Saturday, January 27, 2018

When Does Partisanship Cross the Line into Treason? We're There.

I doubt if anyone could detest Donald Trump more than I do but I save my harshest judgment for the Republicans.

I think they have moved from being a solid, reliable party that could be depended upon to defend the norms and traditions of our system and the rule of law to morph into a party so hungry for power that there was no norm they wouldn't smash, no tradition they wouldn't trash and no law they wouldn't crash.

I personally think it began with Clinton. The Republicans were willing to throw our government into total disarray in their lust to bring down a Democrat president. After months of investigation, Clinton's impeachment came down to the low crime and misdemeanor of a blow job. In the end, they didn't convict him but their vengeance called for the next best thing - publishing the entire salacious scandal on the internet. They had to settle for humiliation.

The Bush years were relatively calm for the Republicans but then came Obama and their partisanship ramped up to derangement levels. They would approve nothing Obama wanted, even things they had pushed for before, like the Individual Mandate and Cap and Trade. They vowed to make him a one-term president no matter what that took. They engaged in governing by crisis - shutdowns and sequesters and near-defaults on our debt (which resulted in our credit rating being downgraded).

They paraded as fiscal conservatives but they passed huge tax breaks without paying for them (they were supposed to pay for themselves but, of course, they didn't. And they put two wars on our credit card so that the deficit soared.

The Hastert Rule which stated that it was never enough for a majority of Congress to approve legislation, it had to be a majority of the majority - in other words, a majority of Republicans - became their norm. And during all that time in Afghanistan and Iraq, they refused to do their jobs by debating and renewing the authorization for war. They wanted to leave Obama hanging out on his own so if it turned bad (which it did), they could say it was all the president's fault.

They did things which had never been done before like holding a Supreme Court vacancy open for 14 months so they could claim it for themselves.

And then came the Donald and things went from bad to disastrous. They know their president is a corrupt con man but they rubber stamp everything he does. They know that he colluded with the Russians and obstructed justice but instead of taking it seriously, they keep coming up with faux-scandals that turn out to be nothing to try to muddy the waters so that if and when Trump is found guilty, they can say it was all a "witch hunt".

Their congressional investigations are a farce. Devin Nunes pulls a ridiculous stunt like pretending he was bringing the White House information about the illegal unmasking of Trump officials when he actually got what information he had (which had no legitimacy) from the White House. Nunes then recused himself from the investigation - but not really. Instead he was working behind the scenes the entire time.

The Republicans and their cohorts in the conservative media have worked tirelessly to undermine the Justice Department, the F.B.I., the Intelligence agencies, our previously most trustworthy defenders against terrorism. They have claimed there was a secret group in the F.B.I. plotting to take down Trump, which was a joke. They released memos from an F.B.I. agent and F.B.I. lawyer criticizing Trump but not the ones equally as critical of Hillary, Loretta Lynch, Eric Holder, et al.

Now Nunes claims to have a memo (which he wrote himself) that he's threatened to reveal to other Republicans though not to the F.B.I. or Justice Department (because they can't be trusted, you know) despite the warning from these agencies that publicizing classified information could be dangerous to our national security. Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, continues to let this rogue congressman run wild.

They have not raised a finger to thwart the Russians from interfering in the 2018 election although we positively know what all Putin did in 2016.

This goes beyond malfeasance and steps across the line into treason.