Archive for Saturday, December 9, 2017

Opinion: The party of Lincoln has become the party of Trump

December 9, 2017


Washington — We need to prepare for the eventuality that the Mueller probe catches President Trump, family members and associates red-handed — and Republicans in Congress refuse to do anything about it.

This is beginning to look like a possible or even probable outcome. With its cravenness matched only by its arrogance, the GOP is Trump’s party now. It no longer has any claim to be Lincoln’s.

Witness the cowardly about-face on the subject of Roy Moore’s candidacy for the Senate. The party initially took a position in line with its purported values: that a credibly accused child molester, who haunted the local mall seeking dates with teenaged girls when he was in his 30s, is unworthy of the high office he seeks.

But then Trump endorsed Moore — given that more than a dozen women have accused the president of sexual misconduct, the phrase “birds of a feather” comes to mind — and Republicans changed their tune. The flow of money from national party coffers to Moore’s campaign, briefly interrupted, was resumed. Moore’s fitness became a matter that no longer troubled the GOP’s moral conscience, or what was left of it; only “the people of Alabama” could decide the difference between right and wrong.

Here is the distinction between our two major parties in 2017: Democratic leaders are forcing Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., both accused of harassing women, to resign. Republican leaders are trying to put Moore, accused of harassing teenagers and molesting a 14-year-old, in the Senate.

Given that context, it is naive to assume that anything special counsel Robert Mueller uncovers will lead Republicans to choose principle over political advantage. Trump boasted during the campaign that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose support. As far as the GOP majorities in Congress are concerned, he may be right.

Ultimately, that’s what Trump is counting on. He has been using his Twitter feed to try to create the impression that Mueller — the straightest of straight arrows and a lifelong Republican — is somehow biased against him. Trump’s aim isn’t so much to pull the wool over the eyes of his base; rather, it’s to give House Republicans an excuse not to start impeachment proceedings if and when the time comes.

I realize it seems premature to speak of such eventualities. But if there really was no collusion with Russia to tilt the election in Trump’s favor, I wonder why one of the president’s lawyers, Jay Sekulow, is arguing that such collusion would not constitute a crime. And if there really was no obstruction of justice, I wonder why another of Trump’s lawyers, John Dowd, is arguing that the president by virtue of his office is incapable of obstructing justice.

Perhaps Trump and his family are just getting bad legal advice. I’m wondering who gave Donald Trump Jr. the bright idea to cite attorney-client privilege in refusing to answer the House Intelligence Committee’s questions about conversations with his father — conversations that might bear on both collusion and obstruction.

Neither Trump nor Trump Jr. is an attorney. Conversations between Trump Jr. and his lawyer would be privileged, but not conversations Trump Jr. might have had with someone else while his lawyer was present. And Congress is not compelled to honor attorney-client privilege anyway, though it often does.

At least Trump Jr. gave a reason for his stonewalling. Other administration officials called to Capitol Hill to testify about Trump’s possible obstruction — including Attorney General Jeff Sessions — have relied on some imaginary privilege not to discuss conversations with the president.

The GOP-led committees investigating the Russia affair could subpoena witnesses, compel them to speak and hold them in contempt if they refuse. I’m not holding my breath.

Those of us who care whether the president worked with a foreign power to influence the election and then actively impeded an FBI investigation do have recourse, however. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: If this Congress refuses to stand up for justice and American ideals, we need to elect a Congress that will.

The Trump presidency poses a challenge beyond politics or policy. Wrongheaded trickle-down tax policy is a matter of arithmetic; it can be corrected by moving numbers around a spreadsheet. But once corruption has become established, it takes Herculean effort to root it out; once respect for the rule of law is lost, it takes generations to restore.

Mueller is doing his job. Ours is to elect Democrats and independents next year who will hold this appalling presidency to account.

— Eugene Robinson is a columnist for Washington Post Writers Group.


Richard Heckler 3 months, 2 weeks ago

--- Conservatives Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist

--- Conservatives Bush/Cheney Wall Street Home Loan Heist

--- What Did Conservatives Do With $700 billion of bank bail out money?

--- Still A Bad Idea –The Conservative ENTITLEMENT Package for the wealtiest 1% which is still producing a dysfunctional economy.

The TRUMP tax cuts spell wreckanomics and are an extension of the Reagan, Bush and Bush Supply Side Economics which effectively send jobs abraod and economies down the tubes.

Tax breaks going on 38 years has been a highlight of the right wing libertarian/fundamentalist party since Reagan/Bush. THE SAME plan which has brought to the taxpayers 3 loan scams, wreckless mergers and too many corporate bailouts surrounding senseless lending and unethical management from the top.


Bob Smith 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Wow! A 16 year old link that has been posted here hundreds of times. That'll make people sit up and take notice.

Richard Heckler 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The ALEC Issues WHICH ARE GOP Issues:

Privatization : the act of funneling tax dollars into private industry bank accounts. Pyramid Scheme if you will.

What's going on behind the secret doors of ALEC?

Voting Rights Threatened

Public School Privatization = Many thousands of teachers losing their jobs

Social Security Insurance Privatization

Medicare Insurance Privatization

Public Water Services

Big Bank Scams

More USA jobs still going abroad.

Richard Heckler 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Yes there is a lot of activity in the news regarding sexual harassment. It is good thinking to take a closer look at the issue in order to document the many sources of sexual harassment. How pervasive is the issue?


  1. The Battle Against Birth Control

  2. The Contraception Coverage Debate

  3. Intensifying Attacks on Choice

  4. Stopping the Violence Against Women Act

  5. Fighting Equal Pay Laws

  6. Conclusion


Just 37% of people identify as Republicans or leaning toward the Republican Party, compared with 44% who identify as either leaning toward the Democratic Party or as solid Democrats.

Another 14% say they are independents and don't lean to either party.

What's particularly worrisome for Republicans is the trend line on the party ID question since President Donald Trump was elected in November 2016.

At that point, 44% called themselves Democrats while 42% said they were Republicans. It's been all downhill for Republicans since then.

Brock Masters 3 months, 2 weeks ago

I do not believe there is a law against collusion - of course I may be wrong so please share the statute.

Mike Green 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The legal definitions will be argued by many $500/hr lawyers, shouldn't us bystanders pull back from the libtard/con silliness and be concerned that our officials have been heavily involved with Soviet intelligence to influence an election and set US policy? Anyone?

Greg Cooper 3 months, 2 weeks ago

I'm no scholar, Brock, but it seems to me that getting hung up on the word "collusion" is rather limiting. The thing, in my mind, that makes this important is that, if, indeed, Chump or his advisers and surrogates did have conversations with the Russians, or any foreign regime unfriendly to the nation, there is the specter of conspiracy by giving "aid and comfort" to those powers, which is strongly against the laws of the nation. Again, not knowing enough about constitutional law to make that claim, I can see strong evidence in the current investigations that such a charge might be supportable.

What galls me is that it is increasingly clear that the Chump inner circle DID have such conversations but that it has taken this long for serious concern to arise. Politics have taken hold when straight legal investigation is needed. I don't care which party is in control: the good of the nation has been lost in the outrage of one party accusing and the other party defending the administration when what needs to happen is a thorough look at how, if at all, the election was compromised and deals were made in an extra-legal or illegal way that were not in the best interests of the country. And the president of this country, if he had an ounce of concern for his charge, would keep his mouth and Twitter account shut in regards to the investigation and those involved in it.

Ken Lassman 3 months, 2 weeks ago


Rumors that Abraham Lincoln was considering dropping his affiliation with the Republican Party seem to be gaining credibility as the whirlwind of ethical compromises continues to whip through the Grand Old Party. Abe, leaving for a luncheon date with Malala Yousafzai, was heard mumbling about the party's slide toward backing a pedophile candidate from Alabama for the Senate special election there. He reportedly uttered a phrase from the Gettysburg address about how "the world...can never forget what they did here," which, when combined with his statement when asked about the President's sexual indiscretions during the campaign ("I cannot dedicate—I can not consecrate—I can not hallow—this candidate") could signal trouble for the party that has claimed him since the civil war.

The excitement about this move took a new dimension this afternoon when, after waving off reporters about such a move, he responded to a correspondent's question: "if you were to leave the Republican Party, would you be joining the Democrats?" he replied that while "the Democrats have their own sordid history of One Party Politics and seem to lack the leadership to seize the moment...." he paused, lost in thought, at which point the correspondent followed up with the question: "Could you provide that leadership???" And Mr. Lincoln, still lost in thought, quipped as he got into the car and closed his door: "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Gary Stussie 3 months, 2 weeks ago

This divisive article reeks of desperation!

As former Reagan political director Ed Rollins said this week. “Democrats see the Russia probe petering out, the economy growing and ISIS in retreat, They have to change the argument to Republicans are complicit in the abuse of women.”

See Richard's stale links and comments above.

Let's watch Franken's "resignation" for confirmation.

Democratic leaders, who demanded Franken’s resignation earlier this week are gearing up for an epic battle with Republicans over Moore’s seating when he wins.

Here’s where Franken makes his move. Amid that political melee, Franken, D-Minn., could argue his alleged misdeeds are lesser than Moore’s and so he should remain. DEM leaders will maintain they have the moral high ground,

Why would DEM leadership want Franken to stay?

Sen. Al Franken's seat wasn't supposed to be up again until 2020. But his announcement Thursday that he was resigning amid allegations of sexual misconduct sets up a 2018 special election in Minnesota.

There are a couple of marginal Democrats who might be temporarily seated but the Republicans, who hold a 52-48 senate majority, have several top-tier candidates ready for 2018 in a politically competitive state where President Donald Trump lost by less than 2 percentage points last year (former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Rep. Michele Bachmann) .

Ben Cobb 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Eugene Robinson is absolutely right. The Republican party is now the party of Trump and is aiding him in trying to discredit Mueller and the U.S. Intelligence agencies, not to mention supporting the child molester Roy Moore. V. Putin must be laughing at loud.

Josh Berg 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Why would Trump not want to discredit Mueller? He was brought in to look for collusion with Russia and now he is focusing his investigation on obstruction of justice. The man has spent over 3 million dollars of taxpayer money and so far he only has a few indictments that were not the golden goose that everyone was after. Given the ridiculous amount of money he has the spent and the time he has had, do you not think if Trump were guilty of collusion that it would have been found by now? If this guy were really working full days for several months then what else is there to look at? What else is there to investigate? Even police departments will give up investigations when they run out of things to investigate. Not to mention that Mueller has demoted people in the department that did not go along with his anti Trump narrative.

Greg Cooper 3 months, 2 weeks ago

See, Josh, if you're paying attention, Mueller has apparently NOT run out of things to investigate. The concept of investigating is complete only when the original investigation uncovers nothing else to investigate. One string leads to another, and it would be imprudent, at the least, and downright immoral to ignore clues to other actions garnered from the original investigation. That's what investigations are and what competent investigators do.

Ben Cobb 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Trump wants to discredit Mueller because Trump is hiding something and knows it was illegal. Mueller wants to make sure he has all the facts before he completes the investigation. As for the three million, we should ask how much is our democracy worth? Trump has probably spent more than that of the tax payers money playing golf at his resorts.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Yes, it was recently reported that Trump has cost us something like 80 million in not even a year versus Obama spending 44 million in 8 years. And that was a few months ago. I am sure the total is higher now since he golfs at his resorts regularly.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Yeah! And Republicans are worried about 3 million dollars to investigate possible crimes against our democracy but have no qualms with our POTUS approaching 100 million dollars on golfing that he said he would not have time for because he would be busy working hard for us! One of his many,many lies. Too many to count.

Gary Stussie 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Mueller will drag things out until just before the 2018 election ... he will then "leak" some ugly stuff which, after the election, will be found to have no merit. Mueller and Comey are political animals who have adversely impacted the stellar world-wide reputation of the FBI.

Ben Cobb 3 months, 2 weeks ago

It's Trump and his cohorts who have "adversely impacted the...reputation" of the FBI. Mueller is an honorable man. Trump is not.

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