Rip Van Winkle Republicans
Have the Republicans been completely asleep during the last three years, recently awakening as their elected officials voted in the House and Senate. There is no other way to explain the GOP actions the last week. In the Senate, they refused to call for witnesses in the Trump impeachment trial though over 70 percent of Americans wanted to hear from any relevant witnesses. Aside from citizens’ desire for witnesses, John Bolton and Lev Parnas indicated a willingness to testify before the Senate suggesting that they had much information of interest. But neither the electorate’s wishes nor the willingness of two witnesses with first hand information swayed Mitch McConnell and the Republicans to call for additional testimony. They had already made up their minds as to the outcome of the impeachment and were not going to let the facts or the truth get in the way. Better that they and the nation did not hear what had really happened from people who knew the facts.
Remember also that all the Republicans in the Senate took oaths swearing to be impartial in judging the impeachment of Trump. Yet McConnell said he was working with Trump and the White House to get the trial over with as quickly as possible and that he knew that Trump was innocent even before the House managers presented their cases. That really shows the impartiality oaths were BS and made the oath meaningless. Actually, it was worse than meaningless as McConnell was working on behalf of the defendant. All the Republicans in the House had already voted against impeachment and their colleagues in the Senate joined in, aside from Mitt Romney, in acquitting Trump of the charges. These were supposedly religious Republicans who took the oaths.
Had these elected Republican officials been asleep since Trump’s tenure in the White House started. While Trump was only being tried for his actions regarding the blackmail of the Ukrainian president, there had been so many lies and questionable behavior since Trump came to power. Yet the Republicans were not moved by his overall conduct and were happy to have him retain his position. Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio, wrote in an OpEd that the GOP senators’ votes were driven by a fear of Trump and his vindictiveness and cruelty. This was undoubtedly true and it was fear and not sleep that was responsible for their votes. They embodied Portraits in Cowardice.
But how do we explain the rise in Trumps’s approval ratings from the general population who had no reason to fear Trump. Had they been asleep or just not paying attention to what had been going on in Washington. Or did they just disregard Trump’s unethical actions and enjoy him as an entertainer. Maybe they were just dreaming. Trump’s approval ratings from the public jumped from 41 percent to 49 percent. Being mean and vindictive and corrupt seemed to be good in the average Americans’ eyes. It seems unbelievable to any rational person. Maybe the whole country has been sleeping during the last three years?
Political junkie, Vietnam vet, neurologist- three books on aging and dementia. Book on health care reform in 2009- Shock Therapy for the American Health Care System. Book on the need for a centrist third party- Resurrecting Democracy- A Citizen’s Call for a Centrist Third Party published in 2011. Most recent book, Aging Wisely, published in August 2014 by Rowman and Littlefield.