Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Profiles In (Relative) Courage

In case nobody noticed, I disagree with Republicans almost all the time.

They are generally wrong-headed, war mongering, authoritarian, democracy suppressing, corporate shills, as well as hypocritical Christian servants of mammon. Like their Dear Leader, many of them have employed disinformation, anger and resentment as a means to gain and hold power. They run a good scam in fooling Americans. They have duped many good Americans into thinking they share their values and represent the little guy.

They don’t.

Gullible conservative Americans take them at their word. 

Republicans are in power primarily to serve banks and corporate interests, cut taxes for the rich, deregulate polluters, suppress climate science, undermine public education, delegitimize our free press, and cut safety net benefits for the poor. Their actions speak louder than their words. Vice President Mike Pence cast a tie-breaking vote, killing a regulation that allowed consumers to bring class action lawsuits against banks and credit card companies.

Lucky for them most Americans pay less attention to their actions than to their “values” rhetoric.

Despite all that, some of them are showing signs of human decency and respect for truth. They have been speaking out against the incompetent, authoritarian, racist, liar in the White House. Although the fact they are not up for re-election next year does detract from their demonstrating a higher level of courage. Kudos to Sasse for speaking some truth about Trump before last year’s election.

While I have little use for their words, I sincerely hope the shamefully few voices in the Republican Wilderness resonate with our fellow Americans. Sadly, far too many are brainwashed by the propaganda of FOX(R), Breitbart, Hate Radio, and their ilk.

So today I’m letting the Republicans with relative courage take the greater share of my post.

If that isn’t “fair and balanced”, what is?


Senator Bob Corker:

 The President has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful... He concerns me. He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation...It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.

I think Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mattis, and Chief of Staff Kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos, and I support them very much."

(Since this comment, John “Empty Barrel” Kelly has shown his Trumpian colors by dishonestly attacking a female Black representative who was supporting a gold star widow.)


Republican Senator Ben Sasse:

I can’t support someone that I don’t think would take the oath of office in good faith.

Mr. Trump’s relentless focus is on dividing Americans, and on tearing down rather than building back up this glorious nation. 

Trump whined, “With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!... Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!”

In response, Sasse noted:

Mr. President: Words spoken by the President of the United States matter...Are you recanting of the Oath you took on Jan. 20 to preserve, protect, and defend the 1st Amendment?...
Question for conservatives: What will you wish you had said now if someday a President Elizabeth Warren talks about censoring Fox News?...Please just stop, This isn’t normal and it’s beneath the dignity of your office. 

(While Sasse’s point is solid, the Party of Trump has been attacking journalists and demonizing our free press for decades. IOKIYAR, after all.)


Senator Jeff Flake:

...And there are times when we must risk our careers in favor of our principles.

Now is such a time.

It must also be said that I rise today with no small measure of regret. Regret, because of the state of our disunion, regret because of the disrepair and destructiveness of our politics, regret because of the indecency of our discourse, regret because of the coarseness of our leadership, regret for the compromise of our moral authority, and by our -- all of our -- complicity in this alarming and dangerous state of affairs. It is time for our complicity and our accommodation of the unacceptable to end.

We must never regard as "normal" the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals. We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country - the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms, and institutions, the flagrant disregard for truth or decency, the reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons, reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with the fortunes of the people that we have all been elected to serve.

Reckless, outrageous, and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as "telling it like it is," when it is actually just reckless, outrageous, and undignified.

And when such behavior emanates from the top of our government, it is something else: It is dangerous to a democracy. Such behavior does not project strength -- because our strength comes from our values. It instead projects a corruption of the spirit, and weakness.

It is often said that children are watching. Well, they are. And what are we going to do about that? When the next generation asks us, Why didn't you do something? Why didn't you speak up? -- what are we going to say?

Mr. President, I rise today to say: Enough. .. I have children and grandchildren to answer to, and so, Mr. President, I will not be complicit.

(Noble words. “We must never regard as "normal" the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals.” 

The Party of Trump has been waging all out war on voter rights, by purging qualified voters and hindering registration and poll access. 

The Party of Trump obstructed the Black President’s Constitutional duty to replace a Supreme Court justice. 

The case Gill v. Whitford is focused on Wisconsin, where in 2012 The Party of Trump won just 48.6 percent of the statewide vote, but captured 60 out of 99 seats in the state assembly.

The Party of Trump has made corporations super “persons”, bestowing them political power, by leveraging their corrupting wealth as protected free speech. 

We just don’t have time for the long list of Republican actions taken to undermine our democratic norms and ideals.)


Senator John McCain:

My friends: In the four decades I have attended the Munich Security Conference, I cannot recall a year where its purpose was more necessary or more important.

The next panel asks us to consider whether the West will survive. In recent years, this question would invite accusations of hyperbole and alarmism. Not this year. If ever there were a time to treat this question with a deadly seriousness, it is now.

This question was real, half a century ago, for Ewald von Kleist and the founders of this conference. Indeed, it is why they first started coming to Munich.

What would von Kleist’s generation say if they saw our world today? I fear that much about it would be all-too-familiar to them, and they would be alarmed by it.

They would be alarmed by an increasing turn away from universal values and toward old ties of blood, and race, and sectarianism.

They would be alarmed by the hardening resentment we see toward immigrants, and refugees, and minority groups, especially Muslims.

They would be alarmed by the growing inability, and even unwillingness, to separate truth from lies.

They would be alarmed that more and more of our fellow citizens seem to be flirting with authoritarianism and romanticizing it as our moral equivalent.


George W. Bush:

...We know that free governments are the only way to ensure that the strong are just and the weak are valued. And we know that when we lose sight of our ideals, it is not democracy that has failed. It is the failure of those charged with preserving and protecting democracy.

...The American dream of upward mobility seems out of reach for some who feel left behind in a changing economy.  Discontent deepened and sharpened partisan conflicts. Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication...

...We have seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. At times, it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. Argument turns too easily into animosity. Disagreement escalates into dehumanization...

...And our young people need positive role models. Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry, and compromises the moral education of children. The only way to pass along civic values is to first live up to them.


We are under one-party rule; therefore members of that party are the first line of resistance in checking the ongoing Great American Tragedy that Americans were desperate and ignorant enough to allow into the White House. The Great American Tragedy will continue as long as the Party of Trump shares his agenda and remains in power.

We have heard that “many Republicans” agree with these gentlemen in private, but are afraid to speak up when it matters. How’s that for the spirit of “public service”?

They are perfect examples of the moral rot and cowardice in the face of truth that infects the Party of Trump, and they are undeserving of public office for that fact alone.


Jerry Critter said...

I will start believing the GOP naysayers when they switch their allegiance to the Democrats. Without voting with the Dems, they are doing nothing but talking. It is time to either STFU or do something!

Jerry Critter said...

McCain, Corker, and Flake all supported Trump and voted for the big banking anti class action lawsuit bill. When the rubber meets the road, they are still Trump supporters and vote with the GOP.

Dave Dubya said...

That's how they operate, Jerry. Their game is, "Listen to my words, and pay no attention to my actions."

Disliking Trump means nothing when they are in lock-step with his authoritarian agenda. It only means they are abetting the self-serving agenda of the elites.

From now on the GOP is the POT. They have been the Party of Trump for over a century, they are the Party of Trump now, and they will always be the Party of Trump.

They are all the spawn and pawns of the plutocratic neo-aristocracy.

There can be no democratic republic under a ruling class of economic elites. Will Americans ever figure that out?

One thing is certain. They won't learn that from their TV news.

If only we had an actual liberal media, instead of the status quo corporate or far-Right media.

Jerry Critter said...

I agree Dave. We would be much better off if the Right was right and we had a liberal media. But neither is right. The Right is wrong, and the media is corporate run and promotes corporate interests.