On Rats Deserting Da Trumptanic

Those of us who lean toward the left and a more liberal ideology than that of the GOP have hoped for more than seven months now that the republicans in Congress would get fed up with Donald Trump and start standing up to him, standing for policies that benefit their constituents rather than Trump and his wealthy cronies.  Well, apparently the more moderate among them are getting fed up, but instead of standing up to him, challenging him and refusing to do his bidding, they are jumping ship.

charlie-dent

Charlie Dent

The latest in the exodus to escape the toxic environment is Charlie Dent, a republican representative from Pennsylvania.  Dent is moderate republican who has publicly expressed concerns about Trump in the past. He called for Trump to drop out of the race last year after the release of the Access Hollywood tapes that should have doomed Trump’s political career.  Since then, he has spoken out against Trump’s travel ban, his firing of James Comey as FBI director and his false moral equivalency after Charlottesville.  I applaud Mr. Dent for taking those stands and wish more would follow suit. However, he has also voted with Trump’s wishes more than 90% of the time during the past seven months. Dent cites “disruptive outside influences that profit from increased polarization and ideological rigidity that leads to dysfunction, disorder and chaos” as part of his reason for not seeking re-election next year.

Reichert

Dave Reichert

Dent is not the first congressional republican to jump ship, nor likely the last.  Just the day before Dent made his announcement, another republican representative, Dave Reichert, from the state of Washington, announced his plan to retire after seven terms.  And republican representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from Florida has announced her intention to step down also, saying that the prospect of two more years in the current environment just didn’t appeal to her.

Lehtinen

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

“I’m not one of those name-callers that think the Democrats don’t have a single good idea. Too many people think that way, and I think that’s to the detriment to civility and of good government.”  Give the lady a round of applause!All three of the departing members of the House of Representatives were moderate republicans, the kind we need more of in order to have a functioning, truly bi-partisan Congress.  Obviously, the upside is that this is three seats up for grabs, and we could hope that they are ‘grabbed’ by democrats in 2018.

Here is something interesting … the three representatives who are reportedly fed up with Trump, have voted to support Trump’s agenda more often than not:

Charlie Dent                       90.7%

 

Dave Reichert                    83.3%

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen        70.7%

In the case of Mr. Dent, he only disagreed with Trump on issues of the ACA repeal, Russian sanctions, and requiring state and local governments to distribute federal funds to qualified health centers even if they perform abortions. Other things, such as rolling back environmental regulations, partial repeal of Dodd-Frank, and immigration, he voted the ‘party line’.  If Mr. Dent is so fed up with the Trump regime, wouldn’t the better way to make a statement have been to vote more in line with the best interest of the country and its citizens?

Interestingly, pro-Trumpeters held an ‘anti-Dent’ rally in Allentown, Pennsylvania last month.  It was a small affair by any standard … Breitbart reported 300 attended, a local news source reported just under 200, and The Washington Post reports about 100, so take your pick. Ed Martin, one of the event planners, said, “Charlie Dent and the Tuesday Group have been masquerading as Republicans, while running President Trump’s agenda straight into the ground. It’s high time we called out these liberals in Pennsylvania and across the country for betraying their voters and capitulating to … the far left.”

A fairly homogeneous group, wouldn’t you say?

If the exiting representatives were the more hard-right Freedom Caucus members, I would be more than happy to see them go.  But these three, along with about 45 others, were the ‘moderate’ voices of the GOP.  Some pundits see the decision not to seek re-election by these three as an opportunity for democrats to win these seats, and the GOP is concerned also. When Ros-Lehtinen announced in May that she would not seek re-election next year, The Washington Post headline read:

With Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s retirement, the good news for Democrats just keeps coming …

Forgive me for being a cynic or a Debbie Downer, but frankly I think this is a matter of putting the cart before the horse.  Remember that over-confidence killed the cat! In the case of Florida representative Ros-Lehtinen, it may be a valid assumption that a viable democratic candidate could take the seat, as Hillary Clinton won in that district last year by 20 points, however her district remains strongly republican. Reichert is in a swing district that also supported Clinton, so his seat, also, may be easier than some for Democrats.  However, Dent’s district is predominantly republican and I think it will be a tough sell to get a democrat elected.

So where am I going with all this?

First, I would like to see more of the moderate voices in Congress speak up and out.  However, I don’t necessarily wish to see a mass exodus of moderate republicans from Congress because … that will ultimately leave only the more hardcore, unbending ones.  Some democratic strategists say these retirements are just the latest proof points that the Trumpeters have completed their hostile takeover of the GOP.

Second, there are 424 days left until the mid-term elections. The Democratic Party needs to get busy now, not a year from now. And while yes, I would certainly like to see democrats a majority in one or both chambers, I am more interested in seeing moderates of both parties speaking up for the good of the nation, not for selfish interests, not simply to go against the other party or support/deny Trump, but in true bi-partisanship.  The legislative branch is intended to ‘check and balance’ the power of the executive office.  Right now, it is doing a damn poor job of that.

30 thoughts on “On Rats Deserting Da Trumptanic

  1. Pingback: On Rats Deserting Da Trumptanic -

  2. Authoritarian regimes work in nations or areas which have been cursed with that state of affairs down the centuries; then the wheels fall off and it gets bloody.
    The USA has never been like that, despite how it might seem to some. It is far too large a nation and far too diverse for one group represented by some very notional person of little true worth to hold in thrall.
    If we observe all of this from a parallel with Europe we have a very broad similarity with a continent wherein one group is trying to dominate others; quasi-empire if you like. At this stage we could veer off into discussions about similarities with The Holy Roman Empire. (recommended- but it’s a long tome ‘Heart of Europe A History of the Holy Roman Empire’ by Peter H Wilson as a narrative on human and state interactions).
    However I would centre more on events in Europe between 1930 and 1945. One large minority tried to impose its will on a many-cultured piece of land- it did not go well for them. I would not wish to scare anyone with predictions of imminent apocalypses or another Civil War. The more likely out come is an American outcry against the excesses of this minority and their titular appointee. Then will come to traumatic realisation by the supporters of this nominee that he is nothing more than a manifestation of their reactions and has nothing to offer as a leader of a nation. He will not be the first person inflated by a wave of discontent to fade away.
    The trouble being that dear old USA is now on hold and suffering wounds which might take a while to heal. The legislative assemblies had best learnt to listen to their majorities and not the strident minorities.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t say I am any kind of authority on the candidates fleeing the GOP, nor do I have a crystal ball on the chances of the Democrats sweeping up all the vacant seats. But I do have a sinking feeling on the course of events. Trumpster is the puppet dangling from the grasp of some dangerous and sinister operational force that will change how America approaches world events. Could we see a return to the communist trials and seeking ‘reds’ under the beds in American society? There is a distinct shift in sentiment and it is fitting hand in glove with the rise of fascism elsewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I find that, much as I would like to, I cannot disagree with anything you say. It was over a year ago when I first began commenting that certain things spoke to me of fascism, mainly on your side of the globe … not the UK, but mainly Turkey, I think … and also here in the U.S. Trump rallies reminded me of newsreels I have seen of Hitler’s youth rallies. Other things, too.

      And you are just determined to fill my sleep … once I finally make it to bed … filled with monsters, aren’t you? 😉 💤

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      • Oh no! I don’t want to do that…
        We just need to be aware that not much warning is evident of these things…we need to spot the small things before we allow such things to overtake world events.
        I think we are capable of turning things into much better scenarios but we have to forget old patterns of conflict and honour before death. We seem to have this undeniable enthusiasm to throw bodies down in a sea of blood to resolve our differences. We must all change this pattern of thinking. Trumpster is a symptom. The GOP and the Democrats are just opposing factions with similar thinking but different rules to the deadly game of politics.
        I wish society would see the folly of their desire to trample on each other in a shouting match that increasingly turns violent.
        Go to bed and sleep well Jill; because you are not an instigator of terrible things in the world. You must not worry about the things you cannot change.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I know … I was teasing about the monsters. Once I tumbled into bed at 5:30, I slept like a brick until 7:30!

          And you are so right … we need to be vigilant and shine a light on those things we see that are precursors to fascism or at least begin to chip away at our rights, our democracy. There are just so many potential traps, and so many people who are unwilling to open their eyes and see. It is easier for them to simply turn a blind eye, but therein lies the real danger. I keep talking, trying to inform, trying to convince … it is all we can do. Sigh.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. It seems to be a GOP mantra – Drumpf makes bad decisions…but I will still support them because he might tweet something nice about me. Even smarmy Paulie just this last week, flipping between non-support of Drumpf’s decision on DACA to licking his ass once more. As I have said in my own work-place situation, talk is cheap. Your words mean nothing to me if your actions don’t change.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, but I don’t even think they expect him to tweet anything nice … they are merely hoping he won’t tweet something horrible and sic the PACs on them. I am coming to think of them all as wusses (actually, I want to say bitches, but I won’t 😉 )

      And yes, my friend, actions are what matters. Words can flow, but if they are not backed by actions, they have no meaning whatsoever.

      Crazy times … I truly awaken some mornings (after my standard 2-3 hours of sleep) and feel that the world is completely upside-down. What was once funny … isn’t anymore. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

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