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Weasels trample elephant

With the ascendancy of Donald Trump, the servile obedience of Republican U.S. senators and members of the House of Representatives, the Republican Party at the national level is dead. It’s time to replace the Republican elephant with a symbol of the Trump Party. I suggest Trump’s head on the body of a weasel, an animal in common folklore considered sneaky, conniving, backstabbing and untrustworthy. 

Number-two weasel in the Trump Party is a toss-up between senators Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham, the president’s most enthusiastic supporters. 

During the 2016 Republican primaries to determine who would be the party’s presidential nominee, Cruz said of Trump, “This man is a pathological liar. He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies with practically every word that comes out of his mouth.”

Without a shred of evidence, Trump retaliated stating that Cruz’s father was involved with President Kennedy’s assassination. Never satisfied with one insult, Trump posted a highly unflattering photo on Twitter of a grimacing Heidi Cruz (wife of Sen. Cruz) next to the likeness of his wife, Melania, with the caption reading: “The photos are worth a thousand words.” How do Cruz’s statements and Trump’s caustic insults balance with the senator’s blind obedience to the president? 

Speaking of the impeachment of President Clinton in January 1999, Lindsey Graham (then a member of the House of Representatives) stated, “You don’t have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic … because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office; impeachment is about restoring the honor and integrity of the office.”

What a difference 20 years and a president in your party makes. How is it that Bill Clinton dishonored the office of president (he did, and should have been convicted in the Senate and removed from office) but Trump’s nonstop lying and despicable tweets are not dishonorable and don’t call for impeachment? Now Graham says evidence of a “crime” is necessary for him to vote to convict Trump.

Graham called Trump’s decision to remove U.S. forces from northeastern Syria “delusional.” Opposed by the Pentagon and the State Department, Trump’s reckless decision which allowed Turkish troops and their militia proxies to enter Syria and attack Kurdish forces (and kill Kurdish civilians) who have fought gallantly with the U.S. military to crush ISIS was a “delusional” course of action, a “disaster in the making.” Shouldn’t a president who made a reckless and delusional decision to abandon one of our staunchest allies in the Middle East be removed from office?

Retired four-star Marine Corps Gen. John Allen stated the “ethnic cleansing” of Kurdish fighters and civilians “is underway by Turkish supported militias. … This is what happens when Trump follows his instincts. … There is blood on Trump’s hands for abandoning our Kurdish allies.” There is also blood on the hands of Trump Party weasels for enabling a man they know is reckless, “delusional” and morally bankrupt to remain in office.

While the Oct. 27 suicide-death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (via indispensable information provided by Kurdish intelligence) cornered by U.S. forces was certainly good news, his death is no more the end of that organization than the killing of Osama bin Laden destroyed radical Islamic terrorism. As former Marine Corps general and Secretary of Defense James Mattis stated, “If we don’t keep the pressure on, then ISIS will resurge. It’s absolutely a given that they will come back.”

In a recent article, retired Adm. William R. McRaven — who orchestrated the attack that killed Osama bin Laden — stated that it’s “time for a new person in the Oval Office — Republican, Democrat or independent — the sooner the better. The fate of our republic depends on it.” McRaven wrote that a retired four-star U.S. Army general recently told him, “I don’t like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the republic.” 

In October, Colin Powell blasted Republican House members for remaining silent about Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukranian President Zelensky to gather dirt on former Vice President and current presidential aspirant Joe Biden. Powell, a former four-star U.S. Army general and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989-93), who served under three presidents and was secretary of state in the George W. Bush administration, said the Republican Party “has to get a grip on itself.” Republican leaders “are terrified of what will happen to any one of them if they speak out.” In a clear reference to Trump, Powell stated, “We’ve got to remember that the Constitution started with ‘We the People,’ not ‘Me the President.'”

In 1755, King Louis XIV of France allegedly told the Paris Parliament, “L’etat, c’est moi.” (“I am the state.”) In 2017, Trump said the constitutional system of checks and balances was “archaic” and a “really a bad thing for the country.” Like King Louis, King Donald wants to reign supreme — and the weasels are not challenging him in this unconstitutional endeavor.

New York Times opinion writer Timothy Egan stated, “You have to believe that most Republicans in Congress know that Trump has violated his oath of office. But most of them are cowards.”

One of those less-than-courageous Trump Party loyalists is Elise Stefanik. I emailed Congresswoman Stefanik the following question three times: “Is it appropriate for President Trump to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political rival?” She responded but didn’t answer my specific query. That’s hardly surprising from ever-elusive Elise, who stated, “When it comes to the president, I support the president.” Her take on the impeachment inquiry is that Congressman Adam Schiff (chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence) is lying. A pathetic statement in light of her allegiance to a shamefully dishonest president who has averaged 13 lies a day since taking office. One would expect more from Stefanik, a Harvard University graduate. Apparently she never took courses in logic, ethics or moral philosophy.

Former Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake stated that if Trump were tried in the Senate after being impeached and there was a secret ballot, “at least 35, maybe more” senators would vote to convict. Flake is likely right, and if Republican members in Congress could cast their ballots in secret, most of them (Stefanik?) would vote to impeach the president. But these votes are not secret, and Trump has near complete control of his “duck-and-cover” party members. 

The principal scoundrel in the television soap opera “Dallas” (1978-91) was oil tycoon J. R. Ewing, who said, “Once you give up your integrity, the rest is a piece of cake.” A perfect motto for Trump Party weasels. 

George J. Bryjak lives in Bloomingdale and is retired after 24 years of teaching sociology at the University of San Diego.

Sources:

Abbass, J. (2019) “Stefanik talks impeachment, Schiff at Lowville event,’ October 11, Adirondack Daily Enterprise, www.adirondackdailylenterprise.com

Avalon, J. (2019) “Trump’s absurd projections reveal his anxiety,” September 24, CNN, www.cnn.com 

Cole, D. (2019) “Jeff Flake tells GOP not to support Trump in 2020: It’s ‘time to risk your career in favor of your principles,” September 30, CNN. www.cnn.com 

Cummings, W. (2019) “‘We can’t abandon the Kurds now’: Lindsey Graham slams Trump move to let Turkey enter Syria as ‘delusional,'” October 9, USA Today, www.usatoday.com

“Impeachment: Will Republicans turn on Trump?” (2019) November 1, The Week, www.theweek.com 

LeBlanc, P. and J. Tapper (2019) “Retired Marine General John Allen ‘There’s blood on Trump’s hands for abandoning our allies,'” October 13, CNN, www.cnn.com 

O’Hara, B. (2019) “Stefanik answers questions at public even in Johnstown,” October 12, Adirondack Daily Enterprise, www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com 

McRaven, W. (2019) “Our Republic Is Under Attack From the President,” October 17, New York Times, www.nytimes.com 

Morris, D. (2018) “A top GOP senator had expansive views on the impeachment when Bill Clinton was the target,” August 22, Fortune, www.fortune.com

Paul, D. (2019) “Colin Powell: ‘The Republican Party has got to get a grip on itself,” October 7, The Washington Post, www.washingtonpost.com 

Rozsa, M. (2017) “Donald Trump doesn’t like the ‘archaic’ Constitution: “It’s really a bad thing for the country” May 1, Salon, www.salon.com 

Sullivan, K (2019) “Mattis warns ‘ISIS will resurge’ if U.S. doesn’t keep pressure on,’ October 12, CNN, www.cnn.com 

“The impact of al-Baghdadi’s death” )2019) November 8, The Week, www.theweek.com 

“Trump mocks appearance of Cruz’s wife in second Twitter attack” (2016) March 26, GOPUSA, www.gopusa.com