Yesterday (8.23.18) I heard Rush Limbaugh say on his
radio program that even with evidence that Trump lied and did indeed break
campaign finance laws, the base of Trump supporters would not change their
opinion or drop their support for President Trump. Thankfully that base is
small as reviewed earlier this month "Trump's Dinky Base" (see below).
But it still amazes me how little the Republican leaders have to say on the
subject, heads deeply drilled into the sand, which is why voters need to
turn-out in droves for the mid-term elections and be sure to vote these
creepy people out of office. I guess that's why I was
glad to read the editorial in USA Today
and wanted to share it:
Paging all Republican members of Congress: Please report to the front desk to collect your spines
You will need them to fulfill your constitutional role as a co-equal branch of government. You will need them to defend the rule of law against a president who is unbeholden to the truth.
Might we suggest that now would be a good time to do this.
Under oath in federal court in New York this week, President Donald Trump’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, implicated the president in the commission of a federal crime. Cohen said then-candidate Trump directed him to make illegal campaign contributions — hush-money payments to two women — before the 2016 election. Most legal experts believe that a sitting president can’t be indicted and prosecuted. That leaves it to Congress to get to the bottom of things with hearings to examine the existing evidence, develop new evidence, and bring Cohen and others to the Capitol to testify — much as the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities did during Watergate, 45 years ago. And it’s up to Congress to lay down some red-line markers, sending a message that it won’t countenance any interference with special counsel Robert Mueller’s legitimate and vital Russia investigation, or any pardons the president might issue to protect himself.
So far, though, the Cohen bombshell has mostly evoked the sounds of silence from the Republicans who run the House and Senate.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said he doesn’t yet have enough information about the payoffs to a former porn star and Playboy model. Perhaps this would be a good reason to hold hearings, would it not?
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who actually has his chamber in an unusual August session, says he is too busy considering nominations and appropriations bills. Too busy to examine criminal allegations against the man who is now president? Too busy to put some boundaries around a president who has been caught in a bald-faced lie about whether he knew about the payments?
In prior years, Republican lawmakers have demonstrated no such reluctance to hold the White House accountable, so long as it was occupied by Democrats. Notably, they turned a terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, into a years-long episode of partisan shaming.
Imagine if Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton had been credibly accused of directing illegal payments to cover up affairs and deprive voters of potentially significant information. You can bet the GOP-controlled Congress would be cranking up its investigative machinery, if not the impeachment process.
Now, when there is credible evidence of criminal wrongdoing by the president, party leaders sit mute and meek. They humble their institution. History will not look kindly upon them.