Tag Archives: GOP caucus

What if Barack Obama had done this?

I know you’ve heard political pundits ask this question: What would the Republican response be if Barack Obama had been accused of doing what Donald Trump has been accused of doing?

Well, we all know the answer to that one. Congressional Republicans would go ballistic. They would be apoplectic. They would file articles of impeachment while the echoes of the allegations were still ringing in their ears.

However, the question by itself ignores what I believe is a necessary corollary question, which I haven’t heard anyone pose: How would congressional Democrats respond if President Obama were accused of the transgressions that have been alleged against Trump?

I realize the second question results in a more problematic and unclear answer than the first one. Indeed, the whole rhetorical exercise speaks directly to a supreme hypothetical question. Politicians say they don’t like answering hypothetical questions, and I do not blame them for that reticence.

This is my take only on it, so here goes.

I believe GOP acquiescence to Trump’s misbehavior is a symptom of slavish fealty to one man, the president. It also reveals a lack of seriousness among GOP politicians to the oath they took to defend the Constitution against such abuses. This relative silence underscores the chokehold that Trump has placed on the Republican Party.

It also might reveal that Democrats did not hold Trump’s immediate Democratic presidential predecessor in the same almost-holy regard as their Republican colleagues feel toward Donald Trump.

Thus, I harbor a good bit of hope that had Barack Obama had pressured a foreign government to dig up dirt on, say, Mitt Romney or even Donald Trump that more than a token number of congressional Democrats would be as appalled as they are today at the actions of a Republican president.

The stone-cold devotion of today’s Republican congressional caucus to the president stands as a violation of the oath they all took to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution.

Get ready for the next clown show

Ladies and gentleman, step right this way. You’re going to witness another clown show brought to you by the congressional Republican caucus that is running interference for a crooked president of the United States.

The arena this time will be the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, which in the morning will begin its hearing on whether to impeach Donald Trump on at least two counts: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The House Intelligence Committee has produced 300 pages of incontrovertible evidence that Trump sought a personal political favor from a foreign government; he conditioned military aid to that foreign government on delivering that favor; his personal lawyer was involved in conversations with federal budget officials and those within that foreign government.

And yet …

Congressional Republicans continue to insist that Trump did nothing wrong. There’s nothing to see here, they say. They don’t stand up for the president’s moral character or his standing as commander in chief. They seek to deflect attention from the allegations by criticizing the motives of Trump’s foes and suggesting that Ukraine, and not Russia, attacked our electoral system in 2016.

The Judiciary Committee will open its hearing and Chairman Jerrold Nadler will have his hands full as GOP members seek to be recognized for “points of order.” The No. 1 GOP doofus well might turn out to be a Texan, I should add. Louis Gohmert of Tyler, a former appellate judge — if you can believe it — is likely to become the Main Man leading the opposition against what looks to me like impeachable offenses committed by the president.

What absolutely astounds me is how and why Republicans continue to dig in when the evidence blares out loudly that Donald Trump violated his oath of office. 

I am scratching my head bloody over that one.

Let the clown show commence. Chairman Nadler is going to earn his congressional salary. Of that I am certain.

House condemns Trump’s racist tweets … what happens now?

This is no surprise in the least.

The U.S. House of Representatives, controlled by Democrats, has voted along most party lines to condemn Donald Trump’s racist tweets aimed at four progressive Democratic members of the House.

All the Democrats voted for the resolution. Four Republicans joined them. The rest of the GOP caucus stood with the president. I am sorry to say that my congressman, Van Taylor of Plano, stood with Trump and his idiotic notion that the Democrats — all of whom are U.S. citizens and three of whom were born in the United States — could return to their country of origin.

Oh, the racism element? They’re all women of color. One of them hails from Somalia, but she moved here when she was 12 years of age.

All of the women were duly elected to the House in 2018. They all have left an immediate imprint on the body. Sure, I have grown impatient at a couple of them. Rep. Rashida Tlaib used some profane language about impeaching the president even before she took office; Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become the most ubiquitous freshman member of the House in my recent memory.

But they do not deserve to be treated with such racist rhetoric by the president of the United States.

My question now is this: What happens with this condemnation?

Trump won’t give a damn about it. His Republican allies in Congress won’t care, either, as they have followed virtually in lockstep with a president who brought zero political history with him to the White House. Yet the GOP remains loyal to this guy? The reasons for that fealty boggle my mind.

I am not going use this blog to declare that Donald Trump is a racist. I am going to endorse the House resolution that declares that his Twitter tirade against four member of Congress was racist to its core. Of that there can be no doubt.

Why do congressional Republicans, with so frighteningly few exceptions, fail to recognize what most of the rest of us understand?

Rep. Gohmert shows why he sits on the GOP fringe

U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert sits on the fringe of the Republican Party’s congressional caucus for a reason, as he has demonstrated once again.

The East Texas member of Congress thinks special counsel Robert Mueller should be fired. He doesn’t like that the former FBI director and a crack lawyer is investigating Donald J. Trump on several levels. He is concerned that the counsel might actually find some criminality in his probe into whether the Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russian goons who meddled in our 2016 election.

I need to point out here that the GOP leadership wants Mueller to continue. Even some of the back bench members of both the House and Senate GOP caucus know the consequences if the president gets Mueller removed.

Actually, Gohmert the Goober knows it, too. He said, “The only reason that he is not going and the president is not going to fire him and that I am not calling for him to be fired now is … because of all the establishment Republicans that think they would have to come after Trump if he were fired.”

Oh, really? The Republican congressional leadership would “come after” the president for, oh, obstructing justice or for abusing the power of his high office? Is that what he means?

If that’s the case, then the Republican leadership would be correct to sound the impeachment bugle and Rep. Gohmert is utterly wrong in calling for Mueller to be fired.

Mueller was given a broad mandate when Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed him special counsel; the task fell to Rosenstein after AG Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia matter after serving as a Trump campaign and presidential transition official with ties to Russians who had contacted the Trump political organization.

Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller was hailed by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Gohmert, though, says he had trouble with Mueller’s selection from the get-go.

I’ll offer this bit of advice to Gohmert, which I’ve also offered to the president: If there is nothing to be found — which Trump insists is the case — then let Mueller reach that conclusion and announce it to the world himself.

Meanwhile, Louie Gohmert needs to settle down and let Mueller do his job.

Trump is right: GOP blew it on ACA repeal/replacement

I hope you’re sitting down as you read this next sentence: Donald Trump is correct — to a point — in criticizing the congressional Republican caucus for failing to replace the Affordable Care Act.

The president, who has opened a new front in his all-out war against the Washington political establishment, tore into Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the GOP’s failure to have a replacement ready for enactment when Trump took office.

Do I wish the Republicans had done such a thing? No. I do not like the idea of total repeal of the ACA; I would prefer mending it, fixing it, repairing what’s wrong with it.

My point about the president’s criticism is that the congressional GOP caucus had many years to come up with a replacement plan. It didn’t. It dawdled and twiddled. It didn’t have the wisdom to come up with a reasonable alternative to the ACA. It instead chose to fight with the President Barack Obama on all manner of issues.

Then came Donald Trump to the scene. He won a presidential election while making some grossly overstated promises. He pledged to take Washington by the back of its neck and shake, rattle and roll it to do his bidding.

That didn’t happen, either.

The president was right to at least expect to have a starting point on this repeal-and-replace effort regarding health care insurance. There was nothing waiting for him when he took office.

To the extent that GOP members of Congress were at fault, then the president is correct. They didn’t deliver the goods.

However, the president’s anger at the GOP breaks down because of his refusal to accept any personal responsibility for his party’s failures. It might have been better for Trump to say something like this: “The Republicans in Congress had seven years to replace ‘Obamacare,’ but they didn’t. It’s not entirely their fault, though. As the leader of the Republican Party, I must share in this disappointing outcome. I am the president of the United States, the head of the executive branch of government, which shares power with Congress. I also must share the blame. That’s part of the deal.”

Trump told McConnell that he needs to “get to work.”

Yes. So should the president.