Bil Lepp: Mooney doesn't know 'Soviet-style' from 'Gangnam Style' (Opinion)

On Oct. 25, Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., bragged about his and other lawmakers’ intrusion into the impeachment inquiry hearings by tweeting “Great coverage of my efforts to expose the secret, Soviet-style impeachment process. All West Virginians and the press have a right to know what is taking place in these hearings.”

First of all, did the Soviets even have impeachments? Or did they simply get rid of the people they didn’t like?

My grandfather and grandmother grew up in Russia. My grandfather and his family fought in the Russian Revolution against the communist forces. Many of my relatives were captured, killed, kidnapped, tortured, sent to Siberia or simply never heard from again. That’s what a “Soviet-style” hearing is. If you don’t like somebody, then that person vanishes. Mr. Mooney, that is not what is happening with this impeachment.

Rep. Mooney has posted several videos of himself bursting through a door and explaining why he needed to crash the hearings. He is decrying the hearings as “Soviet-style” on Twitter while his videos show him running around like a crusader and seemingly implying he has knowledge of the Constitution that is superior to the rest of Washington.

Rep. Alex Mooney is portraying himself as a man who is generally calm, but goes crazy when the right time for justice presents itself. He’s not a man of muscle, but of rippling intellect. Rep. Mooney has a certain style, a style that seems familiar ... wait, Rep. Mooney has “Gangnam style”!

Behold the internet English translation of the great pop song:

A guy who seems calm but plays when he plays

A guy who goes completely crazy when the right time comes

A guy who has bulging ideas rather than muscles

That kind of guy ...

On top of the running man is the flying man, baby baby

I’m a man who knows a thing or two

You know what I’m saying

Mooney is Gangnam style!

Mooney-style is a man of great ideas who knows a thing or two and flies into action. I admit the man must know a thing or two, but what Rep. Mooney doesn’t know a thing or two about is Soviet-stlye hearings.

My grandmother’s family suffered through the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine, which was part of the Soviet Union. This famine was mostly man-made and caused deliberately by Stalin and his backers refusing to allow millions of people access to food because the Soviets did not like those people. The Soviets starved millions of people to death because those people opposed the Soviets. That, Mr. Mooney, is a “Soviet-stlye” hearing.

When the Soviets did not like somebody, there was no hearing. Those people were tortured, murdered, starved by the millions or sent away.

Mr. Mooney, I think, tweets things like “Soviet-style” because he thinks we West Virginians are too stupid to know anything about history. I believe he thinks he can use the modifier “Soviet-style” and we dumb hillbillies will simply react to the word “Soviet.” We will conjure up images of the mean old USSR and get angry.

Mr. Mooney, most of us in your district are smarter than you think. We know that a “Soviet-stlye impeachment” is a hyperbolic description you made up to incite fury in people you hope won’t think for themselves.

What is going on with this impeachment inquiry is hardly “Soviet-style.” In fact, the only thing “Soviet-style” about these hearings is Mr. Mooney’s reaction. Little, insignificant, Soviet Party members had to blindly defend the leader if they wanted to maintain their position at all, and they knew that, if they stepped out of line, they would be subject to a “Soviet-stlye” hearing and, at best, lose their position in the Party.

Do you, Mr. Mooney, really expect us to believe that all of this is being done in such a way that the Republicans have no access to the proceedings when there are Republicans taking part in the proceedings?

Rep. Carol Miller, a fellow West Virginia Republican member of the House, sits on the Oversight Committee. Rep. Miller has access to the hearings and the depositions. Why doesn’t Rep. Mooney walk over to Rep. Miller’s office and ask her what is going on in the “Soviet-style impeachment hearings,” instead of doing publicity stunts and tweeting obnoxious defenses of his actions?

Mr. Mooney claims to represent over 600,000 West Virginians. I wish he would quit saying that. I live in his district, but he does not represent me. When the 2020 election comes around, I hope we can have an American-style hearing and vote Mooney out of office.

Bil Lepp, of South Charleston,

is a professional story teller

and Gazette-Mail contributing columnist.

Funerals for Sunday, November 17, 2019

Ellis, Walter - 1 p.m., West Logan Missionary Baptist Church.

Evans, Robert - 2 p.m., Koontz Funeral Home, Hamlin.

Hess, Steven - 6 p.m., Grace Church of the Nazarene, South Charleston.

Holmes, Buddy - 2 p.m., Elizabeth Baptist Church, Charleston.

Jeffrey Jr., Algie - 2 p.m., Stevens Chapel Methodist Church, Lake.

Mace, Elma - 2 p.m., Stump Funeral Home & Cremation Inc., Arnoldsburg.

Meadows II, Richard - 2 p.m., Central Christian Church, Huntington.

Messinger, John - 2 p.m., Davis Funeral Home, Clarksburg.

Reynolds, Gladys - 1 p.m., Taylor-Vandale Funeral Home, Spencer.

Smith, Rosie - 2 p.m., Morris Funeral Home, Cowen.

Sykes, Teresa - 2 p.m., Winfield Church of the Nazarene.