Sunday, September 29, 2019

Ostrich Should Replace Elephant as GOP Mascot

The 19th century political cartoonish Thomas Nast is credited with creating the symbol of the Republican Party, an elephant. Perhaps the mascot should be updated. I suggest it be an ostrich.

An elephant, after all, is said to have a good memory, but today’s GOP fails to remember the values that once made it great—equality of the races (under Lincoln); reverence for the environment and anti-monopolies (under Teddy Roosevelt); disdain for the military-industrial complex (Eisenhower); strategic diplomacy and environmental protections (Nixon, yes Nixon); abhorrence of deficits (Reagan); respect for foreign alliances (Bush I and II).

Under Donald Trump the Republican Party has turned its back on all of these foundational blocks. Moreover, elected congressmen and senators have metaphorically put their heads in the sand so as not to see how Trump is clearly dismantling the rule of law and our constitutional protections of checks and balances.

With the House of Representatives embarked on an impeachment probe after a whistle-blower revealed Trump seemingly pressured the president of Ukraine during a telephone conversation to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, a leading Democratic contender for the presidency, and the subsequent cashiering of the transcript of their talk to a top secret file, perhaps we need to paraphrase one of Trump’s earliest examples of abuse.

Instead of “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 (Hillary Clinton) emails that are missing,” let’s say the following: “America, if you’re listening, we hope you’re able to see the transcripts of Trump’s conversation with Ukraine’s president and other transcripts of his talks with foreign leaders that have similarly been  hidden because his staff feared they would reveal Trump’s high crimes and misdemeanors.” 

Not everyone is convinced an impeachment proceeding is necessary or wise. Surely most Republicans don’t. Some worry it might turn people off, that they might feel Washington has sunk further into dysfunction. On the contrary. An impeachment investigation is the ultimate constitutional function.

This is a test of the American public. Does it want a democratic republic or an autocracy? If Trump is not held accountable for his actions, if his minions are not held accountable for their coverup attempts, we can expect him to continue to stretch the limits of presidential invulnerability. We’ve already seen the pattern being set—one day after Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified before Congress without clearly stating Trump was guilty of obstruction, Trump had his conversation with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

The Very Next Day!!!

The time to impeach has arrived!

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