Democracy re-born a la Leonidas. Democracy promises majority rule, while Autocracy promises the rule of one. Each has benefits and limitations. After the Magna Carta of 1215 at Runnymede, our ancestral Founders of American Exceptionalism, born out of the 1776 Declaration and the 1787 Constitution, distrusted “control” so much that they architecturally separated control, the power of Government, and created three co-equal branches of government, and for good measure to protect Americans from their newly born government and to prevent it from ever acting like King George, enacted a Bill of Rights: power of “we the people” over our own government’s natural desire to control us. It took Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburgh, as head of state, to graciously redefine the three co-equal branches of government into a durable promise: a government for the people.
Americans are unhappy and distrust our government after two “October Surprises”: 2016 and 2020. James Comey re-opened Hillary’s “Email Investigation,” aka breach of confidential documents, on October 28, 2016, before quickly shutting it down; but by re-opening it, ensured Donald J. Trump was sworn in as POTUS in 2017.
Fourteen days shy of four years later, on October 14, 2020, reporters Emma-Jo Morris and Gabrielle Fonrouge wrote a front page in NY Post: “Biden Secret Emails” (from Hunter Biden’s laptop). Social Media and Main Stream Media under pressure, private and governmental, shut down all stories corroborated by Hunter’s Laptop falsely being led to believe that it was all “Russian Disinformation”; if true, it would be an illegal discrete act of a foreign power interfering in the internal affairs of our nation, and raising the specter of Foreign Agents and applicability of FARA, with the Justice Department registration.
The unethical, and perhaps, illegal, “pressure” campaign to censor SM and MSM is now a known and admitted fact – thanks to Elon Musk, as CEO of Twitter, releasing internal documents documenting governmental over-reach and Twitter’s self-censorship even – as Hunter’s laptop was and is genuine, and that this, Hunter-Laptop stories, were not a product of Russian Disinformation or Russian interference in our electoral process in 2016. These two October Surprises clearly cost Hillary the presidency in 2016, and most likely Trump being elected (re-elected) in 2020.
January 6th Insurrection. While Americans – Democrats and Republicans – have every right to be upset with these October Surprises (2016 cost Hillary and 2020 cost Trump), Hillary did not cause a January 6th Insurrection in 2017; only Trump, to his everlasting constitutional shame, did in 2021.
Admittedly, the 2020 election results could have been different had Hunter’s laptop been fully “downloaded” as a serial front page story. Those that planned to attack our Capital and “hang Mike Pence” to prevent the Electoral College vote certification have much to answer for in court, with eternal shame. But those who merely came to protest against their government manipulating electoral results by unlawful and false interference with private First Amendment rights of SM and MSM have earned the right to be unhappy and distrustful of their government, which can appear to some to have become a “Government for the Governors, not the Governed.” Thanks to the heroic Capital Police, especially Officer Brian D. Sicknick, and the Constitutional Hero of January 6th, Mike Pence, the American uninterrupted “peaceful transfer of power” occurred on January 6th, with Joseph R. Biden Jr. taking his Oath on January 20, 2021. Shattered, however, after January 6th, was the trust of American Citizens that their Government was in actual fact “for the people.” We were at home, a nation divided, even as our motto is: from many, one. And we have remained divided, as there are many who profit by asserting the “Big Lie,” that the 2020 election was stolen at the Ballot Box. No, it wasn’t. But it is most probably true that both 2016 and 2020 election-results were changed by the October Surprises, and public trust in our institutions have been shaken, more than James Bond ever wanted his famous Vodka Martini shaken.
Political Genius Joe Biden. Given the political genius of President Biden – who became a United States Senator in 1972 at the ripe old age of 29 – slicing away, one slice of voters at a time with each piece of legislation or Executive Order signed – he successfully turned the expected “Red Wave” of the 2022 Midterm Elections into a “Red Ripple” (which, parenthetically, may not have been even that – but for the deep blue state of New York having some political scores settled by a most capable Andrew Cuomo, who was forced to resign due to a political tsunami, and he seems to have cosmically caused the congressional (and state senate) lines to be redrawn by a sharply divided Court decision last year).
The Leonidas effect in the 118th Congress. On Friday, January 13th, the Red Ripple – led by the Freedom Caucus, and Matt Gaetz, moved by former President Trump – at the 15th Ballot for Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, using the genius of Leonidas, got himself elected and agreed to govern – using the genius of Leonidas – via his sub-committee leadership and committee membership appointments: fight and win at every “bottleneck.” The “secret deal” Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern kept asking his Republican colleague, Rep.
Steve Scalise, about is this: the Kevin McCarthy “recipe” used to unify a fractured Republican slim-majority, which not only elected Kevin McCarthy Speaker in the wee hours of January 14th, but will help insure that the 20-odd members of the Freedom Caucus will have their voices heard and felt in legislation and investigations of the House of Representatives in the 118th Congress. A true coalition governance by the House GOP.
Leonidas: Chair and Majority-Membership of Sub-Committees. It is not the Thomas Jefferson Rule, of over 200 years, that just one member of the House is able to move “to vacate the chair” and seek a new Speaker – that is the big news – as it is both ancient, and not much trouble. While Nancy Pelosi, as Speaker, rescinded it in 2019 seeing the trouble John Boehner and Paul Ryan had, Kevin McCarthy has re-embraced it with quiet gusto. The big news is McCarthy putting Leonidas’ winning tactics into the House’s “regular order”: that the micro-majority at the sub-committee level will control the investigations and legislations the House in the 118th Congress undertakes and passes, respectively. This will come as no shock for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, with its “Blue Slip” tradition. Moreover, the illustrious Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, who for the last two years had a 50-50 majority, thanks to Kamala Harris as vice president, was more flexible than Gumby and more laser focused on getting his priorities accomplished than the physicists at National Ignition Facility at California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, who recently achieved gainful nuclear fusion.
In fact, the Midterms gave Leader Schumer an absolute majority by “one,” even as election results depleted President Trump’s electoral coattails into the feel-free-to-ignore range. But, on Friday, January 13th, former President Trump won a political reprieve to become, if he can keep it, a party elder, at least in the GOP-House coalition.
While many have mocked Kevin McCarthy’s historic election, a kinder view, with many collateral benefits to all of us is this: Speaker Kevin McCarthy has unified the supremely fractured House GOP to personify E Pluribus Unum. May God continue to Bless these United States, and the people’s House, Speaker McCarthy, and the great Gentleman from the great state of New York, the Hon.
Hakeem Jeffries, who has already made history as the first African-American Minority Leader. Since our precious exceptionalism is based upon power-separation, then only better days await our Republic, with the Senate led by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and the House by Leonidas, no, I mean: Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The Congressional compromises during the 118th Congress portend American revival and American greatness.
Ravi Batra, starting September 11, 2021, is a publisher of The America Times Company Ltd., and since January 2022, is the Editor-in-Chief. He is a member of the National Press Club, in Washington D.C., and a member of its "Freedom of the Press" and "International Correspondents" Teams/Committees.
A member of the bar since 1981, he is the head of a boutique law firm in Manhattan, The Law Firm of Ravi Batra, P.C., that handles complex constitutional, sovereignty, torture, civil and criminal cases, representing governments, corporates and individuals, with landmark legal victories, including, libel in fiction, in “Batra v. Dick Wolf.” He is Chairman & CEO, Greenstar Global Energy Corp., King Danylo of Galicia International Ltd., Mars & Pax Advisors, Ltd., Chairman of National Advisory Council on South Asian Affairs, and since September 2021, Advisor for Legal and Humanitarian Affairs to the Permanent Mission of Georgia to the United Nations. He is invited by various governments to address High Level Ministerial events, including, on Counter-Terrorism, including, Astana (Nur-Sultan), Dushanbe, Minsk and Delhi. He has testified in Congress as an invitee of the Chair, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, and interacted with U.S. Department of State from 1984 -1990, and then again, from 2006, during the tenures of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Rex Tillerson, Mike Pompeo and Antony Blinken.
He has served as Commissioner of New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), Trustee on New York State IOLA Board, New York State Judicial Screening Committee for the Second Judicial Department, City Bar’s Judicial Committee, Vice-Chair of Kings County Democratic County Committee’s Independent Judicial Screening Committee for the then-2nd Judicial Department of Brooklyn and Staten Island, Chair of NYSTLA’ Judicial Independence Committee, with many more bar leadership roles, including, NYSBA’s House of Delegates for four years. He has served as Advisor for Legal & Human Rights Affairs to the Permanent Mission of Ukraine post-annexation of Crimea till 2021, and Legal Advisor to numerous nations’ permanent missions to the U. N. since 2009, including, India, Pakistan, Honduras and Malta. He has served: as Global Special Counsel to The Antonov Company in Ukraine, a state-owned company, and was registered with the Justice Dept pursuant to FARA; and as Special Global Advisor to Rector/President of both - National Aviation University of Ukraine and National Technical University of Ukraine/KPI. He remains involved in geopolitics and public policy since the mid-1980's, starting with being on House Speaker Tip O’Neill’s Speaker’s Club and appointed member of NACSAA during President Ronald Reagan’s tenure. In 1988, he was part of U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese’s Delegation to Japan to resolve bilateral trade imbalance. He regularly interacts with the multilateral diplomatic community, and during the High Level UNGA Debate, with heads of State/Government. He is sought for his views as a speaker and writer.