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Democratic Congressman Jerry Nadler--Speaker Pelosi's Point Guard

Congressman Jerry Nadler –Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s New Judiciary Committee Sheriff January 6, 2019

It’s the third year of Demagogue Donald’s time in D.C., though it feels like the 100th. It’s the same old same old from our mercurial “Toddler-in-Chief.” Since 12/22/2018, Donald has forced the federal government into the third shutdown on his watch with no end yet in sight. (latimes.com, Wire, 1/02/19, Haberkorn & Wire, latimes.com, 1/02/19). Why? Because Congress has refused to give Trump $5 billion to fund his ridiculous wall to keep out his imagined “hordes” and “caravans” of illegal immigrants. On 1/02/2019, Trump called both Democratic and GOP House and Senate leaders to the White House to negotiate border wall funding. At that meeting, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) asked Donald three times why the government couldn’t be reopened while the two sides worked to resolve their differences over funding. Trump finally stated he couldn’t accept such an offer because, “I would look foolish if I did that (Vazquez & Mattingly, CNN, 1/02/19).” Give me a break! Trump already looks beyond “foolish” to the overwhelming majority of the American people.

Trump has already told more than 5,000 lies, both big and small, according to Fact Checker and the lies just keep on coming every time he opens his mouth or his little fingers start tweeting (See Kessler, Rizzo, & Kelly, Wash. Post, 9/13/18). Trump keeps telling everyone that the public agrees with his government shut down. A big lie. According to a late 12/2018 Reuters/Ipsos Poll, 47% blame Donald for the shutdown while only 33% fault the Democrats. Just 35% support building the wall and only 25% support the government shutdown. According to a Morning Consult Poll taken around the time the shutdown started, Donald had only a 39% approval rating v. a 56% disapproval score. This polling matched his 8/2017 low popularity after his awful response to the white supremacist Charlottesville, VA riot. Trump was also blamed for the shutdown in this poll, 43%-31% (morningconsult.com). Trump could care less that the government shutdown has closed national parks such as CA’s Joshua Tree because of overflowing fecal waste that employees are not on duty to handle. The Smithsonian museums and National Zoo in D.C. are also shuttered (CNN, Sanchez & Boyette, 1/02/19, NPR, 1/02/19, Schuknecht). The Food and Drug Administration has about one month’s funding left for some of its activities. A total of 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed or are working without pay and won’t receive checks until the government reopens (CNN Vazquez & Mattingly, 1/02/19, nytimes.com, Tackett & Edmondson, 1/05/19). The shutdown has now entered its third week and Toddler/Demagogue Donald has stated that unless he gets his wall funding, this shutdown could continue for “months or even years (nytimes.com, Tackett & Edmondson, 1/05/19).”

Again, elections have real consequences. Because of the 11/06/2018 midterm elections, Democrats, fortunately, recaptured the House, flipping 40 seats “Blue.” Trump will, therefore, face real political resistance for the first time since he took office. On 1/03/2019, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) took back the Speaker’s gavel after 8 years of House GOP rule that only concerned itself with aiding the top 1%. This will be Pelosi’s second time in the Speaker’s chair. During her first term as Speaker, (2007-2011), she helped pass Obama’s key economic stimulus, Wall Street regulation, and health care reform. Now, her job will be to check Trump’s excesses. Her first priority will be getting the Democratic majority to pass bills to reopen the government. A bill that would open the Department of Homeland Security without any money for Trump’s wall passed the Democratic House 239-192. Five GOPers joined the Dems (CNN, Foran, 1/03/19). This action will put pressure on obstructionist Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Demagogue Donald. Pelosi will try to improve Obamacare and protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. She will also encourage the new Democratic House committee chairpersons to investigate Donald’s shady dealings with Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the Trump team’s super swamp-like corruption (See Gray, 1/03/19, shareblue.com). One of the key Congressmen looking into misdeeds by Trump and Company in Pelosi’s House will be Congressman Jerry Nadler, the new Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Meet Jerry Nadler.

Fifteen-term Democratic Congressman Jerrold “Jerry” Nadler (71) presently represents NY’s 10th Congressional District (CD). The current NY 10th CD includes lower Manhattan, including Wall Street and the financial district. From the Battery at Manhattan’s southern tip, the 10th goes on to take in Freedom Tower, built on the site of the two World Trade Center towers destroyed along with nearly 3,000 lives by Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorists on 9/11/2001. The 10th runs north up Manhattan Island’s west side, taking in the NY neighborhoods of TriBeCa, Chelsea, Greenwich Village, and SoHo. Greenwich Village has New York University (NYU) and Chelsea and SoHo have artists and art galleries. The northern end of the 10th includes Columbia University. South of the Battery, the 10th CD crosses into Borough Park and Bensonhurst in the borough of Brooklyn. The 10th’s economic pillars are finance, retail, and tourism (Barone & CQ 14 Political Almanacs).

The 10th is a heavily Jewish American district. It also has many gays and lesbians. The 10th is home to Manhattan’s Stonewall bar, site of the police raid that touched off the gay rights revolution. Brooklyn’s Bensonhurst contains Italian-Americans, although many Chinese immigrants are moving there. Politically, Manhattan’s West Side, has been a strong progressive area since the 1950’s. The Jews in the Brooklyn area, however, include many Hasidic Orthodox and Russian immigrants. These Jews are politically unlike their fellow Manhattan West Side co-religionists and most Jewish Americans who remain progressives. Although many of the Russian Jewish immigrants are poor, they view any government assistance as similar to the hated socialism they left. The Borough Park Orthodox Jews are hostile to what they see as Democrats “favoring” other racial and ethnic groups. They believe Democrats are too “soft on crime.” Many Italian-Americans in the 10th also lean conservative. However, these GOP-trending Brooklyn areas are heavily outvoted by the progressive Manhattan West Siders. The 4/2017 Cook PVI (Progressive Voting Index) gives the NY 10th a +26 D score. Obama won this area by 53 points and 48.5 points in 2008 and 2012 respectively. Hillary clobbered Donald in 2016 by 59.5 points (Barone &CQ 14, Recent election results from statewide races).

Raised in an Orthodox Jewish household, Brooklyn native Jerry Nadler first lived on a NJ chicken farm. The farm failed and his family moved back to NY where his father owned a Long Island gas station and an auto parts store. Nadler stated he was drawn to public service in part, after listening to his father rail against President Eisenhower and his conservative Agriculture Sec. Ezra Taft Benson. His father blamed them for policies that made it impossible for him to keep the family farm. Nadler went to Columbia University. After his 1969 Columbia graduation, Nadler was a state legislative aide. He won election to the NY State Assembly in 1976 and served there from 1977-1992. He received a law degree from Fordham University in 1978 (CQ & Barone 14). In 1992, Cong. Ted Weiss suddenly died the day before the Sept. NY primary. Nadler was selected by a convention of 1,000 county Dem. committee members to replace Weiss in the NY 7th , renumbered the 10th after 2010. He handily won the special election to serve the rest of Weiss’ term as well as the regular election for a full two-year term, both held in 11/1992. He has coasted to re-election ever since, winning by 62 points in 2018 (CQ, Early Guide 116th Congress, CQ & Barone 14).

In the House, Cong. Nadler is an outspoken liberal who champions civil rights and civil liberties. He stands strongly for gay rights, women’s rights, and Jewish causes. Even though he represents 9/11’s “Ground Zero,” he heavily monitors the use of executive power in the war on terrorism, especially electronic surveillance (CQ 14). In the previous 115th Congress, Nadler voted 95% of the time with Cong. Adam Schiff (D-CA), another representative who will closely investigate Donald (projects.propublica.org). Nadler called the “proudest moment of his legislative career” getting $4 billion to help the 9/11 first responders who are suffering from health-related problems (Barone 14).”

As early as the 1980’s when Nadler was a NY Assemblyman, he and Donald clashed. In his 2000 book, “The America We Deserve,” Trump called Nadler “one of the most egregious hacks in contemporary politics.” In this book, Donald was apparently furious that “this guy (Nadler) wanted to put a railroad yard on the same property where I wanted to build a park and create the best middle-income housing in New York (cnn.com, Herb & Fox, 1/01/19).” Don’t “bu lee ve” a word about Donald’s “best” middle income housing talk. Just about everything Donald builds is sub-par. Nadler has always had a keen interest in both the NY legislature and in Congress in expanding freight rail capacity to foster economic growth, lower consumer costs, and reduce air pollution (See CQ 14).

As Judiciary Chair, Nadler will have jurisdiction over Trump’s key obsession, immigration. Nadler intends to conduct rigorous oversight on Trump’s cruel family border separations as well as his bad changes in asylum laws (cnn.com, Herb & Fox, 1/01/19). As Judiciary Chairman, Nadler and his committee would be in charge of handling a report from special counsel Robert Mueller and any fights that would arise about making that document public. Nadler plans to make Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election public (cnn.com, 1/04/19, Stracqualursi). Most importantly, Nadler would be in charge of any Democratic effort to impeach Trump (cnn.com, Herb & Fox).

Nadler knows that many Democrats are “making no bones” about wanting to impeach Trump immediately. However, IMHO, Nadler is taking a more reasonable approach. Nadler has said that it’s “too soon to talk about impeachment (cnn.com, Herb & Fox, 1/01/19).” On 1/04/2019, Nadler told CNN that they will have to consider Mueller’s report. Even before Mueller turns in his final report, Nadler’s committee will “protect the special counsel’s investigation by doing our own inquiry. We have to get the facts. We will see where the facts lead. Maybe that will lead to impeachment. Maybe it won’t. It is much too early (cnn.com, Stracqualursi, 1/04/19).” Nadler added that impeachment should not be pursued, “unless you believe that you have such great evidence of such terrible deeds that when that evidence is laid out to the American people, you will probably get an appreciable fraction of the voters who supported the president to agree that you had to do it. Impeachment can’t be partisan.” Nadler added, “We don’t have the evidence for impeachment yet. We are far from finishing the inquiry… There’s a lot of smoke, how much fire has yet to be determined (cnn.com, Stracqualursi).”

Cong. Nadler’s approach to impeachment is very similar to how the late House Judiciary Chair Cong. Peter Rodino (D-NJ) properly conducted the 1974 Nixon impeachment vote. Rodino’s committee thoroughly investigated the evidence from many sources. The majority of Democrats on that committee were able to convince some of Nixon’s key supporters, including some conservative Southern Democrats and a few GOPers (the “appreciable fraction” test) to go along with their impeachment votes, even though the majority of Nixon’s base still remained with him. To make this issue a partisan one risks backlash not just from Trump and his base, but from many of the swing suburban voters who gave Democrats their House majority. We must trust and follow Speaker Pelosi and her Judiciary point guard Cong. Nadler.

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