I departed on a morning flight to Phoenix and was floating in the air at the same time as the four plane crashes. These types of events are national and personal.
When the evacuation took place, Thompson was among those who observed the Electoral College’s vote count. I scooped up the ballot and asked if anyone could take me to a safe place with the members. Mr. Thompson said he was uncertain. “But we know. We’re back in business. And in the end, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won 306 electoral votes.”
So my hope for the Biden administration is that all its actions are at least directed at building the power of the administrative body. This requires the right appointed person and the dexterity and a little humility of the appointed person when dealing with levers such as rulemaking and the federal workforce. It doesn’t mean to do things because they are always done.
The next parliament could strengthen itself by listening to each other, but perhaps not. Given the 50-50 Senate and 222-111 divisions in the House of Representatives, people on each side might think that their actions affect 100% of the citizens. But like a tattered car recovered from a hijacker, the same old Congress has reopened. The promise of compromise between the parties of all kinds seems dim.
The government is showing its resilience
Source link The government is showing its resilience