history getting made

04 Mar

Like a lot of the country, I spent some time last Wednesday listening into, and following commentary and analysis afterward of, Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony to the House Oversight and Reform Committee, regarding his work as the President’s personal lawyer.

Like a lot of Congressional tesimony, there was just as much grandstanding and posturing by committee members as there was testimony; much of this kind of stuff is more political theater than it is investigation. Not that that kind of theater isn’t always important, and the candid photo above of Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley, and Tlaib that Politico caught on Wednesday is likely going to end up being an iconic image that’s going to get plenty of theatrical use in the coming months and years to highlight the importance of the many new Democratic freshman elected in 2018, and how their demographic makeup manages to look a heck of lot more like the full palate of America than the traditional crop of white men in power ties in government. Jezebel made a valid comparison to Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to the United States Congress, and I can’t find fault with that notion.

The bigger part of the story, though, was just how effective, politically and administratively, these three women were in conducting their questioning and driving home important points in order to really get to the heart of the issues involved in the questioning, and opening up links to further the many threads of investigation being conducted regarding the President’s finances, relationships, and activities. AOC, especially, with her digging into the details of financial assets, and quite likely opening the door for Congressional pressure to finally obtain the President’s tax returns and other related data, with little to no grandstanding; all business. Pressley and Tlaib also were effective, with Pressley digging into the President’s tendencies toward racist behavior and action, and Tlaib taking a moment out of her questioning time to address racist behavior by her colleagues on the Committee, continuing to provide interesting plain-spokenpolitical theater, while acting on what she called a “teachable moment” to draw attention to the issue.

So yeah. I have no idea where things are going politically or whatever from here, but I’m feeling a bit of uncharacteristic optimism that Congress’s future leaders, and I have not doubt the folks pictured above meet that standard, are well on their way to making their influence known, and beginning the work to change the way “business as usual” is conducted.

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