She knocked Republicans off committees. Now comes GOP payback.
by The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, November 25, 2022
GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy may or may not have the votes to be the next Speaker of the House, but he’s already playing by current Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s rules. To wit, he’s promised to kick three Democrats off committees the way the Pelosi Democrats kicked off two Republicans in the current Congress.
Democrats ousted GOP Reps. Paul Gosar and Marjorie Taylor Greene from their committees in an unprecedented move after they made offensive comments. Both of those Members do more to harm the image of Republicans than they do Democrats, but they were elected in 2020. We warned Democrats that Republicans would return the disfavor when they took power, and here we are.
Mr. McCarthy says he’ll move to have the House strip Reps. Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell and Ilhan Omar of their committee assignments for various actions or statements. Mr. Schiff in particular deserves censure for turning the Intelligence Committee into a partisan operation. He also lied multiple times in public about the evidence of collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign, and his deception received media attention because of his intelligence post.
Mr. Swalwell had a relationship with a Chinese spy, while Mr. McCarthy accuses Ms. Omar of making anti-Semitic comments. All three are embarrassments as well, but then voters keep electing them too.
Republicans believe that if they don’t play tit-for-tat like this, Democrats will feel empowered to keep escalating. Maybe if Democrats get the same ill treatment, the GOP thinks, Democrats will revert to better form the next time they’re in the majority.
This sort of mutually assured political destruction is both a symptom and cause of the decline of Congress. But these are the polarizing precedents that Mrs. Pelosi has set, and in politics payback is inevitable.