All agree that the Democrats now controlling the House and Senate must be, or at least appear, civil, collegial, and bipartisan. It would also be useful at the same time to minimize the power of the Republican minority and its corrupt paymasters to obstruct legislation — or, for that matter, to influence legislation in any way whatever — and prevent that minority from having its voice heard in the media. Moreover, Democrats should make the experience of being in the minority as miserable as possible, in order to encourage retirement, or, better yet, party-switching.
A casual or thoughtless observer might think these to be mutually inconsistent goals. But that is not the case.
Surely nothing is more civil than flattery, of which imitation is well-known to be the sincerest form. So the Democrats should imitate the Republicans — not, let it be hoped, in taking bribes or committing extortion, not in neglecting the public interest, and not in stirring up domestic hatred in the face of the common enemey — but in maltreating the minority party.
For example, according to the outgoing Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, the committee chair has the authority to forbid not only his own staff members but also members of the minority staff from communicating with the press. I hadn’t known that, but I’m delighted to learn it. Every incoming committee chair should be equally delighted, and should be careful to flatter Chairman Hoekstra by imposing an identical rule.
However, since Democrats are not Republicans, our committee chairs should refrain from taking drastic adverse employment actions against members of the minority staff based on nothing but supposition. That, in the immortal words of Richard Nixon, would be wrong.