WHEN IDEOLOGY TRUMPS PATRIOTISM

May 20, 2017

Alcoholics like to drink whiskey.  Dogs like to chase cats.  Children love to eat ice cream. And Texans love football and listening to country music. Nobody is surprised when any of the afore happens, and nobody should be surprised that President Donald Trump—a man who built an empire on swindling and cheating—is under investigation by a special counsel.

Trump, in his run-up to the presidency, left no doubt who he was and what was to come if he won.  He broadcast to the entire world that he was a raucous, rolling calamity—a temperamental man-child with a seething contempt for the media and anyone who disagreed with him, a school yard bully and name caller, who didn’t believe laws or established norms applied to him.

To prove the point, Trump famously quipped—after calling undocumented Mexican immigrants drug running rapists, after insulting a gold star parent, and after mocking a disabled newspaper reporter—“I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

One can excuse desperate coal miners and factory workers for being fooled by a charlatan huckster who promised to keep their disappearing jobs safe.  But what’s inexcusable is GOP party leaders paying blind allegiance to Trump, despite mounting evidence that he attempted to interfere in an FBI Investigation into charges of collusion with the Russians.

Even after it was revealed that Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to pledge loyalty to him, that he pressured Comey to stop the investigation of former National Security advisor Michael Flynn–even after Trump admitted on national television that he fired Comey because he refused to roll over and stop the investigation, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan remained silent.

In a shameful display of party over country, McConnell and Ryan refused to support the appointment of a special prosecutor simply because the opportunity to enact their cuckoo, crazy conservative agenda–while heading all three branches of government—is more important to them than the rule of law.

“We need the facts.” Ryan told reporters at a news conference. It is obvious there are some people out there that want to harm the president.”

Well, here are the facts that Ryan chooses to ignore: there are numerous federal crimes related to obstruction of justice, from threatening jury members to lying to investigators. In Trump’s case, reports surrounding his actions toward former FBI Director James Comey could fall under broad statute targeting anyone who intentionally “obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so.”

With the dark cloud of corruption hovering over the White House, many political commentators have written about the important role Republicans played in getting to the truth in the Watergate saga; that it was Tennessee Senator Howard Baker, Vice President of the Senate Watergate committee, who famously asked “What did the president know, and when did he know it?”  That it was Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater who led a delegation of Republicans to the White House and told Richard Nixon he’d lost the support of congress. 

But apparently no such honest and courageous Republican leaders exist today.

Intoxicated by power and their eyes fixed on long held goals of slashing Medicare and programs for the poor—while cutting taxes for the wealthy—Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are too busy to notice that Donald Trump is destroying democracy in America.

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