The choice

Published 10:31 am Friday, February 12, 2021

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By Jack Bernard

Bernard is a retired corporate executive.

Public Citizen, a consumer rights advocacy group and think tank, has said that “Republican senators now have a simple choice: Are you on the side of the United States Constitution, the rule of law, and the most basic elements of democracy? Or are you nothing but a spineless self-preserving hack, willing to sacrifice our democracy so you don’t get ‘primaried?’

When Senator Mitch McConnell was Majority Leader, he had stated that he would not proceed with a trial until after Trump left office. Hypocritically, wily Mitch now says that the Senate can’t try Trump because he’s no longer in office. Talk about a ridiculously obvious cover-up; Mitch is right in the middle of it.

There are 50 GOP senators. They all claim to be “patriots.” In fact, the GOP has felt free to use the term constantly, saying that their Democratic opponents were “radical socialists.”

I am pleased to report that five of them truly are honorable patriots. Senators Murkowski, Collins, Toomey, Sasse and Romney voted to proceed with the trial of Trump for incitement of the mob which attacked our national seat of government. However, the other 90% were anything but patriots. Some in the opposition have called them traitors to democracy. If not traitors, they were clearly spineless, overwhelmingly afraid of Trump’s extraordinary hold on the GOP base. And that includes Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. This is the same McConnell who said, “The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the President.” 

Earlier, shrewd, calculating Mitch had also stated “I have not made a final decision on how I will vote.” After his gutless showing on the vote to bring Trump to trial for starting this violent insurrection, we all know exactly how he will vote.

McConnell has spent his entire career calculating how to obtain and retain power. It’s obvious that power is what motivates him rather than a sense of honor or equity. Along these lines, McConnell will do anything to get back his Senate majority. And that includes making certain that none of his GOP Senate members in swing states get primaried by un-electable primary opponents selected by Trump. He needs Trump’s support to become majority leader once again.

One example of Mitch’s double dealing was his dealings with the courts. Trump filled 100 vacancies that McConnell blocked Obama from filling. The Supreme Court is another area where Mitch’s abuse of power is clear. Mitch says he’s against abolishing the filibuster, requiring 60 votes to approve Senate items. But he himself abolished the filibuster for approval of Supreme Court nominees. That is why Trump was able to appoint so many Supreme Court justices. 

He refused to even consider Obama’s appointment to the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, although he was a highly qualified moderate. Mitch said it was in an election year. Then, he pushed through Trump’s very conservative nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, with only a few weeks left before the 2020 election. Why? Because he could. Right and wrong had nothing to do with it; neither did consistency.

All 50 GOP senators have a choice to make between now and the trail. Will they recast the GOP permanently as the ReTrumpican Party of authoritarianism, lies, duplicity, hypocrisy and deceit? Or will it finally go back to being the party of Lincoln? Not much of a choice for true patriots, is it?