In a brief moment capturing the immodesty of his bearing on Inauguration Day, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) harnessed social media to deliver one final whit of abuse at 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Following the conclusion of the inauguration, as members of Congress, dignitaries and other guests filed up the stairway leading back into the Capitol building, a cameraman caught a brief image of the former Secretary of State shaking hands with the House Oversight chairman.
Seizing on a Fox News screenshot of the instant, Chaffetz took to his Instagram account, attached the image and proceeded to grace the public with his indomitable wit.
“So pleased she is not the President,” the young Republican wrote. “I thanked her for her service and wished her luck. The investigation continues.”
Prior to and after the Nov. 8 election, Chaffetz had signaled his intent to continue his committee’s inquiries into Clinton’s private email server and ethical conflicts the State Department during her tenure.
Mr. Chaffetz: This is beneath your dignity.
While millions are elated with the exodus of Barack Obama and celebrate the promise of a Trump administration, an inaugural celebration is not the occasion to engage in petty point scoring. In demonstrating behavior similar to an ungovernable child, Mr. Chaffetz’s Instagram and comment will only serve as a basis for his political opponents to strengthen their conviction his pursuit of Mrs. Clinton as chairman of the Oversight Committee was inspired by partisan fury and not in the interests of justice.
The privilege of assuming the gavel of a House committee, particularly the House Oversight Committee with its sweeping range of power to explore government employees and government activities, should be a source of pride and not one either representing a boundless lust for power or harnessed by those seeking retribution.
While one can imagine the unbearable anxiety both Chaffetz and Clinton experienced at the inauguration as they greeted one another, Mrs. Clinton had the decency to appear at President Trump’s swearing-in ceremony and not engage in the puerile behavior demonstrated by 68 House Democrats whose response to the election was to brood and find common cause with hundreds of thousands of demonstrators throwing silly tantrums in the streets of Washington.
Similarly, newly-elected President Trump revealed extraordinary graciousness with his request to guests gathered at a post-inauguration luncheon to stand for an ovation to former president Bill Clinton and his election foe, Hillary. Later during the luncheon, Trump made his way over to Hillary, shook her hand and thanked her. This is the dignified behavior we deserve from our elected leaders.
Although both Bill and Hillary Clinton are loathed by many on the right and many may share the sentiment broadcast by Chaffetz in the image posted on Instagram, most would agree it smacks of a gratuitous attack on the former Secretary.
While few on the right, if any, have a scintilla of sympathy for Hillary Clinton over her November election loss and are overcome with relief with a Trump administration, Chaffetz’s constituents and conservatives are better served by leaving the name calling, vile attacks and the venom to those on the left who choose to hyperventilate through social media. Conservatives are not in need of unwelcome attention and it is both unbecoming a member of Congress and inconsistent with our better traditions.
No gentlemanly endeavor, Chaffetz’s Instagram conduct represents how he, too, has submitted to an elected official’s ritual demons: A craving for power, abusing his position of authority and reckless partisanship.
[Roll Call] [CNSNews.com] [Photo courtesy AP]