Published on May 16th, 2017 | by Zachary Shahan0
Republicans’ Trump Crisis A Reflection Of Broader Issues
May 16th, 2017 by Zachary Shahan
Remember that there was a strong #NeverTrump campaign within the Republican Party during the primaries, and even running into the general election. Former Republican presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush reportedly did not even vote for Trump in the general election. I’m sure some other prominent Republicans didn’t either. Seasoned politicians who know how government and politics work could see the train wreck coming 10 miles away.
Somewhat surprisingly (and somewhat unsurprisingly), many Republicans who were heavily opposed to Trump getting the Republican nomination ended up voting for and supporting him in the end, and many of these Republicans in Congress have supported him — or at least not criticized him — since he has taken over the White House (and also the hugely expensive “Southern White House”).
Prominent Republicans outside of Congress have been much more willing to criticize Trump and express shock at the incessant attacks on our democratic system of checks and balances (which includes federal courts, Congress, the free press, and even the FBI and CIA). But Republicans in Congress and a few choice Republican enablers in the media have been unwilling to acknowledge disastrous mistake after disastrous mistake from the Trump White House.
Here’s an interesting sequence of events and side notes for you (replace “Trump” with “Obama” or “Clinton” for some real fun):
- Russia intentionally interfered with the US presidential elections through various means of cyberwar and propaganda pushing (aka “fake news” — real fake news). In particular, Russia worked to get Trump elected. (This has been confirmed by the FBI, the CIA, and other US national intelligence agencies.)
- Trump apparently has a history of big-time and super sketchy business dealings with rich Russians ( rich Russians who are quite possibly/likely/definitely tied to Vladimir Putin — hint, hint).
- By the way, one of Trump’s campaign managers, his first National Security Adviser, and his Secretary of State also have strong and/or sketchy ties to Russia.
- The United States Deputy Attorney General soon after Trump took office warned the Trump White House about a hidden and highly concerning conversation between Trump’s National Security Adviser and Russian officials. The White House essentially ignored the warning until the information was leaked to the US press … which subsequently led to Trump firing this National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, in record-fast time.
- FBI Director James Comey, a Republican, acknowledged in a fairly recent Congressional hearing that the FBI was indeed investigating ties between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian officials. Shortly after that, FBI Director Comey reportedly asked the US Department of Justice for more resources in order to expand this investigation. In a dramatically short period of time after that request, President Trump fired FBI Director Comey. (The only time previously that an FBI director was fired was during the Bill Clinton presidency, and that was over an acknowledged ethics violation and was after President Clinton asked the director on multiple occasions to go out in a more dignified way by resigning. FBI Director Comey, on the other hand, found out about the news via a TV that was on in the background at an FBI recruitment event in Los Angeles. He initially thought it was a hoax.)
- President Trump’s spokespeople spent approximately 24 hours pretending that the firing had nothing to do with the FBI investigation into Russia–Trump ties (since that would be an obvious ethical conflict and potential obstruction of justice) … but then Trump admitted in a TV interview that he was thinking about the Russia investigation when he made the decision to fire Comey.
- This also follows reports that Trump asked Comey for his loyalty (even though the FBI director should clearly be independent, particularly when investigating Trump’s campaign team). It also follows reports (confirmed by Trump) that he asked Director Comey if he was personally being investigated … three times. On one of these occasions, the two men had dinner together — Trump said he didn’t remember who asked the other person to dinner but thought Comey asked him, but reporting seems to make it superbly clear that Trump asked Comey to dinner and Director Comey felt uneasy about the odd request and inappropriate situation.
- The day after firing FBI Director Comey, Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak (widely considered to be Russia’s top spy in the US, and also linked to scandals concerning Michael Flynn; Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions; and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner), Russia’s state news agency, and various Russian aids. The US free and independent press was not allowed in the meeting. The meeting was at the request of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- We then find out that President Trump leaked highly classified information to these Russians in that meeting (information we gained from an ally’s espionage team) and leaking that information could eventually cost American lives, the lives of our allies’ spies, and the ability to collect such critical anti-terrorism intelligence. It also puts the US in a very bad situation when it comes to our relationship with other allies and our ability to gain important but sensitive information from them.
- And now this:
More background if you have a day or two to watch videos about all of this:
Again, change “Trump” in these cases to “Obama” or “Clinton” and try to think what the response of Republicans in Congress and the Republican Propaganda Channel (aka Fox News) would be.
Nope, Republicans in Congress by and large aren’t responding to these constitutional and national security crises, or they’re even defending Trump.
Now, remember again what I brought up right at the top — there were many #NeverTrump Republicans during the Republican primaries. Trump viciously attacked the Republican establishment at that time. Top Trump advisor Steve Bannon has indicated that he’d like to destroy the Republican Party as well as the Democratic Party. Trump is not friends with many of the Republicans in Congress. Yet, they continue to line up behind him and enable or rationalize horrible anti-American move after horrible anti-American move.
So, why don’t they have a spine? Why don’t they speak up and address the issue of Trump potentially being corrupted by the Russian government?
Obviously, Republican Congresspeople are hiding low and playing the whole “party over country” game in this case so that they can hopefully stay in power come the 2018 mid-term elections. If Trump doesn’t sink too much in the polls (he’s already been hitting record lows for a president at this stage of the presidency), Republican Congresspeople are apparently afraid to oppose him and lose the hardcore Republican base they might need for reelection in 2018 or 2020.
But this is the insanity of the Republican Party today — they are choosing to prioritize their own cowardice and lack of ethics rather than deal with an obvious, unprecedented national security threat and constitutional crisis.
This is shocking, but not so much to people who pay close attention to US politics. We’ve seen the same response to global heating and climate change, to air pollution that kills countless Americans, to affordable health care, and to other matters. Even Republicans who understand the science — who understand the grave threats of global heating, climate change, and air pollution — have been unwilling to break the political party line to do what’s right for Americans and for humanity as a whole.
If they acknowledge the threat of global heating and push for clean energy over polluting energy — even with these being highly supported across both parties among voters — they know they will be intensely primaried via oil, gas, & coal money come the next election, and they fear they will be kicked out of Congress by their own party leadership. Heck, this happened to several moderate Republicans in Congress who spoke up about the threat of global heating.
So, that’s an understandable concern. But it’s also purely spineless cowardice that leads them to believe it’s better to oppose clean energy, it’s better to oppose electric vehicles, it’s better to oppose climate action, it’s better to oppose clean air and a literally livable climate than risk a tough Republican primary.
The Republican Party’s decision to not do something about a president of the United States who is risking the national security of Americans and our allies (in multiple ways that some of these Republicans understand very well), who is attacking our democracy and Constitution on a daily basis (including our judicial system, our free and independent press, and our FBI), and who is possibly corrupted by and in collusion with Russia is absolutely shocking. But it is not all that surprising.
There’s apparently one thing that will make Republicans in Congress break rank with Donald Trump and act in the interest of the American people and humanity as a whole — the threat of being fired in the next election. If you are a Republican voter or know Republican voters, do your bit to put this whole crisis — or the many crises we face — in a light that Republican citizens and Republicans in Congress will finally act on. There are videos above that feature prominent Republicans — I think half or more of those videos do. Watch and share with your loved ones.
Democracy is fragile. Humanity is fragile.
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