Officer Goes From ‘sadness’ To ‘rage’
Sicknicks partner on the Capitol police, Sandra Garza, wrote an essay about the attack and the aftermath in which she said in part, I saw officers being brutalized and beaten, and protesters defying orders to stay back from entering the Capitol. All the while, I kept thinking, Where is the President? Why is it taking so long for the National Guard to arrive? Where is the cavalry!?
She added, As the months passed, my deep sadness turned to outright rage as I watched Republican members of Congress lie on TV and in remarks to reporters and constituents about what happened that day. Over and over they denied the monstrous acts committed by violent protesters.;
For example, when Gosar called the Jan. 6 attackers peaceful patriots.
During the Benghazi hearings, Republicans were laser-focused on trying to place blame on then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But after four years of investigations, most of them purely partisan affairs, they found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing on her part.
Republicans dont want anything close to that type of scrutiny on the Capitol attacks of Jan. 6. In fact, they dont seem to want any scrutiny at all.
Almost as if they know what will be found.
Almost as if I didnt have to use the word almost.
Reach Montini at .
Republicans Are Suddenly Afraid Of Democracy
Were not a democracy, Republican Senator Mike Lee tweeted in the middle of Wednesday nights vice-presidential debate. He was reacting to something hed heard onstage there, in his home state of Utah. Another tweet: The word democracy appears nowhere in the Constitution, perhaps because our form of government is not a democracy. Its a constitutional republic. To me it matters. It should matter to anyone who worries about the excessive accumulation of power in the hands of the few. Hours after the debate Lee was still worrying the thought: Democracy isnt the objective; liberty, peace, and prospefity are. We want the human condition to flourish. Rank democracy can thwart that.
Why did Lee choose this momentless than four weeks before an election in which his party seems likely to suffer defeatto make the familiar, even pedantic, point that we live in a republic rather than a pure democracy? Why did he insist on the point so vehemently that he neglected to mention that power in the American system ultimately lies with the people, which means that our system could also be called a representative democracy? Did he mean rank as in foul, rancid, or outright? If the last, does that mean the tyranny of the majority leading to perverse rule by the few? What did this short, misleading course in Civics 101 have to do with anything?
Why Dont Republicans Stand Up To Trump Heres The Answer
Rep. Mark Sanford
If youre still flummoxed by the abject servility of congressional Republicans, by their refusal to confront Trump and stand up for American values, check out last nights primary election in South Carolina. The purging of Mark Sanford says it all.
Sanford is a long-serving conservative lawmaker who typically votes with his party, but on a few public occasions, he has actually dared to suggest that Trump is not the supreme very stable genius that the deluded Republican base deems Trump to be. The result: Sanford loses his job.
For the inexcusable sin of speaking his mind about factual reality, the Republican base voters in Sanfords House district threw him out last night, handing the GOP nomination to a far-right Trumper who repeatedly denounced Sanford as disloyal.
This is why rank-and-file Republican lawmakers refuse to speak out. Theyre afraid of their own constituents. Its Trumps party now, and the constituents in red districts virtually worship the guy. Forget about putting country over party, because its actually worse than that. Sanfords colleagues wont put country over career. Theyll vow that what just happened to Sanford will not happen to them.
As conservative commentator Erick Erickson said today, Mark Sanford losing in South Carolina is pretty much proof positive that the GOP is not really a conservative party that cares about limited government. It is now fully a cult of personality.
I stand by every word.
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Trump Aides Aim To Build Gop Opposition To Afghan Refugees
WASHINGTON As tens of thousands of Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban arrive in the U.S., a handful of former Trump administration officials are working to turn Republicans against them.
The former officials are writing position papers, appearing on conservative television outlets and meeting privately with GOP lawmakers all in an effort to turn the collapse of Afghanistan into another opportunity to push a hard-line immigration agenda.
It is a collaboration based on mutual conviction, said Stephen Miller, the architect of President Donald Trumps most conservative immigration policies and among those engaged on the issue. My emphasis has been in talking to members of Congress to build support for opposing the Biden administrations overall refugee plans.
The approach isnt embraced by all Republican leaders, with some calling it mean-spirited and at odds with Christian teachings that are important to the white evangelicals who play a critical role in the partys base. The strategy relies on tactics that were commonplace during Trumps tenure and that turned off many voters, including racist tropes, fear-mongering and false allegations.
And the hard-liners pay little heed to the human reality unfolding in Afghanistan, where those who worked with Americans during the war and many others are desperate to flee for fear they could be killed by the new Taliban regime.
Still In The Thrall Of Trump Party Continues On Toxic Turn Away From Truth
Even if you dont like or have never seen the 1992 film, or if you judge Jack Nicholsons acting technique as, shall we say, a bit much, you can probably recite his signature outburst from;A Few Good Men,;with appropriate volume: You cant handle the truth!
Why are so many in the GOP still insisting that the presidential election was rigged and that Donald Trump, the main attraction at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, is the real president? Why would a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol to avoid a repeat by the same forces who believed an election fraud lie be a bad idea? Why all the squawking and attempts in some states to censor a social studies curriculum that presents a nuanced and complete history of a United States that has not always acknowledged the accomplishments and sacrifice of all its citizens?
Say it louder, Jack. I dont think the Republicans present and represented at;CPAC;can hear you.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt tried to reassure a justifiably fearful country, in the midst of a crushing Depression, by being honest and positive about our common problems.
Let me assert my firm belief, he said, that the;only thing we have to fear;is fear itself nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror, which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
Its a soulless transaction that views democracy as expendable.
The Goal Is To Undermine Confidence In Elections
Underscoring the point, Rep. Jim Banks , the chair of the Republican Study Committee, made an extraordinarily disingenuous appearance on Fox News Sunday. Banks had endorsed the Texas lawsuit, which would have invalidated millions of votes in four states based on fictions, and voted to overturn President Bidens electors in Congress.
Pressed by Foxs Chris Wallace to admit Biden won fair and square, Banks kinda sorta acknowledged it, but immediately pivoted to claiming those actions were entirely justified, by insisting that his serious concerns about the election were still valid.
This is not the act of a coward who fears Trump, and would vouch for the integrity of the election if only he could do so without consequences.
Rather, it is the act of someone who is fully devoted to the project of continuing to undermine confidence in our elections going forward.
This is for purely instrumental purposes. Republicans are employing their own invented doubts about 2020 to justify intensified voter suppression everywhere. Banks neatly crystallized the point on Fox, saying those doubts required more voting restrictions after reinforcing them himself.
Indeed, with all this, Republicans may be in the process of creating a kind of permanent justification for maximal efforts to invalidate future election outcomes by whatever means are within reach.
Republicans Who Voted To Convict Trump Face Censure At Home
North Carolina Senator Richard Burr is the latest to be censured by local Republicans for his impeachment trial vote.
State Republican leaders in North Carolina voted to censure Senator Richard Burr over his vote to convict Donald Trump during last weeks impeachment trial, making Burr the latest to be rebuked for opposing the former United States president.
Burr, a third-term North Carolina Republican who has said he does not plan to seek re-election in 2022, was one of just seven out of 50 Republican senators to vote to convict Trump for inciting his supporters January 6 attack on Congress, which left five people dead.
The North Carolina Republican Party Central Committee voted unanimously to censure Burr, saying it agrees with the strong majority of Republicans that the effort lies outside the United States Constitution.
Trumps second Senate impeachment trial concluded on Saturday with a 57-43 vote in favour of convicting. The tally fell short of the two-thirds needed to secure conviction.
North Carolina Republican Chairman Michael Whatley condemned Burr for voting against the former president, calling the move a shocking and disappointing abdication of his duty to voters.
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Did Trump Damage American Democracy
Did Trump permanently damage American democracy? This question has spawned a veritable cottage industry of hand wringing over the state of American democracyunderstandably so. Never before have we had a president who schemed to overturn legitimate election results, who attacked the press and the civil servants who worked for him, who admired dictators, who blatantly profited from his public office and who repeatedly lied to the public for his own selfish purposes. But while Trumps four years of rhetoric have been a shock to democratic norms, did they inflict permanent damage on our democracy? My answer is a qualified no. The guardrails of democracy held. The institutions designed to check autocracy are intact.
Successful democratic systems are not designed for governments composed of ethical men and women who are only interested in the public good. If leaders were always virtuous there would be no need for checks and balances. The Founding Fathers understood this. They designed a system to protect minority points of view and to protect us from leaders inclined to lie, cheat and steal. Fortunately, we havent had many of those in our 200-plus years of history, which is why the Trump presidency sent such shock waves through a large part of the body politic.
Did Trump weaken the powers of Congress? No.
John Kasich Says Republicans Are ‘afraid’ Of Trump
Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks with NPR’s Leila Fadel about the GOP’s unwillingness to stand up to President Trump, who still refuses to accept the results of the presidential election.
LEILA FADEL, HOST:
Last night, President Trump received another loss in court. A federal judge in Pennsylvania dismissed the campaign’s attempts to stop the certification of Pennsylvania’s votes. This is just the latest of more than two dozen failed challenges brought by the Trump campaign to overturn the election results. President Trump refuses to concede, and for the most part, his party has supported his efforts to pursue legal challenges based on false allegations of widespread voter fraud.
Very few high-profile Republicans have publicly acknowledged Joe Biden as the winner, but one of them is John Kasich. He’s the former governor of Ohio and a 2016 Republican presidential candidate, and he joins us now.
Governor Kasich, welcome.
JOHN KASICH: Thanks, Leila. Glad to be with you.
FADEL: So you endorsed President-elect Joe Biden. He won this election. What do you make of President Trump’s attempts to overturn the results?
KASICH: It’s just absurd. The whole thing is – it’s just – it’s ridiculous. I mean, he has clearly won this election. And it is just sort of amazing to me that Republicans just keep sitting on their hands. It makes no sense.
FADEL: That was the former Republican governor of Ohio, John Kasich.
Governor Kasich, thanks for speaking with us.
Donald Trump Acquitted By Republican Allies Who Hope Other Courtrooms Will Release His Grip On Party
The Senate impeachment trial was Donald Trump’s to lose.
The 45th president of the United States became the first in history to face a second Senate impeachment trial. He was once again acquitted, this time of the charge of inciting an insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6.
But even after leaving office, Mr Trump has held onto the same staunch support from Republican senators that saw him acquitted in his first Senate trial last year.
Democrats needed 17 Republicans to break ranks and join with them in order to secure a conviction and it was a tall order right from the outset.
A fleeting moment of solidarity came with the opening prayer from Senate chaplain Barry Black: “Lord, infuse them with a spirit of non-partisan patriotism. Unite them in their effort to do what is best for America.”
Then the two sides reverted to partisan warfare.
Why Are Gop Lawmakers Afraid To Stand Up To Trump This Race Offers A Clue
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle had maintained a lead for the GOP nomination in the states gubernatorial race since May, when he fell short of getting the 50 percent of the vote needed to win the nomination outright. He was considered the front-runner in the race, the one who had the best chance of taking on rising progressive star Stacey Abrams in the fall.;
But it all fell apart when, in a surprise move, Trump endorsed Brian Kemp, Georgias secretary of state and Cagles GOP rival in the race. The announcement blindsided;Cagles campaign and other GOP officials, including the leaders of the Republican Governors Association.;;
A leaked internal tracking poll for Cagles campaign that was obtained by a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution showed how the lieutenant governors poll numbers nose-dived after Trump endorsed Kemp, who cruised to victory Tuesday.
The dramatic boost for Kemp is a testament to Trumps enduring sway on the Republican electorate, despite growing criticism from GOP officials about his trade policies and his disastrous summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The president did not change the outcome, but it significantly impacted the margin, which means he had a very positive effect, Sen. Jonny Isakson said Wednesday of Trumps endorsement.
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Could Liz Cheney End Up As The Gop’s Obi
At that closed-door meeting, Cheney also spoke of furthering Republican values, like lower taxes and limited government, and of furthering American ones like rooting out white supremacy. But her sense of conviction was too much for colleagues like Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly, who responded with the kind of misogyny that would have made Trump proud.
You look up into the stands and see your girlfriend on the oppositions side, Kelly said. Thats one hell of a tough thing to swallow.
The conference vote was conducted by secret ballot. Perhaps this anonymity saved Cheney: While most members of her party are too scared to stand up to Trump publicly, 145 members voted with her, with 61 against.
Since then, Cheney has stayed true to values. She has maintained the importance of a bipartisan commission to investigate the Capitol violence. She believes President Joe Biden was lawfully elected president of the United States. These two facts should be obvious to any member of Congress who supports and believes in the U.S. Constitution. And yet here we are.
What has the GOP been unified about, except something to do with Mr. Potato Head and Dr. Seuss?
With the exception of a few other dissenters, the only messaging coming out of the Republican House conference is their support for Trumps Big Lie.
You cannot punch through this wall of delusion; the truth is warped, and Trumps carnival of fun-house mirrors is not leaving town anytime soon.
Todays Republicans Really Hate Democrats And Democracy
1) Trumps supporters have embraced anti-democratic ideas
This chart shows results from a two-part survey, conducted in late 2020 and early 2021, of hardcore Trump supporters. The political scientists behind the survey, Rachel Blum and Christian Parker, identified so-called MAGA voters by their activity on pro-Trump Facebook pages. Their subjects are engaged and committed Republican partisans, disproportionately likely to influence conflicts within the party like primary elections.
These voters, according to Blum and Parker, are hostile to bedrock democratic principles.
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Opinion: Why Republicans Are More Afraid Of Change Than Ever
When your partys presidential candidate is trailing in the polls by nearly 10 points with a little over three months to go, its natural to start worrying about what will happen if he loses. And if youre a Republican, theres an entire cable network devoted to filling your evenings with terror.
Consider what Tucker Carlson, the highest-rated cable TV host of the moment, told his viewers Thursday night:
The presidential election, in fact, believe it or not, is almost right here. In some places, early voting begins in just over a month. The results of that voting will define the countrys future. If Democrats take both the Senate and the White House, and they could, you will not recognize America a year from now.
This kind of message has particular resonance for conservatives, since by definition theyre inclined against change. And those who seek to mobilize them such as Republican candidates or right-wing TV hosts will almost inevitably wind up telling them that the change that will come will be not just unpleasant but downright cataclysmic. We hear this every four years, without fail.
Its not that Democrats dont predict disaster if they lose, because they do. But the conservative warnings of doom have a particular theme: the end of America as we know it.
No, its because Trump has failed.
And guess what: Donald Trump couldnt do a thing about any of it.
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