Saturday, May 13, 2017

Morning Reading: The Morally Bankrupt, Un-American Party & An American Hero

Paul Krugman shows us the reality of a morally bankrupt political party in service to the most venal regime and policies in American history:
Everyone understands that Mr. Comey was fired not because of his misdeeds during the campaign — misdeeds that helped put Trump in the White House — but because his probe of Russian connections with the Trump campaign was accelerating and, presumably, getting too close to home. So this looks very much like the use of presidential power to cover up possible foreign subversion of the U.S. government. 
And the two leading Republicans in Congress are apparently O.K. with that cover-up, because the Trump ascendancy is giving them the chance to do what they always wanted, namely, take health insurance away from millions of Americans while slashing taxes on the wealthy. [snip] 
So here’s where we stood as of Thursday evening: 138 Democrats and independents had called for the appointment of a special prosecutor; just one Republican had joined that call. Another 84 Democrats had called for an independent investigation, joined by only six Republicans. 
At this point, in other words, almost an entire party appears to have decided that potential treason in the cause of tax cuts for the wealthy is no vice. And that’s barely hyperbole. 
How did a whole party become so, well, un-American? For this story now goes far beyond Trump.
Read the entire op/ ed for the "how."

Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog argues, rightfully, that Republican conservatism "hasn't primarily been about policy for a long time."  In doing so, he gives us a revised definition of "Cleek's Law" (i.e., "Today’s conservatism is the opposite of what liberals want today, updated daily."):
"Today’s conservatism is whatever conservatives think will make liberals furious, updated daily."
That sounds right. It's been about stoking anger, resentment, and bigotry in a base that's been conditioned to hate anything that could be labeled "liberal" or "left," in order to serve their real purpose of afflicting the afflicted (repealing Obamacare) and comforting the comfortable (gutting Medicaid to provide a trillion dollars in tax cuts for the wealthy).

Michael Winship at Bill reminds us that, in this week that displayed some of the ugliness in our political system, an American hero emerged:
Sally Yates’ steadfast grace under pressure and willingness to uphold the principles of democracy over discrimination and grandstanding especially stood out this week in the wake of the Comey dismissal. With few exceptions, Republicans ran for cover and continued to pretend that their standard bearer hasn’t spent too much time on the Tilt-a-Whirl. No Profiles in Courage there. 
Coincidentally, it was another woman — a Republican — Margaret Chase Smith, senator from Maine, who in 1950 dared speak out against the outrages of Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-WI) as he attempted to trash the country much the way that Trump desires now. “I speak as an American,” she said. “I don’t want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the four horsemen of calumny — fear, ignorance, bigotry and smear.” 
By their silence, most of today’s Republicans are trying to do just that. They will allow Trump to keep making outrageous statements and decisions, permit him to continue batting out his malicious tweets and project onto others the malevolent thoughts and deeds that really are his own. Together they will continue to malign upstanding Americans like Sally Yates.
Moral cowards and opportunists like those in the White (Supremacist) House and Republicans in Congress will be remembered by history as such as long as we continue to hold a light to their words and actions.

BONUS:  Good read at Stinque on "The Mind of the Collaborator."

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