trump congress
Credit: The White House/flickr

I hope I live long enough to see the day when we again have a Democratic administration and a Republican Congress. It will be quite the spectacle when the Republicans try to conduct oversight. For example, if they have concerns about how the president’s office is handling security clearances, they can expect to be told that their inquiries are jeopardizing the privacy of millions of innocent Americans.

President Trump’s top spokesperson on Tuesday called House Democrats’ efforts to investigate the White House’s security clearance process “dangerous” and “shameful,” saying it could put millions of people’s personal data at risk.

“What the Democrats are doing is playing a very dangerous and a shameful game, frankly,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters. “They’re putting the 3 million people that do have a security clearance at risk. If you [pull] one individual, you’re putting all 3 million people’s personal information at risk.”

Sanders did not explain how the Democrats’ investigation would potentially jeopardize the broad swath of government employees and contractors’ data.

If they want cabinet members to testify, they’ll be told that they can’t discuss anything because of executive privilege. If the president obstructs justice, the attorney general will just declare that it’s impossible for a president to obstruct justice. If the president has engaged in rampant criminality ranging from every kind of fraud to self-dealing to sexual assault, they’ll be told to take it to the ballot box.

The Republicans are putting all their eggs in Donald Trump’s basket. But he won’t be in the Oval Office forever. Once he’s gone, they’ll begin to understand how many of those eggs they’ve broken.

And that’s just on the oversight question. God forbid they should criticize a Democrat for impeding free trade or cozying up to dictators or being a bad ally to our friends.

I know the Republicans will try to turn on a dime and pretend none of this ever happened. They did that with George W. Bush. But that was more like breakfast-for-one. With this many broken eggs, the post-Trump revisionism will be like a banquet buffet of hypocrisy.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at