Torture promoter Marc Thiessen did his best to continue to earn his spot as number 6 on Salon's The War Room Hack Thirty during this interview on Fox's America Live. Thiessen adds his name to the list of conservatives who are bashing the current lame-duck session of Congress as somehow corrupt or, as Thiessen says here, that "they have no legitimacy". As our friends at Media Matters pointed out back in August, conservatives seem to have some selective memory when it comes to how Republicans spent their time when they were in charge of Congress during the lame-duck session when Bill Clinton was president.
Conservative media figures have repeatedly claimed or suggested that it would be unprecedented and "corrupt" for Democrats to address "controversial" issues during Congress' lame duck session following the 2010 elections. But in 1998, Republicans impeached President Clinton during such a post-election congressional session.
Conservatives fearmonger about supposedly unprecedented use of lame duck session to address "controversial" issues
Gingrich: "[A]ny attempt by the outgoing Congress to pass legislation they were unwilling to defend in an election would be an attempt to thwart the will of the people." Writing in Human Events on August 4, Newt Gingrich wrote that "Democratic leaders today have been sending clear signals that they are willing to use the lame duck session of Congress to pass the most unpopular and destructive parts of their agenda," and that, "Like the Federalists' actions in 1801, any attempt by the outgoing Congress to pass legislation they were unwilling to defend in an election would be an attempt to thwart the will of the people." Gingrich continued, "It is hard to think of an attitude more fundamentally at odds with the spirit of our democratic republic than the idea that an elected representative should feel 'liberated' to pass bills the American people do not support once he or she is freed from the burden of having to face the voters." Gingrich urged his readers to asked their members of Congress to sign a pledge not to participate in such a lame duck session because it "smacks of the worst kind of political corruption" and "is an abusive power grab."
Rove: "We've never had a lame duck session that has dealt with a highly controversial and extremely consequential item." Appearing on the August 9 edition of Fox News' Your World With Neil Cavuto, Karl Rove said that "we've never had a lame-duck session that has dealt with a highly controversial and extremely consequential item," adding that it "would really be unusual" for Democrats to deal with issues like cap and trade, card check and tax cuts during the session.
Fund: "It's been almost 30 years since anything remotely contentious was handled in a lame-duck session." In a July 9 Wall Street Journal column, John Fund wrote, "It's been almost 30 years since anything remotely contentious was handled in a lame-duck session, but that doesn't faze Democrats who have jammed through ObamaCare and are determined to bring the financial system under greater federal control."
Geraghty: "Lame-duck sessions are not designed to be shortcuts to ignore the will of the people and erase any sense of legislative culpability." Jim Geraghty wrote in National Review Online's "Campaign Spot" blog on June 16 that "Every Republican challenger ought to be demanding that their Democrat incumbent opponent pledge in writing that they will not pass an energy bill in a lame-duck session if they are defeated" and that "When the people make their opinion clear, fundamental concepts of accountability and responsibility require that the opinion not be ignored." Geragthy added, "Lame-duck sessions are not designed to be shortcuts to ignore the will of the people and erase any sense of legislative culpability."
Beck: Democrats "ramping up civil unrest" with lame duck session. On the July 15 edition of his radio show, Glenn Beck discussed the proposed lame duck session with Rep. Michelle Bachmann (D-MN) and said, "[Y]ou tell me what stops these people. Because this is my real fear. They are ramping up civil unrest."
And we can now add Thiessen here.
THIESSEN: If I'm thankful for anything this Thanksgiving I'm thankful for the America people for electing this Congress. The American people just fired this Congress. This was the largest shift in seats since 1948. What that means is there has not been a lame duck Congress that has been more discredited in more than six decades. They have no legitimacy. They should not be doing anything of substance. The only thing they should be doing is keeping the doors of government open while they pack their bags and prepare their resumes and let anything that of substance be taken care of by the new Congress that's coming in that was just elected by the American people. They should not be tackling any controversial issues or doing anything other than keeping the government working. [...]
Well, I think if you look at the... what is the job of Congress? The job of Congress, Congress has about the Constitution the power of the purse. Their job is to pass spending bills. They have not passed a single spending bill as we come up on the last few weeks of this session. So they have not done their job. What they did for the last two years was focus on a government take over of health care, government take over of the banks and all of the other things that led the American people to fire them and so if they go into this lame duck session saying hey, let's take on Don't Ask Don't Tell, let's take on an arms control treaty with Russia, let's change the tax structure of this country, they have no legitimacy to do any of that. So they need to focus on keeping the doors of government open.
Thiessen acts like the Democrats lost the Senate as well. I'll give the Republicans credit for one thing, they've got their lies and they're sticking to them dammit. And the media is happy to let them repeat them over, and over and over again.