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Tags: Coronavirus | Presidential History | pelosi | may | japan | hamilton | sweden

Congress Remains True to Form During Pandemic

congress out of order


By    |   Sunday, 10 May 2020 06:14 AM

In the Federalist Paper 35 Alexander Hamilton wrote there " . . . are the strong chords of sympathy between the representative and the constituent."

In No. 56 Alexander Hamilton and James Madison wrote " . . . the representative ought to be acquainted with the interests and circumstances of his constituents." During the Federal [Constitutional] Convention of 1787, Colonel Mason declared "The requisites in actual representation are, that the representatives should sympathize with their constituents…"

Many historical photos and reports confirm that during World War II, Queen Elizabeth the Second, then Princess Elizabeth, worked as a mechanic and truck driver for the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, a branch of the British Army.

Michael Retford, a seaman from the SS Atlantic Conveyor, sunk during the Falklands War, was surprised to see Prince Andrew the Duke of York, Queen Elizabeth’s second son, as co-pilot of the helicopter from Helicopter Squadron 820 rescuing him and his 25 shipmates suffering from hypothermia in the South Atlantic. Prince Andrew also flew his Royal Navy Sea King helicopter three to four hours per day "behind the HMS Invincible to serve as a decoy to Exocet missiles — Argentina’s deadliest weapon. . . "

Prince Harry, Queen Elizabeth’s grandson and the younger son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, spent 10 weeks in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban acting as a tactical air-controller and conducting foot patrols in 2008. He returned to Afghanistan in 2012 for a 20 week deployment as an Apache helicopter pilot flying scores of combat missions as a co-pilot gunner.

This past April, Princess Sofia of Sweden completed a training program and began her voluntary service disinfecting "equipment, do shifts in the kitchen and cleaning" at Sophiahemmet Hospital "joining the frontline effort helping ease the strain on the health care system amid the coronavirus pandemic."

Contrast this with some of the actions of members of our United States Congess.

In 1943, Congressman Andrew Jackson May revealed secret information at a press conference that the Japanese Navy had been setting their depth charges at 250 feet, too shallow to affect our submarines. The Japanese adjusted their tactics after intelligence picked this up, prompting Vice Admiral Charles A. Lockwood, commander of the U.S. submarine fleet in the Pacific to write "I hear . . .  Congressman May . . . said the [Japanese Navy ] depth charges . . . are not set deep enough.  . . .  He would be pleased to know the [Japanese Navy] set'em deeper now." And after the war, Lockwood wrote, 'I consider that indiscretion cost us ten submarines and 800 officers and men.'" Adding insult to tinjury, Congressman May was later "…convicted of accepting cash in return for influencing the award of munitions contracts during World War II from his position of Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee."

On the Feb. 24, the Speaker of the House, visiting San Francisco’s Chinatown and hugging friends, encouraged tourists to come to Chinatown saying "We feel safe and sound, so many of us coming here."

Two days later,  on Feb. 26, the mayor of San Francisco declared a state of emergency to combat a potential coronavirus outbreak. Eighteen days later, on March 16, the mayor established a 24 hour curfew in the city, the first such lockdown in the United States.

While her constituents in San Francisco were subjected to stay at home orders losing their livelihood our Speaker of the House displayed for the media her refrigerator stocked with dozens of ice cream pints; a true tribute to Marie Antoinette’s "Let them eat cake!" displaying how unacquainted she, as a congressional leader, is "with the interests and circumstances" of her constituents.

Admittedly, there were a few lawmakers who rose to the occasion in the face of the coronavirus crisis. Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., a qualified physician, volunteered at a local hospital after he recovered from the coronavirus.

However, overall, when faced with a national crisis, Congress again failed to rise above political bickering. This time, they've stooped to a new low by abandoning the American people in the face of the coronavirus attack.

They opted instead for a month long "recess" on March 27.

Just when you would think they cannot go any lower, they blaze to new depths by delaying their return from their spring recess, by two weeks, from April 20 to May 4th.

Then, the House of Representatives postpones their return indefinitely!

As "essential" workers continue to staff hospitals, stock market shelves, provide safety and security — generally serving the people — our congressional representatives have deserted their offices, demonstrating a total lack of solidarity with constituents while rendering themselves ineffective and irrelevant during this pandemic.

Before you vote this fall, ask — has your representative forsaken "the strong cords of sympathy between the representative and the constituent" because, true to form, they failed to be "acquainted with the interests and circumstances of his constituents"?

The preceding is the opinion of the author and is not meant to reflect the opinion of the U.S. Navy or the U.S. Government.

John M. DeMaggio retired after 30 years of service as a Captain from the U.S. Naval Reserve Intelligence Program. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Forensic Science from John Jay College and a Master’s of Science from Whiting School of Engineering, Johns Hopkins University. Privately consulting in counterterrorism, forensic science, and investigations, he also conducts international counterterrorism training, having retired as a Special Agent in Charge and serving as Co-chairman, Investigative Support and Forensic Subgroup, TSWG, developing interagency counterterrorism technology. He is also an op-ed contributor for The Hill. He previously published “Mitigation of Terrorist Effects on Victims’ Motivation” in U.S. Army Counterinsurgency Center Colloquium. Read John M. DeMaggio's Reports — More Here.

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When faced with a national crisis, Congress again failed to rise above political bickering. This time, they've stooped to a new low by abandoning the American people in the face of the coronavirus.
pelosi, may, japan, hamilton, sweden
Sunday, 10 May 2020 06:14 AM
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