One of the most dispiriting things I find about American politics is what happens when one or both houses of Congress change hands. In a perfect world, it would be a time to hit the ground running and push ambitious, well-constructed legislation that advances the party agenda and challenges the status quo.
Not that the two are mutually exclusive, but what it usually happens is stuff like this: The new Democrat chair of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight decided to leave the words “so help you God” out of the oath witnesses must take before the panel, because leaving God out of things is now apparently an agenda item.
This is what you voted for, America. This is #TheResistance in action.
The move came courtesy of Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, the Democrat now heading the subcommittee. On Thursday, CNS News reported, she left “so help you God” out of the oath during a hearing Thursday.
Instead, witnesses were asked, “Do you swear that the testimony that you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”
Rep. Jeff Duncan, a South Carolina Republican, then reminded her about the missing words.
“This is the — ah, this is the oath we use, and that’s the oath we’re going to use today,” Rep. DeGette said before moving on.
Lest you think this is a mistake, this is actually a thing among Democrats now that they control the House. In one hearing, New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the powerful chair of the House Judiciary Committee, also left the words off the oath during a hearing one day prior. This time, when a Republican reminded him, he re-administered the oath with the “so help you God” attached.
DeGette, meanwhile, blamed it on her inexperience: “Sorry, this is my first time (presiding as chair), so everybody has to bear with me,” she said.
Before you decide whether or not to believe these two incidents were just the result of the phrase slipping the minds of Reps. DeGette and Nadler, I would advise you to take into account a draft oath from the House Natural Resources Committee obtained by Fox News.
“Do you solemnly swear or affirm, under penalty of law, that the testimony that you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?” the draft read.
On Wednesday, after Republicans denounced the omission of “so help you God,” the committee reversed course and included it.
“It is incredible, but not surprising, that the Democrats would try to remove God from committee proceedings in one of their first acts in the majority,” House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming said. “They really have become the party of Karl Marx.”
I would ordinarily say that’s going too far, but consider that not all of them were particularly pleased when the president said “that America will never be a socialist country” during his State of the Union addressed.
Beyond all that, let’s go beyond the outrage and the attack on religion. Let’s pretend none of that really matters. How does this help the Democrat cause?
Nancy Pelosi took the speaker’s gavel last month. Their accomplishments so far include the House Intelligence Committee announcing a massively expanded investigation into Trump and Russia, the introduction of the preposterous Green New Deal, and now an attempt to excise “so help you God” from oaths.
Is this garnering new voters? Is this getting people excited for 2020? All this is doing is proving to America that the Democrats are the party of the fringe left, determined to change a reference to God in an oath simply because it fits the general agenda. Never mind that adding the line to oaths is generally credited to George Washington.
Again, this is your Democrat Party, America. Any buyer’s remorse yet?