It’s safe to say that, throughout history, most “political dockyards” have been filled with empty vessels. But one contemporary U.S. legislator recently showed himself to be particularly hollow.
He is Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who, on Friday, May 13, decided to double the rhetoric, and not double the fun, by adding clear falsehoods to a week that already saw him vote to send $40 BILLION in tax cash, borrowed money, military equipment, and “advisor aid” to the Biden-adored Ukraine government – a proposal that Senator Rand Paul is working to stop in the Senate.
Evidently, it wasn’t enough for Hoyer to grab our cash and increase the debt our kids will be enslaved to pay. It wasn’t enough to prolong a foreign war with roots tied to U.S. meddling in 2013-2014 and a muddled history going back centuries. And it wasn’t enough to keep funneling material resources and minds into a conflict with Russia.
Indeed, Hoyer was not done insulting our intelligence and attacking the U.S. Constitution he swore to uphold. On Friday, as Tim Haines writes for RealClear Politics:
Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer employed the oldest trick in the book on the House floor Friday afternoon, arguing that ‘we're at war’ with Russia and therefore ‘we need to produce energy.’
Which presents a number of fundamental fallacies.
First, there’s the fallacy that Hoyer can speak for anyone when he uses this “we.”
The government does not exist through voluntary consent. It, and all political institutions, are forced on people. If the operations of government were offered and we could decline, those would be business offerings in a free market. Mr. Hoyer’s “we” is a cypher for the government, a pronoun of forced inclusion, pressed onto you.
And even if this were a consensual arrangement, the mathematics of so-called “representation” in government don’t compute. At no time can anyone say that Hoyer “represents” him or her, because, in order to have real representation on every issue at every moment in DC, each of us would have to have a real “representative” to approach us and get our view at every step.
This, of course, never happens, and there are not that many so-called “representatives” to begin with.
Then there’s the Constitution he swears to “protect and defend.”
The fact that he so easily claims that “we are at war,” indicates that either he has no concept of the meaning of “War,” or has not read the US Constitution, or he doesn’t care.
Perhaps it’s all of those.
Because Majority Leader Hoyer appears disdainful of the fact that in order for the Congress to get the president to lead troops against a foreign state, he, and his fellow “legislators” must Declare War. It’s capitalized in the Constitution because "War" is a term that is supposed to be official, reserved for state-on-state actions only, and to operate under certain strict rules – such as not killing civilians. If the Congress wants a president to lead troops against non-state agitators, Hoyer and his pals must issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal, a process that allows the president to hire mercenaries, rather than engage in state-on-state warfare.
Nowhere does his Constitution allow a Congressman to blurt, “We are at war!” nor does it allow Congress to bundle a bunch of cash and weapons and send them to another nation-state in a spuriously named “Lend-Lease” program that is just as unconstitutional as the original war provocation with that title, passed by FDR’s DC friends in 1940.
Congressman Chip Roy (R-TX) noticed this tiny bit of insanity, tweeting soon thereafter:
’In a time of war. - did we vote on a declaration of war? Asking for a friend.
But Hoyer added to his insults, delving into the touchy issue of gas and energy availability.
As Haines reports, Hoyer repeated his admixture of fearmongering and falsehood:
I wish we'd get off this and really focus on the enemy. I know there's a lot of politics here, but we're at war. We need to produce energy.
Coming from a man who has a decades-long track record of hampering oil and natural gas exploration and sales in the U.S., this is a towering insult, indeed.
Here are just a few of Hoyer’s greatest hits against energy exploration and provision, brought to us in a lengthier list, at HouseOnTheIssues:
- Voted NO on opening Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling. (May 2011)
- Voted NO on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. (Apr 2011)
- Voted YES on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution. (Jun 2009)
- Voted YES on keeping moratorium on drilling for oil offshore. (Jun 2006)
- Voted NO on scheduling permitting for new oil refinieries (sic). (Jun 2006)
- Voted NO on authorizing construction of new oil refineries. (Oct 2005)
- Voted YES on prohibiting oil drilling & development in ANWR. (Aug 2001)
- Voted YES on starting implementation of Kyoto Protocol. (Jun 2000)
- Voted YES on banning offshore oil drilling in Gulf of Mexico. (Jul 2016)
But, Mr. Hoyer seems very comfortable complaining that “WE need to produce energy.”
And he added more deception, this time, by omission, as Haines reports:
’The Biden administration approved more drilling permits in 2021 than the Trump administration approved in the first three years they were in office,’ Hoyer said. ‘I don't know how the [Republican leader] rationalizes his comments about the Biden (Admin) constricting petroleum production.’
Let’s dissect the Hoyer rhetoric, going backwards. As Abigale Tardif explained in December, for Americans for Prosperity:
One of Biden’s first actions after taking office was to halt new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters — a move that results in higher energy costs for the most vulnerable consumers.
The administration canceled the Keystone XL pipeline and suspended oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and New Mexico (despite opposition from the Navajo Nation). It also resurrected the ‘Waters of the United States’ rule, which would increase barriers to energy projects.
And, as I noted in January for MRCTV:
That Biden move resulted in 14 states taking legal action in March, last year, to fight for their autonomy, and a court ruling that, for now, has stopped the White House clampdown.
But business owners and corporate boards change their behavior when faced with the likelihood that political forces could hamper their efforts to increase competitiveness or make their investment of time and resources nugatory.
They delay those investments or shift them into other areas.
So, despite the fact that, in November, Biden briefly ‘reopened’ oil and natural gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, he subsequently STOPPED them AGAIN.
And energy execs back off, due to Biden’s aggression and his vociferous claims that he wants to shift U.S. energy use away from efficient oil, coal, and natural gas and into less efficient sources such as solar and wind.
Then there is the idea of the “leases.” The leases are only the first step in a long process for oil and natural gas companies. And, not only has Biden REINSTITUTED his halt on leases, the process is not as simple as “have lease, can drill, will drill” the way Hoyer insinuates.
’That accusation is a complete red herring,’ American Exploration & Production Council (AXPC) CEO Anne Bradbury told FOX Business. ‘It's really a distraction from the fact that this administration has paused leasing on federal lands, something that we're concerned about and something that we think needs to continue right away,’
Bradbury also said the Biden administration is ‘required under the law’ to sell oil and gas leases on federal lands.
Which, of course, it is not doing. But, further, regarding the “oil companies have leases, and aren’t using them” canard:
’This represents a fundamental misunderstanding as to how this process works,’ American Petroleum Institute (API) president and CEO Mike Sommers told FOX Business when asked about Psaki's comments. ‘Once you lease land there is a whole process that you have to go through. First you have to actually discover whether actually there is oil and gas in that land. Second of all, you have to get a permit to actually develop that land.’
And then there’s the final lesson, which is that the federal government has no constitutional or moral authority to control the lands or waterways other than three types delineated in the Constitution, itself. Those are: Washington DC, federal garrisons for troops, and territories.
When territories are admitted into the union as States, they are not required to cede land to the feds.
So Hoyer’s claims are empty, vacuous, and removed from reality.
No surprise, coming from a guy who has made up his own rules about federal operations for decades.