When your congressman introduces a big, landmark law that addresses one of the top government issues of the time, all of you are: that’s cool! This is my man! And then you go back to, you know, whatever – digging up the compost heap – because you’ve got better things to do than think about the government.
But when my congressman puts an important piece of legislation in place, my husband is Adam Schiff and, boy, hello, you know this little piece of legislation is going to be a winner.
Or at least I know that. In the past few years I have come to realize that there are many Americans who inexplicably dislike Adam Schiff.
Which is so strange. Because most of the people in my neighborhood just love their congressman. We have all known him since he was a little boy well over 20 years ago, a prime candidate for the state Senate after a star run as federal prosecutor for which he became legally famous by successfully prosecuting an FBI agent who was run by a Russian spy.
My congressman nailed the first FBI agent ever convicted of espionage.
And everything has been fine since then. First, he’s a total scout, and second, he’s fun and easy going in person. The rare politician whom it is an honor to be represented. You’d have to be crazy to run against him, and that’s why some weirdo gets up every two years and gets about 20 percent of the vote
But like I said, you hear from these people who don’t like him, I guess because he flipped a few Donald Trump stones and the predictably creepy bugs popped out from under them. Anyway, their bad luck not to have Adam Schiff as a congressman.
And then Adam outdid himself this week by introducing the Protecting Our Democracy Act, a big honking sound to those who would overturn free and fair elections, wonderfully timed right when bad freaks hit DC gathered to celebrate the betrayal of the Capitol on January 6th.
It aims to put new limits on the runaway executive power in the White House, so in my life I can’t figure out why all of our representatives in both parties in both Houses of Congress wouldn’t do anything to make it happen. But don’t hold your breath and wait for it.
The law would reign in the power of a president to grant pardons, even for himself, if it smells like corruption.
It tells the presidents that they cannot refuse to respond to subpoenas.
It reminds them in stronger language that they cannot spend or secretly freeze federal funds because grants are a matter for Congress.
It forbids them to fire general inspectors and take revenge on whistleblowers, like the lieutenant colonel who emigrated from the Soviet Union as a child and was drummed out of the service he loved for kicking off the president.
It clarified the wording in the Constitution prohibiting presidents from accepting “emoluments” – payments – during their term of office, as no president should. Or for a long time. Except do you remember the transition period before Donald Trump became president when he announced that he would not part with his business? And how shocking was it that he would be both president and when foreign officials stayed at his hotel down the street from the White House, where Signature Suites start at $ 1,310 a night?
Yeah, we forgot about that crook act pretty quickly when it drove even bigger burning garbage trucks down every street in America. So it’s nice to know that future presidents won’t be able to be at least that kind of chiselers anymore when the Protecting Our Democracy Act is passed.
Larry Wilson serves on the editorial board of the Southern California News Group. [email protected]