Incoming House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy appeared on Fox News last night and offered some friendly, across-the-aisle advice for the future Democratic majority: Don't waste your time investigating Donald Trump and the questionable legality of his olive oil importing business.

"Well, it's a challenge," McCarthy told Fox News Channel's Bill Hemmer when asked about Democrats' return to the majority in January. "It looks like what they're going to focus on is just more investigations. I think America's too great of a nation to have such a small agenda."

McCarthy's Republican colleagues literally just spent six hours Friday annoying former FBI Director James Comey with more questions about Hillary Clinton's emails, the Steele Dossier, and text messages between FBI agents who were concerned America might elect a president who can't spell "smoking gun."


But that was Friday and this is -- let me check my Marilyn Monroe calendar -- Tuesday. Maybe Republicans think Democrats should try governing and actually helping Americans for a change. That wasn't their bag, but everyone's tastes are different. McCarthy, I'm sure, is totally on board with all the positive legislation Democrats will want to pass. That big agenda has a better chance of succeeding, though, if the illiterate in chief is replaced in 2020. Arguably, more investigations into Trump's corruption would only help that goal. I know that sounds cynical and a tad slimy, but McCarthy was both when he explained the electoral benefit of the Benghazi investigation:

"Everybody though Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?" McCarthy asked. "But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she's untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened, had we not fought."

Congress is intended to serve as a check on the executive branch, but Republicans think that's only when the president is a Democrat and afflicted with either blackness or advanced woman-ness (a Russian vaccine successfully inoculated us from the last one). McCarthy has no intention of holding Trump accountable for anything and thinks Democrats should similarly go hide under their beds. Fellow California representative Adam Schiff suggested that Trump could face the "prospect of jail time" because of his alleged involvement in plans to buy women's silence during the 2016 campaign. Trump described the alleged crime as a "simple private transaction" -- you know, like the purely hypothetical example of hiring Russian prostitutes to urinate on a bed Barack Obama once slept in.

You're usually in serious legal jeopardy when your defense shifts from "not guilty" to "probably guilty but is it really such a big deal?" This is the latest Republican tactic. McCarthy went on to suggest campaign finance violations were as commonplace as sorority sister hookups.

Republican Duncan Hunter, also from California, was recently indicted for campaign finance violations and still got reelected over the Muslim who was not in fact a Muslim. Chris Collins, of New York, realized the idiots would reelect him even though he insider-traded from the White House Congressional Picnic. And they did!

Rand Paul said on "Meet the Press" Sunday that prosecuting campaign finance violations are the slippery slope to becoming "a banana republic, where every president gets prosecuted and every president gets thrown in jail when they're done with office."

Annoying person Meghan McCain on "The View" tried to argue that other presidents -- with the name Obama -- had violated campaign finance law just like Trump (allegedly). McCain reads from prepared right-wing talking points and still doesn't quite reach coherence. My favorite part, other than Sunny Hostin and Joy Behar visibly resisting the urge to slap her, is when McCain points out that only two presidents have ever been impeached -- "Obviously Bill Clinton and [you know she had to Google this] Andrew Johnson, like, after the Civil War." So, we shouldn't impeach Trump because it's kind of rare? We've only had one black president so far and we're still going to have another when Kamala gets sworn in.

McCain admits she's "not a lawyer" and boy is she right! The Obama 2008 campaign was fined for reporting violations, which is significantly different from what Trump is accused of doing. Sort of like how the self-employed handyman forgetting to report a couple jobs when filing his taxes is not technically Al Capone. This is probably why one gets a small fine and the other got Alcatraz.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."

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