In-fighting and Conflict…

Well, the cons are at war again. The difference this time? It’s a civil war and it’s being fought on several fronts. There’s a fight for control of the House of Representatives. Kevin McCarthy wants the job but there are several far right members of that body that do NOT want McCarthy and that has sparked a battle. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert once sat shoulder to shoulder heckling the President of the United States during a State of the Union speech. Now they’re trading barbs, each claiming the true path to conservative heaven. Matt Gaetes is also in the fray, arguing against McCarthy. The far-right contingent prefer a guy who thinks McCarthy was just too cooperative with the Dems. There’s also the ever-present Former Guy/DeSantis battle.

The key to success in the conservative movement (aside from electoral cheating, of course) is solidarity. These guys have been moving lock-step with each other for a long time. In fact, I’d call it an impressive display. So long as their interests ran parallel, they worked together like a Swiss watch. (Sadly, they’ve been working to undermine America but that’s a different aspect of the topic.) But the key was in parallel interests. When they began to disagree among themselves as to whom is best suited to harm America fastest, the claws came out – aimed at their one-time compatriots. (OMG, pass the popcorn…)

They worked together so well for so long because they all perceived that working together best served themselves. Although it seemed like team play, it was cooperative selfishness. Selfishness is a feature, not a bug, of conservatism. One of the things I believe about the cons is that, sooner or later, everybody’s “motivated self interest” tends to clash and come into conflict and it seems to be happening right now. I can’t say for sure if it’s a long-term break or a temporary fracture but, for now, they can’t harm America while they’re trying to harm each other so…have at it…

I feel the same way about all of the “investigations” they’re promising to initiate. So long as they’re focused on “revenge” for delusional, perceived wrongs they won’t be doing much damage to the country so I hope they “investigate” as much as possible for as long as possible.

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Alright, I’m about to step in it with my own team again. It happens from time to time. I believe in the law over party loyalty. When the cons are wrong, I say so. When the Dems are wrong, I say THAT, too. If that bugs you, you might want to review your own priorities. Yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee released the former guy’s taxes to the public. Once again, it’s a case of the Dems handing the cons a weapon in the culture wars. Now, don’t get me wrong, here. I want to see the taxes just as much as anybody else but the fact is, the Dems exceeded the scope of the law to do it and I don’t much like when the Dems are who the cons say they are. Now Former is out publicly whining about it. (And…my Gods does this guy whine. To hear him tell it, life is just…unfair to generational multi-millionaires) He insists it sets a dangerous precedent that the cons will wield in return. He’s also bragging to his base that the taxes will only show what a brilliant businessman he is. So…it’s a dangerous precedent to show what a brilliant businessman he is? Okay…

I’ve written, in this space, defense of the idea that the Congress has every right to see anybody’s taxes. That law was implemented after the Teapot Dome scandal in the early 1920’s. The law says they can see the taxes for legitimate legislative purposes. Releasing the taxes to the public IS a violation of Former’s privacy and NOT within the scope of the law. Don’t get me wrong, here. I want to see them as much as anybody else and I’ve wanted to ever since he promised to release them as soon as the IRS was done with the audit. (Promises made, promises broken…) He never did, of course. In fact, he wasn’t audited – even when he was supposed to have been! What’s more, I think the law should require candidates for high public office to release their taxes but that would entail a Constitutional Amendment so I don’t see it in the future anytime soon. Yes, it’s standard practice for more honest politicians to release their taxes but it is NOT a legal requirement. Former is a lying weasel (he DID promise to release them) but he was within his rights to renege on that promise.

The news started excitedly talking about how Former paid little to no taxes in the six years of the release. Well, duh! Rich people don’t pay taxes in this once-great nation, or at least not their fair share. Everybody knows that. (Well, not cons, of course. THEY think rich people pay too much and so they, the con rank and file, are happy to pick up the rich person’s tab. Deep thought is NOT their forte…) The real meat and potatoes of the taxes will be found in the details. Accountants are already pointing out that in order to avoid taxes like that, one has to have quite a bit of money. In other words, they’re all deductions for every American. Well, every American who can show losses of millions of dollars each year.

Based on various comments and testimony, Former likes to inflate the value of his holdings for loan purposes and deflate the values on the same holdings for tax purposes. All of these details will come out over time, as people get a look at the filings. We’ll also get to see which entities he’s doing business with in the first place. (Russia, anyone?)

There’s really only one justification for the release that has any credibility with me at all and, mostly, people aren’t using it. In an effort to hide his nefarious dealings, Former has gone to a ridiculous – dare I say “unprecedented” – amount of trouble because we all know that it’s best to hide one’s honest dealings as much as possible. He knew he was going to lose. The law is clear and the outcome was a foregone conclusion. His actual goal was to run out the clock. Had the law worked just a bit slower, the rulings might have been delayed until the cons took the House back and dissolved the committees, replacing the members with boot-licking loyalists and dropping the matter entirely. As it was, the committee didn’t get the forms until very nearly too late. They simply didn’t have enough time to review the forms properly so, releasing them to the public for further perusal was really the only option.

I’ll tell you this: in all candor, I’m glad he didn’t get away with his delay tactic but that’s a personal pleasure because I don’t like the way he manipulates laws to his very wealthy advantage. (I don’t like when ANY rich pricks do it, left or right.) If I was making some kind of ruling on the legality of releasing the taxes, I’d rule against the Dems. It’s weird. I’m happy to have a look at the forms but simultaneously unhappy that they were released illegally. Talk about conflicted…

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I hope everybody has a safe and fun New Year’s Eve and that the new year proves better than the old one…

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