Royce is the Chair of the prestigious House Foreign Affairs Committee, so he is in a better position than almost anyone in Congress to know how much the Congressional Republican hostage-taking will hurt us on the international stage. As one of the 20-odd Republican Chairs, he has the stature to lead a revolt of the supposedly sane members of the party — stature that his European and Eurasian Affairs Subcommittee Chair Dana Rohrabacher and Oversight and Governmental Oversight Chair Darrell Issa lack — to make a break with party leadership for the good of the country and survive politically. By signing a “discharge petition” to bring a clean “continuing resolution” to the floor without the acquiescence of weepy and fragile House Speaker John Boehner, Ed Royce could be the guy to bail the nation’s chestnuts out of the fire — if he wanted to.
So far, he won’t do it.
He’s got to know that his lunatic party leadership is steering us directly into a train wreck. If he doesn’t get it, then his prime advisor, snarly Chief of Staff Amy Porter, should be fired. (She won’t be fired, of course; I just enjoy typing that.) He has got to know the downside of dealing with hostage-takers (which is what that party leadership has now become: “pay the ransom or we’ll kill your economy.”) Still, he won’t act — sitting on his duff like he’s a bystander rather than one of the members of Congress with the most access to power, if he has the guts to use it.
You, Dear Reader — yes, you! — should be contacting Ed Royce’s office right now to urge him to sign a discharge petition right now. He’s in town; citizens should be serenading his district office on Brea’s Birch Street Promenade day and night, urging him to crawl onto his feet and stop the madness. He’s our point of leverage; our county Republican Congressional delegation’s supposedly sane and sober counterpart to the insane and insufficiently sober Rohrabacher. We should be using the crowbar of public opinion with great force to dislodge him from his position — and thus save the nation.
What’s that? You say that you don’t have his contact information? Wait — OJB is here to help!
- WASHINGTON, DC OFFICE
- 2185 Rayburn House Office Building
- Washington, DC 20515
- T (202) 225-4111
- F (202) 226-0335
- DISTRICT OFFICE
- 210 W Birch Street , Suite 201
- Brea, CA 92821
- T (714) 255-0101 | (909) 420-0010
- F (714) 255-0109
- LOS ANGELES COUNTY OFFICE
- 1380 S. Fullerton Road #205
- Rowland Heights, CA 91748
- T (626) 964-5123
- F (626) 810-3891
But do you know who has even more influence over him than most of our readership combined? His third-highest-paid staffer, after the Chief of Staff and her Deputy, 65th Assembly District candidate Young Kim. She’s his “Director of Asian Community Relations” — presumably one of those who in her spare time vetted last year’s “Yellow Peril” attack mailers against Royce’s formidable Taiwanese-American opponent, Hacienda-La Puente School Board President Jay Chen. Correct me if I’m wrong, Amy Porter, but I think that Kim is supposed to be listening to word on the streets in the Asian community about issues including the prospect of default on our Full Faith and Credit: which, judging from what I see in the foreign press, has our Asian bondholders highly agitated.
Royce is heavily invested politically in Kim’s campaign against incumbent Sharon Quirk-Silva and, if I don’t miss my mark, former incumbent Chris Norby.
Norby, of course, is a libertarian political nihilist — I mean that in as kind a way as I can muster — who would probably welcome both a shutdown and a default disaster as a means of reigning in the excesses of government. (To him, those excesses include most examples of what most of us call “governing.”) He has his convictions and they aren’t going to change. But Royce, who exists in a sort of superimposed quantum state has allowed him to be both a party elder statesman and a member of the Tea Party Caucus — is not so heavily invested in the “political convictions” department. He should be movable. If he did move and lead the “adult” caucus pushing for a discharge petition, though, the “tarnish” of his “giving up the hostages” for nothing would likely spread to his protege Young Kim.
Royce apparently believes that he himself is invulnerable from challenge by either a Republican or a Democrat, and thus he doesn’t have to worry. However, if Royce helped “release the hostages” to save the country, he would deeply upset the hostage-takers. Her undeniably close association with her political patron Royce would tend to hurt Kim in next June’s primary against Norby (or someone like him), as both attempted to scoop up the portion of the vote that Sharon Quirk-Silva, essentially assured of a spot in the 2014 general election, doesn’t already have in the bag.
So when you read government shutdown stories and national default stories, take a moment to revel at the great role that Orange County plays in this crisis.
- Orange County hosts one of the few House Republicans with the stature to lead a “revolt of the adults” and solve these crises of governance — given his ability to bolster his position with an argument that Republicans would find difficult to ignore: that both crises generate substantial international weakness in foreign affairs, leading among other things to a higher probability of terrorist attacks on the U.S. and its assets.
- Royce won’t do so not due to fear over his own electoral fate — but perhaps due to fear over the electoral fate of Young Kim, his protege in the potentially legislative-control-deciding AD-65.
As “tail wagging the dog” stories go, that is pretty impressive!
So what should Young Kim do? Her patriotic duty, of course! She should call publicly for her boss to sign the appropriate discharge petititons — and she should privately twist his arm to do so as well.
She’s supposed to an adult too, right? (Right? I’m really asking.) If so, here’s her chance to act like one. Next time any of you see her, please ask her for her position on the government shutdown and on government default.
If she tells you that that’s not a matter she’d face in the California legislature, remind her that she’d sure as hell have to deal with it’s recession-generating economic consequences. And remind her of who she works for — and that she needs not to be the tail wagging that dog.