Rep. Chris Stewart took us into fantasy land two weeks ago when he stood before the Utah Senate to give some partisan spin.
Repeating the well-orchestrated Donald Trump line that there was no collusion between Trump’s campaign and the Russians and that the real scandal is the corrupt federal intelligence community conspiring to crucify the president, Stewart, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, said this:
“You don’t hear [collusion] anymore from either side of the aisle because the reality is there just simply isn’t evidence of it.”
Oh, really? The Utah Republican said that at the same time Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the committee, and Rep. Eric Swalwell, another Democrat on the panel, were, and still are, appearing on television and radio talk shows talking about — wait for it — collusion.
Not only that, they were, and are, alleging a possible cover-up by the White House and the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee.
Stewart was following the script the Republicans in the White House and the noisemakers in the right-wing media have been writing for weeks: that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians despite evidence that Russians were behind the hacking of Democratic National Committee emails that were used to smear Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Evidence also points to a number of operatives with links to the Trump campaign who had meetings with the Russians.
So the Trump team, including congressional members — you know, that other branch of government? — has put together this wide conspiracy theory that the FBI, CIA and others in the intelligence community have a secret cabal to bring down Trump.
Their “evidence” was created by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, who hid the brew that concocted the “evidence” from the Democrats. It was finally released after much hype.
But let’s call the so-called Nunes memo what it really is: a partisan stunt attempting to discredit the independent special prosecutor’s investigation that seems to be tightening around Trump.
The most troubling aspect is that we no longer have a functioning balance of powers — the fundamental constitutional principle that has kept this country free for centuries.
Party above country has become so perverse that the Republican-led Congress has become nothing more than a lackey for the Trump administration.
And our Utah representatives are complicit.
Besides Stewart’s embarrassment, we have Rep. Rob Bishop, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, which recently sent out an email that more closely resembles a political hit piece than an informational correspondence from a government entity.
It has a grainy, sinister-looking picture of some Democrats in Congress and calls them “Friends of Russian Energy.”
Then there was former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who couldn’t wait, as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to spend the next two years investigating Clinton.
Trump then was elected instead, and Chaffetz decided he needed to spend more time with his family rather than stay in Congress and scrutinize Trump.
Then there are Utah voters. We re-elect these politicians because they are Republicans and we elect only Republicans, no matter what.
When the founders created this grand experiment called the United States, they did so in an environment of kings ruling throughout the world, with very few rights passed on to the people.
Their form of democracy replaced the emperors with “we the people” and their elected representatives.
So, it follows, we the people are the new emperor. And in today’s political environment, the emperor has no clothes.