House Republicans scrapped plans to weaken an independent ethics watchdog on the first day of the 115th Congress after a backlash from President-elect Donald Trump and others....House Republicans reversed course because their surprise move became a huge news story. Trump weighed in only because the press made a big deal of this, and he weighed in not to criticize what they'd done but to question the timing:
The about-face came hours after Trump took to Twitter to slam House Republicans for voting behind closed doors Monday night in favor of immediately weakening the independent ethics office. The vote defied House GOP leaders and complicated Trump’s “drain the swamp” campaign mantra.
“With all that Congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the Independent Ethics Watchdog, as unfair as it . . . may be, their number one act and priority. Focus on tax reform, health care and so many other things of far greater importance!” Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning, hours before the new Congress convened.
Trump spox Sean Spicer clarifies Trump is annoyed by the timing of GOP gutting ethics watchdog, not the gutting itself. Via pool: pic.twitter.com/DjAsoW7jEv— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) January 3, 2017
At Free Republic this morning, the vote to end the independence of the Office of Congressional Ethics was greeted with praise:
Here’s the crucial bit:Note that last comment: "Screw optics."
‘Office of Congressional Ethics was established in 2008 under House Democrats’
In other words, it was and is a fan-dance prop used to convince someone they’re seeing something (more) that they’re not.
The Democrats are about as interested in ethics as they are in lumberjack competitions.
The staff is probably full of partisan Democrats.
Began in 2008. This was a duplicate of an already existing Ethics Board. It just had different criteria for getting a matter before them.
In other words....it was an Obama Board.
That NPR and the NYT are clutching their pearls, and Nancy Pelousy is raising a stink, over this move tells me all I need to know.
The reason the Dems want the panel independent is the professional staffers who people these things are reliable Leftists.
The Republicans correctly figured out that this office would soon be getting of deluge of complaints from Democrats about *everything* the Republicans did, with zero regard to any genuine complaints. All done as an effort to slow down or even halt what the Republicans are trying to do.
FYI, the old Ethics Committee has been likened to a star chamber, in which anonymous charges were allowed and were sometimes made. Good Riddance. Smart move considering the ferocity of the opposition we're about to face.
Leadership objected, probably because of the optics of it. Screw optics.
By this afternoon, House Republicans had backed down and Trump was getting the credit, especially on Trumpaganda outlets like Zero Hedge ("Trump Wins Again: House GOP Reverses On Ethics Office Overhaul")/ The Freepers? They were happy again. The reason: optics.
I need a scorecard to keep track of all this winning.So gutting the independent ethics office was an excellent idea -- and Trump's intervention was also an excellent idea, because optics and positioning and winning. Got it?
Mr President-Elect, I can’t take all this WINNING! Please, take it easy ... hehehe
how is this a Trump win?
Good for Trump. The stupid party remains stupid. There are arguments why these ethics changes needed to be made, but the GOP handled it terribly and did attempt to make the changes in the night. They have handed Pelosi and the rest of the Rats a golden freebee to bash the Republicans.
Exactly. The optics was terrible.
Optics. The Rats can and would use this as an issue to stop the Republican Congress from getting anything Trump proposes done.
The Rats will say, the Republicans run everything and the first thing they do is get rid of Ethics Reform. They don’t care about the American People, blah blah blah...
We here on FR know it’s a setup, but we pay attention to what really goes on in Politics. The average Voter sees corrupt Politicians trying to get away with something.
They have no idea how this idiotic Ethic Panel got its start thanks to Pelosi and a bunch of cowardly RINO’s who followed her lead.