Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Congressional Republicans Are Running From Their Constituents


Congressional Republicans have been displaying amazing arrogance and hubris in the wake of the 2016 presidential election and claiming that they have a mandate even though their now embattled party leader lost the popular vote by almost 3,000,000 votes and had less than a 80,000 margin of victory spread across 3 Electoral College states. Now, with Der Trumpenf├╝hrer becoming more toxic by the day and potentially looking at treason charges and with dimwitted GOP voters realizing that the GOP agenda just might not be in their best interest, the arrogance is that had been on display is turning into fear: fear of these Republicans' own constituents.  Indeed, it has gotten so bad that some Congressional Republicans have resorted to the lie that protesters are all being paid by some mysterious source.  Anything rather admit that the GOP victory may be quickly turning into a Pyrrhic one.  A column in the Washington Post looks at the phenomenon which is self-inflicted.  Here are excerpts:
Republican Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois has a safe seat in Congress. So what’s he running from?
First, supporters of the Affordable Care Act showed up at his office for a previously scheduled meeting with his staff. But the 16 of them were turned away when Roskam staffers discovered they were accompanied by a reporter, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Next, Roskam went to the Palatine Township Republican Organization’s monthly meeting, billed as open to all. But organizers shut out the general public because of intense interest. With hundreds of protesters massed outside, Roskam left through a back door. Some people chased on foot after his fleeing car.
They [town hall meetings] certainly aren’t productive for Roskam and his fellow Republicans — not now, anyway. An early backlash against the Trump presidency has led to many verbal confrontations between Republican lawmakers and the citizenry. President Trump’s face plant since the inauguration — most recently the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn over dealings with Russia — is only making matters worse.
As recent town-hall meetings of GOP Reps. Jason Chaffetz(Utah), Tom McClintock (Calif.), Gus Bilirakis (Fla.), Diane Black (Tenn.) and others turn into well-publicized tongue lashings, their colleagues are ducking and running.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) canceled a constituent event in Southampton Village scheduled for April; his office told the Southampton Press they feared he would be harassed again by those who rallied at his recent appearance at a Rotary Club.
Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) was caught on video slipping out of his own community event last month before its scheduled ending time.
The scene is reminiscent of the tea party summer of 2009, but the energy is on the other side this time. Now, as then, the victims say the perpetrators are outsiders — Chaffetz said those who protested him included “paid” people from out of state, . . .
Trump has become increasingly toxic, with Flynn’s resignation and other Russia revelations, the travel ban struck down in court, chaos involving Obamacare, attacks on the federal judiciary and a series of bizarre pronouncements on everything from Ivanka Trump’s fashion line to Frederick Douglass. The Post’s Sean Sullivan and Ed O’Keefe found Republican members of Congress increasingly wary of defending Trump. “You can’t make it up,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said after Trump was seen in Facebook photos making sensitive national security decisions in his Mar-a-Lago Club’s main dining area.
Trump canceled an event in Milwaukee because his would-be host, Harley-Davidson, feared protests. The White House just canceled a visit to Ohio that had been scheduled for Thursday; no reason was given, but protests had been planned.
With few exceptions, these Republicans put partisanship over the good of the nation and backed a man who was utterly unfit for the White House - something now on growing display.  The day is approaching when this betrayal of the nation will no longer be able to be escaped.  One silver lining is the fact that the leading Christofascists have tied themselves to Trump.  When he crashes and burns - and is impeached or goes to prison or worse for treason - the "godly folk" will be unable to escape the fallout.  The 81% of evangelicals who supported Trump will fully deserve to become social and political lepers. 

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