House Democrat: Forget the Rules, Just Treat Me as Ruler

By Tom Gilson Published on July 31, 2020

It’s a mashup of “Reclaiming my time” demands from Democrats at AG Barr’s hearing the other day. It’s almost funny. At least that’s how Barr seems to have taken it at the end. Kudos to him and to Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan for handling the outrage with such class.

An Especially Chilling Moment

There’s one especially chilling moment in here, though. It’s easy to miss, but you’d better not.

Starting at about 3:10, Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA) begins giving the Attorney General the schoolmarm finger-raising sign cautioning him for his naughty behavior. Then at 3:25, she looks at him with deepest concern and says, “I’m surprised at your lack of respect for a member of Congress.”

Her teacher-ly condescension toward a Cabinet member is disgusting enough. If you think that’s the worst of it, though, you’re missing something. See what she’s complaining about: He doesn’t respect her. That’s her, as in, he doesn’t respect Madeleine Dean.

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Look at what he (and Rep. Jordan) were showing respect to, though: Process. Procedure. Protocol. Willingness to listen and to hear.

Authoritarian Disregard for Procedure

The whole Democratic side of the hearing, in contrast, was an open display of authoritarian control.

Rep. Dean lectured him for disrespecting her, while she was disrespecting the rules of the Committee. The message: “I can ignore the rules, but you must respect me as your ruler.”

This isn’t quite signaling the establishment of authoritarian rule on Democrats’ side. Not yet. But it’s close, though. Too close.

This isn’t quite signaling the establishment of authoritarian rule on Democrats’ side. Not yet. But it’s close, though. Too close, for my taste.  As John Zmirak has also asked, if they’ll do that to the Attorney General, what will they do to the rest of us?

Something to think about as you re-watch the video, maddeningly entertained by, “I’m reclaiming my time.” Yes, it plays like a Saturday Night Live sketch. But it’s much more akin to the Spanish Inquisition.


Tom Gilson (@TomGilsonAuthor) is a senior editor with The Stream and the author or editor of six books, including the forthcoming Too Good To Be False: How Jesus’ Incomparable Character Reveals His Reality.

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