In my last post, I framed the political considerations for why an average Joe GOP Senator would protest the 2020 election result. But in the time since, I’ve realized that there is a policy reason too that we must remember, because it is an excellent tool that legislators use to talk themselves into doing things that are more absurd than Robert Downey Jr’s drug habit in the ’90s.
Members of Congress are extreme hardos when it comes to “exercising oversight” I.E. being the referee for what every other branch of government does. This has something to do with the “Necessary and Proper Clause” of the Constitution, which Pratik can tell you about if you want to get bored AF.
Anyway, giving Congress “oversight” power was actually one of the biggest mistakes that the Founding Fathers made when they invented America. This is due to the fact that Congress uses its “oversight” power as an excuse to do truly embarrassing things.
For example, Henry Waxman and House Democrats used it in the early 2000s to “oversee” steroid use in Major League baseball (WTF does that have to do with Congress?), but they obviously just wanted to meet Barry Bonds and Mark McGuire.
“Oversight” is also what Congress calls completely phony investigations, like Solyndra (2010) and the Russian hooker pee tap of Trump (2016-2020).
And in the case of this past election, Congressional “oversight” of the courts, states, and Executive Branch is an excuse for proud Senators to completely beclown themselves over election conspiracy theories that even they know are fake.
Anyway, Thomas Jefferson is probably rolling over in his grave watching Congress act like total losers because of its “oversight” power.
And at the end of the day, the most powerful thing “oversight” gives a senator is an excuse to feel like he has the moral high ground when it comes to doing extremely boneheaded things, like attempting to invalidate an election because he is wetting the bed over a Right Wing Trump-tard primary in between now and 2024.
Don’t underestimate what your average legislator can justify in the name of “oversight”.