I do not often write about Trump because I have never felt there was much purpose to it. We had no leverage, no voice, and hence no effective action to take. Until now.
Retake Our Democracy on KSFR 101.1 FM, 8:30 Saturday, TODAY, December 21, with Lyla June Johnston, newly announced challenger to NM State Speaker of the House Brian Egolf. While the radio show is only 30 minutes, the full interview extended for an hour, so I will post a link to the full podcast in the Tuesday post. Listen in.
For months, there has been virtually no erosion of Republican political support for trump. But while the poll numbers on support for impeachment continue to fluctuate around 50% for or against, leadership in the party and conservative leaders have remained silent. Until now.
I am heartened to find a growing number of non-partisan and Republican groups and individuals stepping up.
Republican Leaders Launch the Lincoln Project
George T. Conway III, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver, and Rick Wilson are prominent Republicans who have supported and worked on numerous Republican campaigns. They are launching a campaign they feel is necessary to save the nation and the Republican Party. They are saying what no one in the GOP leadership is saying: the President has grossly abused his powers and obstructed justice and the Party leadership is choosing to turn a blind eye to what is obviously a series of impeachable offenses. From the Lincoln Project:
This effort asks all Americans of all places, creeds and ways of life to join in the seminal task of our generation: restoring to this nation leadership and governance that respects the rule of law, recognizes the dignity of all people and defends the Constitution and American values at home and abroad.”We Are Republicans, and We Want Trump Defeated, NY Times
Indeed, national Republicans have done far worse than simply march along to Mr. Trump’s beat. Their defense of him is imbued with an ugliness, a meanness and a willingness to attack and slander those who have shed blood for our country, who have dedicated their lives and careers to its defense and its security, and whose job is to preserve the nation’s status as a beacon of hope.
Congressional Republicans have embraced and copied Mr. Trump’s cruelty and defended and even adopted his corruption. Mr. Trump and his enablers have abandoned conservatism and longstanding Republican principles and replaced it with Trumpism, an empty faith led by a bogus prophet. In a recent survey, a majority of Republican voters reported that they consider Mr. Trump a better president than Lincoln.”We Are Republicans, and We Want Trump Defeated, NY Times
Republicans for the Rule of Law
On Thursday, on Fox & Friends, Republicans For the Rule of Law launched their media campaign with an ad designed to press GOP Senators to not cravenly succumb to Trump pressure. (See video below.) With Sen. McConnell leading Senate Republicans, I am not optimistic that this campaign will succeed, but it will shine a very bright light on elected officials who, instead of acting as unbiased jurors and defenders of democracy, have become sycophants who appear to be about to abdicate their constitutional responsibilities. How can these Republicans even begin to claim weighing evidence and acting independently when the proceedings begin with their leadership guaranteeing that Trump will not be removed from office?
A group of more than 700 non-partisan historians has petitioned for Trump’s removal
The development of the historians’ letter was coordinated by Project Democracy, an advocacy group that last month released a similar letter signed by more than 500 law professors. Click here read their letter.
“His attempts to justify that obstruction on the grounds that the executive enjoys absolute immunity, a fictitious doctrine that, if tolerated, would turn the president into an elected monarch above the law.”
Christianity Today Published a Scathing Editorial Calling for Trump’s Removal
Christianity Today, founded by Rev. Billy Graham, and the largest evangelical publication in the US, published Trump Should be Removed from Office, an editorial stating:
The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.”
The editorial went even further in condemning the president, saying that support from Christians was tarnishing the Gospel:
The reason many are not shocked about this is that this president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration. He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals. He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone—with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders—is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.”Trump Should be Removed From Office, Christianity Today
What Can We Do?
Certainly, the most rabid of Trump supporters are not going to be receptive to anything other than his rhetoric, but with responsible Republican and Christian leadership beginning to speak out, we have evidence that the impeachment is not simply a partisan ploy.
We all know Republicans who may have had misgivings about Trump, but who felt that as an outsider he might “drain the swamp.” As the citations above reveal, he has become the perfect manifestation of the swamp. Many of those Republicans who held their noses and voted for Trump may now have serious misgivings. They may applaud his Supreme Court nominees, but they also may no longer be able to accept his behavior. It is time for us to begin to communicate with these Republican friends and family.
The Senate will almost certainly exonerate Trump, although if Trump were to begin to see an erosion in the polls, even GOP Senators might begin to buckle. But assuming they don’t, we simply can’t wake up on November 4, 2020 facing the same headlines we faced in 2016. To ensure that does not occur, we must get out the Democratic and Independent vote, but we must also hedge our bets and educate those we know who might vote for him again but who could also respond to testimonials from those they respect: the sources cited above and, as importantly, YOU.
My thinking is that those Republican legislators who doggedly support the president do so more out of fear than allegiance. Whatever you or they may think about President Trump’s Ukrainian actions and lack of cooperation with the investigation, there are so many other things this President has done that may not warrant impeachment, but certainly are an embarrassment to our nation. The citations above focus mostly on the Ukrainian call and cover up, but I could write 100 pages of bullets listing his moral offenses, which to me are far more repulsive.
- It is not presidential to denigrate anyone who disagrees with you, and Trump routinely calls journalists or anyone who offers any criticism “scum,” encourages violence against protesters at his rallies (2 days ago in Michigan he commented that he wished security had roughed up a female protester), and routinely uses slanderous labels like “Sleepy Joe” and “Lyin’ Hillary.” No president in our history has ever done anything like this. Never.
- It is not presidential to proudly proclaim that when you are powerful women love it when you grab their “pussy.”
- It is not presidential to state that leadership from the opposing party are committing treason by conducting an entirely constitutional impeachment inquiry.
- It is not presidential (or legal) for a President to refuse to cooperate with an impeachment inquiry. There have been three other impeachment inquiries and none of those presidents refused to cooperate.
- It is not presidential to invite to a White House Hanukkah party a fundamentalist Christian leader who has publicly stated that all Jews will rot in hell.
- It is not presidential to lie 10-20 times every single day, a habit that began well before he announced to run for office, persisted throughout his campaign, and continues hourly, with most of his lies evincing a very loose hold on reality. We can begin with his election where he claimed he really did win the popular vote, despite losing by a mere 3 million votes while claiming rampant voter fraud, despite abundant evidence that voter fraud is a very rare event. On Oct 19, 2019, the Washington Post published an article estimating that Trump had made 14,335 lies since taking office. This is simply weird.
- It is not presidential for a president to unleash a torrent of tweets daily with misspellings, lies and incoherent commentary.
- It is not presidential to do this:
That Donald Trump actually tweeted this himself is simply not normal presidential behavior. It is not even mature adult behavior. Nor is this:
Seriously. These are behaviors of a morally destitute, insecure, and mentally unstable adult. For months, I’ve wondered when someone from the GOP would reach a tipping point, and as the excerpts and video above describe, apparently we have reached that point. That Republican leaders above have broken the silence suggests that other Republicans we know may be harboring concerns.
Roxanne and I have friends who voted for Trump but who would have voted for Bernie had he been the nominee. I suspect there were many tens of thousands who felt the same way. It is incumbent upon all of us to reach out to those folks and make sure Jan 20, 2021 is the end. It is even possible that with the impeachment order being held in the House until the GOP leadership in the Senate shows signs of wanting to conduct a real trial, that we could see the beginning of the erosion in Republican polling support, a trend that could trigger a few and then many GOP Senators to jump ship. There have been dozens of reports that these Senators have no love for Trump and toe the line more out of fear than respect.
Once you’ve watched the video and reviewed one or two of the links above, please reach out to your Republican friends and share this post with them or simply ask if they would be willing to get together and discuss this. Right now polls show 90% of Republicans still support Trump. While with high voter turnout we can overcome that voting bloc, it would be far easier if we erode that number. There is simply no way we can suffer another November catastrophe.
Paul & Roxanne