Saturday, May 13, 2017

Haven't Republicans Had Enough with Defending Trump?

Conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin and one time Republican Party apologist seems to be finally reaching a point I reached years ago when I left the Republican Party.  I long ago concluded that the GOP was morally bankrupt and that hatred of others, racism, greed and hypocrisy had become the pillars of the party and that acceptance of such ugliness had become a prerequisite to party membership and support.  Things have gotten much worse over the intervening years as the GOP has become a reverse Robin Hood operation, taking form the poor to give to the rich and trashing the Constitution to pander to Christofacists.  The party - and those who insanely continue to support it - has now reached a point with Donald Trump where the decision must be made between Trump and decency and constitutional democracy.  Rubin sums this choice up well in a Washington Post column.  Here are highlights:
President Trump tweeted this morning, “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” One doesn’t know if this is a threat or another bit of bluster. Congress should immediately issue a subpoena for all tapes of presidential conversations, just to be on the safe side. The sheer bizarreness of his tweet will, for those not immune to Trump’s lunacy, reintroduce questions about his mental stability. One wonders when, if ever, Republicans will declare they’ve had enough.
The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol remarks to me, “I think there is movement among Hill Republicans, for now mostly in private and behind the scenes. And then, I think (and history suggests), the dam will break suddenly.” One hopes that is right, but outwardly, the Republicans by and large continue to support Trump and defend his nonsense.
The 2016 election demonstrated that the party once united by political thought (e.g., smaller government, objective truth, respect for tradition, the rule of law) and respect for civic virtue would accept a thoughtless, entirely unscrupulous leader for the sake of holding power. . . . En masse, most Republicans — including those at some premier publications (which are now unreadable to all but the Trump cultists) — declared willingness to defend ignorance, bigotry, dishonesty and ineptitude on the chance that they’d get a top marginal tax rate of 28 percent. The calculation, to those not driven by partisan zeal, seems shockingly small-minded and tribalistic.
Republican Party identification has begun requiring intellectual vacuity. One has to be free from shame to agree that it’s no big deal when Trump confesses he fired former FBI director James B. Comey because he decided Russian interference in the election was “just a made-up story.” A slew of FBI agents is now investigating the “made-up story,” the entire intelligence community verifies it and members of both parties acknowledge that it occurred. To go along with such utterances means condoning Trump’s inability to accept reality (Russia did, in fact, meddle) and refusing to concede that pressuring and then firing the FBI director must be impeachable, if not criminal, conduct.
We’re not surprised in the least that the president thinks he’s entitled to shut down an investigation if he doesn’t like the way his political opponents are utilizing evidence to attack him. We expected nothing less and warned fellow Republicans that this was what they were buying into.
No, we remain incredulous that so many seemingly mature conservatives are going along with this, even now when his political utility to the party is so slight. . . . . Have they truly lost their intellectual bearings, or are they so cynical as to conclude that sticking with the “tribe” is better than simple truth-telling?
We’re hoping that the dam breaks quickly, before more harm comes to the republic. The GOP, however, may be irreparably broken.
In a second column, Rubin goes on in part as follows:
There are two problems coming together at once. First, the president is blabbing about actions (real or not) that would constitute abuse of power, if not obstruction of justice. It is coming from his mouth. He does not even have the excuse of “fake news.” Second, because the Comey firing sent events spinning out of control, the president now appears to be irrational, if not ill. No one in control of his emotions or taking counsel from sober advisers would behave as he is.
Now would be a good time for the adults — former presidents, secretaries of state and defense, former FBI and CIA directors and past heads of the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee — to speak up in unison. The president has either confessed to a pattern of conduct that is unacceptable or he is so out of it that he would make up facts that suggest a pattern of conduct that it is unacceptable. There are options here, including commencement of bipartisan impeachment hearings, legislation passed by a veto-proof majority to enlist an independent prosecutor and/or a decision that, aside from national security matters, the Congress will devote itself full-time to the resolution of this entire matter over the next few weeks. Vice President Pence, who has been repeatedly lied to in service of actions to deceive the public, needs to remember he serves the country, not the president.
Action needs to be taken before too much damage is done to the republic. The GOP is lost, but the country can be protected.
The broken nature and swamp fever of the GOP began when the Christofascists hijacked the party base.  As the prior post examined, these people are not mentally right and will do anything to protect their hold on power.  They have long wanted a theocracy in America.  Now, they seem willing to embrace fascism and a dictatorship.   

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