Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Nunes quietly racking up wins

Devin Nunes has come under constant and heavy political fire for over two years now. His detractors have employed bureaucratic maneuvers, massive infusions of cash into his district election plus nonstop media hit pieces continuing through today in an attempt to derail the congressman from Tulare. Yet, quietly, Nunes has been notching wins.

Look no further than the shady ethics complaint filed against him in April 2017. It apparently took eight months for the House Ethics Committee to consult with classification experts, but once they finally did, Nunes was fully vindicated. Or look to the bureaucratic tactics used to prevent the release of his memo in early 2018. The FBI demanded a review period before release of that document, citing national security concerns, then attempted to use that review period to delay or stifle the actual release. In both cases, Nunes won.

Once the memo was released there was an official “response memo” from Adam Schiff, which purports to debunk it. A year later, the Schiff memo has been shown to contain falsehoods, while the Nunes memo has been confirmed by primary documents. A month later, Nunes told the world that the House Intelligence Committee performed a thorough investigation into the events surrounding the 2016 election and uncovered no collusion by the Trump Campaign. Of course this was roundly mocked and met by scoffs from the pundits. But the bottom line conclusions of Attorney General Barr’s letter looks strikingly similar to what Nunes told us over a year ago. So once again, Nunes won.

Finally, look at the outside spending in the 2018 CA-22 Congressional race between Nunes and Andrew Janz. Over $900k of “outside” dollars (not directly contributed to the candidate) was spent in the race to oppose Nunes. The Sacramento Bee reported that only 12% of the direct contributions to Janz were from residents inside the district. Most of the money came from unsurprising places, like San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. And yet, on November 6 2018, the voters spoke, and Nunes won.

It must be satisfying facing down the worst that the left has to throw at you and still holding on to your congressional seat. Even more satisfying knowing that you still have cards to play against your attackers.

If there is one thing that President Trump likes, it’s winning. But of course, Trump wins have a certain style, during and after. Nunes has a very different style, he doesn’t spike the football afterwards like Trump does. And yet Trump seems to have a deep respect for Nunes. Trump has commended the congressman in tweets and in public interviews. I’m sure the same types of things are being said in private. Nunes has also earned respect inside the conservative community, winning an excellence award at 2018 CPAC and achieving a kind of folk hero status among the “spygate” community. With Nunes filing lawsuits against twitter harassers and against McClatchy, the parent company of the Fresno Bee, he clearly seems to be in an offensive stance. He is also promising criminal referrals. With the head of steam he has right now, why not?