I’ve sent this letter to Senators Ernst and Grassley. It charitably overestimates their willingness to put country above party, but it was worth a shot.
There are those who say that the Republican Party has become a cult of personality, and the personality is Donald J. Trump. They say that the Republican Party has abandoned principles it once fought for, including respect for the rule of law, adherence to the Constitution, and upholding personal accountability, to defend Trump. There are those who say the Republican Party has lost its honor, and that Republican Senators are Trump lackeys, incapable of voting to remove Trump from office no matter the facts and no matter the law.
I am not one of those people. I think you can look past the politics of the moment and remember that you took an oath:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
Because I think you can in fact remember your sworn duty at this moment, I also think you can look at the uncontested facts presented in public under oath in the impeachment hearings, and vote to convict Trump.
If, on the other hand, you would like to convince me that the Republican Party should be permanently discredited and dishonored, by all means vote to acquit. It is your own honor at stake, so choose well.
Join us for an anti-corruption policy roundtable in Missouri Valley to learn about the big, structural change that Elizabeth Warren is fighting for in Iowa, especially her plans to fight corruption.
Missouri Valley Public Library on Thursday, September 26 from 6:30 – 8:00 PM.
Sign-up link: https://events.elizabethwarren.com/event/126385/
Contact: Zach Spitz, (617) 999-9957, firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us at Good Fellows in Woodbine, 7:00 p.m. Tuesday July 30 and Wednesday July 31, for the Democratic presidential primary debates. We’ll be watching them live online. All Democrats welcome.
Meetings are held on the first Thursday every month at 6:30 p.m. The June meeting is August 1 at the Fourth Avenue Grill in Logan. All Democrats welcome.
It’s easy to claim to love democracy when your own side is winning. When your party is losing, though, then you tend to show your true colors. Since the election of 2018, we’ve had plenty of opportunities to see what Republicans think of democracy when it really counts, and the results aren’t pretty.
Republicans rammed through a long list of laws in Wisconsin aimed at preventing the incoming Democratic governor from doing what the voters elected him to do. They’ve done something similar in Michigan. In North Carolina, there may be a new election because of blatant Republican voter fraud. Their contempt for democracy could not be more clear.
Paul Krugman has more than once pointed out how similar our Republicans are to the authoritarian regimes taking hold in Europe:
The fact is that the G.O.P., as currently constituted, is willing to do whatever it takes to seize and hold power. And as long as that remains true, and Republicans remain politically competitive, we will be one election away from losing democracy in America.
Voter-approved state laws are also under attack. Missouri’s constitutional amendment to prevent gerrymandering, Florida’s restoration of voting rights to ex-convicts, and a medical marijuana measure in Utah are all being “slow walked” by Republicans or outright replaced by legislation not approved by voters.
One partial solution Democrats should pursue, is to change state constitutions so that there can be no monkey business during the lame duck session, because there is no lame duck session. Let the term of every legislator end on election day. The same should be done at the federal level.
Let’s talk about another member in good standing of the Republican Party, Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte. He’s a convicted violent criminal.
In May 2017, the day before a congressional special election in Montana, Republican Greg Gianforte, physically assaulted a reporter…. The Guardian‘s Ben Jacobs pressed Gianforte with a substantive question about health care policy, and the GOP candidate responded by attacking the journalist, throwing him to the ground, and breaking his glasses.
Gianforte and his campaign lied to the public about the unprovoked violence — they issued a public statement accusing Jacobs of instigating the physical altercation, despite an audio recording that proved otherwise — and we later learned that the Montanan lied to the police, too.
Gianforte nevertheless won his election, and after the votes were counted, he pleaded guilty to assault.
Donald Trump, who you may vaguely recall having expressed support for law and order, is campaigning now for the convict’s reelection. And the pitch is not “you should forgive him for assaulting a member of the press,” rather, Trump praised the assault, and Republicans at the rally roared their approval.
This is not a problem with “tone.” It is actual literal incitement to violence being committed by the leader of the Republican Party. Not for the first time. And he is not alone among Republican leaders in approving of violence against the press. And it comes during a week when Trump has been literally helping the Saudi government cover up the murder of a journalist who worked for the Washington Post.
Control of the mass media (by intimidation, among other means) is a defining characteristic of fascism. We should turn out for the coming election, because we literally may not get another chance to vote.
Turns out that peer pressure can turn out young people to vote. Who knew? Get the Outvote app for your phone and get texting.
We already knew our Congressman Steve King is in the habit of palling around with fascists, from sharing social media posts by Nazis and other white supremacists over and over, to taking meetings with fascist leaders. So you will not be surprised that he has now openly endorsed a white supremacist mayoral candidate running in Toronto, Ontario. Why does he do these things? Because Steve King is a fascist.
King, we should underline, is a member in good standing of the Republican Party, treated well by Trump and by House Speaker Paul Ryan. He is co-chair of Kim Reynolds’ campaign for Iowa Governor. Because the whole Republican Party is fascist now.
There has never been a more important election to turn out for. Vote against Steve King, and for J.D. Scholten. Vote against Kim Reynolds, and for Fred Hubbell.
Roy Moore, whose Senate campaign tanked because he was accused of being a serial sexual predator, thinks Brett Kavanaugh, who is accused of attempted rape, should be confirmed to the Supreme Court.
I have nothing to add.
We know that nearly 3,000 Americans died in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. We know that, because the Milken Institute of Public Health at George Washington University did a scientific study based on actual mortality data and death certificates.
These facts are not the story that Donald Trump would like to tell. Trump would prefer that the Puerto Rico disaster response be a success story, with himself as the paper-towel-tossing hero. So he is now literally claiming that the Democrats made up the number out of whole cloth, to make Trump look bad.
This is a technique called the big lie. And it works, particularly among people who have been told to disbelieve what they read in the press. And, as usual, Republican leaders are complicit in the Dear Leader’s lies.
His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.
This could be written about Donald Trump today, couldn’t it? But it wasn’t. It was written during World War II, by the U.S. Office of Strategic Services, as part of their psychological profile of Hitler.