The principal lesson that emerged from the Gingrich period was that the newly energized majority began to take its victory hubris so seriously that it forged boldly ahead with its grand plans, oblivious to the potential pitfalls along the way. That heady intoxication of newly conferred majority status can lead a party to believe its every move will be cheered by the people and thereby be blessed with success.
Whenever a new majority takes control of one or both houses of Congress and the president is of the opposite party, long-neglected congressional oversight becomes a natural priority, and rightly so. However, when those oversight investigations stray far afield from an administration’s actual policies and actions, the more curious and questionable the majority’s motives and tactics become.
This 118th Congress has a long way to go before its behavior is subject to judgment by voters in November 2024. Whether in the interim it will learn and heed the lessons of the past remains to be seen. But voters have previously demonstrated little patience with congresses that forget about the people and their problems in favor of chasing after bright shiny objects for purely partisan show and tell purposes.