Either you want checks and balances, or you don't. If you want it, that's going to mean politicians trying to humiliate each other. Sometimes that means political allies.

An Aside About The Victims

I think it's worth pointing out how little a public figure suffers from bad press. Perhaps the particularly vain will wither under the sunlight of their work for the public being described in a negative way, but let me tell you a story:

There was a public figure once, who was routinely mocked, humiliated, blamed for almost every problem you could imagine, laughed at, and never even listened to by the vast majority of people. I took the time, listened, and you know what? Not only is he a basically honest person, he had a really good point and once I explained it to someone who was mocking him, they agreed.

And that person is... (drumroll) Ajit Pai. Shit on by essentially everyone, this guy endured it all.

He wanted to change some rules about how the internet is governed, removing some regulations that allowed for the FCC to enforce network neutrality, which, at least online, everyone loves. People care about this.

And you hear him say, not all internet traffic is urgent. There's email, which can be delayed by seconds without issue, and there is the remote-surgery robot controls that the future will inevitably bring, and that's intensely latency-dependent. In the future, more and more things will be done remotely by robots, and allowing fast and slow lanes will help.

But he's also aware that some internet companies might want to behave in terrible anti-competitive ways, which is why he strongly supported FTC oversight, so Comcast/NBC can't slow down Netflix and try to make you sign up for their own streaming service.

He doesn't like that either. But that's not an issue with the communication at work, it's an issue with anti-competitive business practices. And there's a whole other regulatory agency for that. If you want to offer low-latency service, in a way that helps people and doesn't stop competition, it's best you know, up front, that's okay to do.

And this dude was hammered by the worst press I've ever seen. I'm not an Ajit Pai stan or anything, but the hatred exceeded that of Trump, for a meaningful amount of time, and the guy wasn't constantly whining about it like an infant/Trump. He did his job, the best he knew how.

What Happened To Retaliation?

One of the things that I like about political infighting is that it helps us build a more robust system. Andrew Johnson being a complete jerk, ignoring Congress's massive role in shaping the federal government? They made a new law to spite him and waited for him to break it and then impeached him. Nixon being a dick? Let's make new laws (like, uncoincidentally, the Impoundment and Control Act, which Trump later violated with the corrupt Ukraine shakedown) to prevent abuses of power in the future.

If you don't like a guy, sure, you try and destroy them. But you also build the machinery to destroy all the stuff you don't like. Well, you do that if you're Congress, because Congress makes the rules. But that's my whole point.

What happened to passing laws limiting abuse of power in the wake of impeachable misconduct? Has Congress completely lost it's mind?

So frequently, I worry that the American experiment is doomed, that too many mistakes are piled on top of each other, and no one is even attempting to fix them anymore.

This, certainly, doesn't reduce that suspicion.

Republicans should take a stand against Republicans. Power inside the winning coalition is zero sum. Grab it. Smack down anyone who does something the public doesn't like. Use misconduct to humiliate them. That's the way the founders wanted us to treat people in power: with deep suspicion, and the willingness to destroy their career if it better suits what the American people perceive as best.