Trump Proves His Corruption Has No Limits & His Co-Conspirators in Congress Defile the Constitution
Who could have believed that our great nation and its Constitution could be so easily defiled by a lying, incompetent, lout with a badly applied spray-on tan. In four short years Donald Trump has gutted our country's most sacred institutions, failed every test of leadership, and reduced our stature internationally to that of a poorly governed banana republic. And now, after being rejected by the majority of Americans, he wants to burn the nation down on his way out the door.
Trump's hilariously corrupt call with Brad Raffensperger on Saturday in which he pressed Georgia's Secretary of State to "find" enough votes to change the election outcome probably didn't surprise anyone in America. Was the call an impeachable offense? Probably, but after four years of Trump, we are all numb to his misconduct, his debasement of his office. It's who he is, who he has always been. He's a grifter, a con man, and electing him president wasn't going to change that.
In 2016, I and many others who teach and study politics were apprehensive about a Trump presidency but most of us believed that the nation's institutions were durable enough to withstand Trump's ill advised machinations, and that Americans would soon tire of the President's lies and bombast. I think that we misjudged how influential talk radio and the right-wing press had become in shaping a warped alternative reality in America, one that Trump instinctively grasped and crafted into a campaign and then a presidency.
Sociologists and political scientists underestimated how terrified some Americans were by the nation's changing demographics, the election of a black man in 2008, and the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision in 2015. For some white and Evangelical voters, the country was changing too quickly and it threatened their historical dominance and religious convictions. Trump weaponized those fears.
At first, even most Republican politicians missed the strength of this troubling undercurrent in America and treated Trump like an annoying buffoon who would fade as soon as voters understood what he really stood for.
Lindsey Graham 2016: “He’s a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot. You know how you make America great again? Tell Donald Trump to go to hell.” ... “We have to reject this demagoguery, and if we don’t reject Donald Trump, we’ve lost the moral authority … to govern this great nation.”
Graham is now a Trump acolyte having abandoned his principles and one of his best friends, John McCain. And, that's a shame because we could have used Graham's sense of irony and cutting wit over the last four years. He would have lost his Senate bid last month, but he could have salvaged something out of the dumpster fire that is now the Republican Party.
But, Graham is far from alone in placing politics above ethics and the Constitution. There is plenty of shame to go around. A group of 11 Republican senators led by Ted [I know which way the wind is blowing] Cruz of Texas and the very ambitious Josh Hawley of Missouri plan to challenge the election results in the Senate this week. To be clear, none of them can substantiate any reason to challenge the results. Biden won by a large margin, Republican state election officials agree, and every court challenge has failed miserably. This exercise in futility is entirely about pacifying Trump and ingratiating themselves to the President's supporters.
The charade is pathetic and a bit humorous, but some Trump supporters will believe that it has some merit. And that's dangerous as GOP Sen. Mitt Romney explained in a statement yesterday.
Romney Statement: “The egregious ploy to reject electors may enhance the political ambition of some, but dangerously threatens our Democratic Republic. The congressional power to reject electors is reserved for the most extreme and unusual circumstances. These are far from it. More Americans participated in this election than ever before, and they made their choice. President Trump’s lawyers made their case before scores of courts; in every instance, they failed. The Justice Department found no evidence of irregularity sufficient to overturn the election. The Presidential Voter Fraud Commission disbanded without finding such evidence." ...
“Were Congress to actually reject state electors, partisans would inevitably demand the same any time their candidate had lost. Congress, not voters in the respective states, would choose our presidents."
“Adding to this ill-conceived endeavor by some in Congress is the President’s call for his supporters to come to the Capitol on the day when this matter is to be debated and decided. This has the predictable potential to lead to disruption, and worse."
“I could never have imagined seeing these things in the greatest democracy in the world. Has ambition so eclipsed principle?”
Romney is correct; this cynical attempt to overturn the election will undermine our democracy and stoke greater levels of partisanship. It will also fuel increasingly insane conspiracy theories like QAnon and will almost certainly lead to violence, like the foiled kidnapping plot against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan.
Unfortunately for America, Romney is one of the few voices of reason left in the Grand Old Party. He still believes the Party stands for something beyond petty resentments, that it has some bedrock principles it won't sacrifice for power. This week in Congress his fellow Republicans intend to prove him wrong, and in doing so they will demonstrate that Lindsey Graham was correct when he said, "if we don’t reject Donald Trump, we’ve lost the moral authority … to govern this great nation.”
By: Don Lam & Curated Content