On Complicity …

I receive a weekly newsletter titled “Opinionated” … a weekly summation of opinions by writers both well-known and obscure.  One of the leading contributors to the newsletter is Bill Press, a long-time political commentator and author of several books.  Last week’s column was along the lines of one I’ve been considering for several weeks: the complicity of the republicans in the U.S. Senate in the  atrocities our nation is facing today.  While I might disagree with Mr. Press’ opening sentence, for I no longer see this nation as anywhere near ‘great’, I fully agree with the rest of his commentary …

Fifty-three Republican cowards: Hold them responsible

bill-pressGreat country that we are, there are still shameful moments in our history. Among them: 1857, the Dred Scott case, when the Supreme Court upheld the institution of slavery; 1942, FDR’s Executive Order, which forced the relocation and incarceration of Japanese-Americans; 1950-54, the failure of President Eisenhower and other leading Republicans to repudiate the ugly red-baiting by Sen. Joseph McCarthy. And the list goes on.

As bad as they are, however, we’ve experienced perhaps the most shameful moment of all: February 2020, when 53 cowardly Republican senators refused to hold Donald Trump responsible and toss him out of the White House. In so doing, they not only ignored overwhelming evidence – all of which has subsequently been confirmed – that Trump tried to bribe the president of Ukraine into interfering in the 2020 presidential election and, on multiple occasions, abused the powers of his office to obstruct justice, they also degraded the image of the United States by ratifying Trump’s criminal, ugly, racist, boorish behavior as acceptable conduct for the highest officer of the land.

Fifty-one Republican senators voted not to call any witnesses in the Senate trial. Fifty-two Republicans, all except Mitt Romney, voted to acquit him of abuse of power. Fifty-three, including Romney, voted to acquit him of obstruction of Congress. In the end, all 53 Republican senators put their party above country. And we’ve been paying the price ever since. Just consider the disasters we’ve suffered over the last six months.

For his incompetent handling of the coronavirus pandemic, his disastrous and premature attempts to force reopening of the economy, his insensitive response to the Black Lives Matter movement, and his shocking failure to act on reports that Russia was paying bounties to members of the Taliban for killing American soldiers – Yes, blame Donald Trump. But blame especially those 53 Republican senators who voted to keep him in office.

On the coronavirus. After first denying or minimizing the risk and refusing to set an example by wearing a mask, Trump suddenly declared the virus over, stopped talking about it, and urged states to reopen bars and restaurants. The result: more COVID-19 cases in more states than ever before, with 200,000 projected to die of the disease by October 1. Blame Trump, yes. But also blame the enablers who kept him in office.

After the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, when millions of Americans across the country took to the streets to protest repeated examples of systemic racism in police departments, Trump called protesters terrorists, ordered the use of tear gas and armed troops to clear streets around the White House for a photo op, and denounced Black Lives Matter as a “symbol of hate.” Blame Trump, yes. But also blame the enablers who kept him in office.

And, in the most unbelievable display of lack of presidential leadership, when intelligence agencies warned the White House that Russia was offering bounties to Taliban militants to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan, Donald Trump – who’s never discovered anything yet about Vladimir Putin he doesn’t admire – did absolutely nothing. Repeat: Russia reportedly pays members of the Taliban to kill American soldiers and Donald Trump orders no investigation, takes no action, and instead, calls it a “hoax.” Again, blame Trump. But also blame the enablers who kept him in office.

Trump’s response to each of these crises proves that he’s unfit to be president of the United States. But remember: Trump wouldn’t still be there, these disasters might not have happened, or might not have been so severe, America could have been spared – if only those 53 senators had done the right thing.

Unfortunately, we can’t boot all 53 Republican senators out of office at the same time. But 20 Republican senators are up for re-election this year (see cookpolitical.com for full list) and must be held responsible. No matter what other good things they may have done in the Senate, for their vote to acquit Donald Trump, for that one vote alone, every one of them – every one of them – should lose their seat. And no one deserves to lose more than Susan Collins.

“I believe that the president has learned from this case,” she told CBS News in trying to justify her vote. What nonsense. As we’ve seen over the last six months, the only lesson Donald Trump learned from not being convicted in the Senate is that as long as there are cowardly Republican senators like Susan Collins, he can say and do anything with impunity. But, hopefully, not after November 3.

25 thoughts on “On Complicity …

  1. Susan Collins is toast, burnt at that. Trump supporters hate her as much as Democrats do, and that’s a majority of voters in Maine. She should have decided not to run again, but she really is in denial.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It amazes me that she has been able to keep her seat for 23 years! I’ve seen her interviewed a few times, and she comes off as a doddering old fool! I don’t think she can win in November, but then … I didn’t think Trump could possibly win in 2016, either, so don’t take my word for anything! 😉


  2. When the word “great” is used as in the first sentence of this otherwise excellent column or in the trump slogan, I think…great as compared to what? Mayhaps, that question can be revisited at another time. At present, I will limit myself to commenting on the rest of this column by Bill Press. Press eloquently and rightly places the blame at the feet of the GOP Senators due to their acquittal of trump on February 5th of this year. Had they performed their sworn duty, the fact that trump would no longer have been in power to cause more devastation and continue the corruption is undeniable and unforgivable and irrevocable. Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You make a really good point. I’ve noted a few times that Donald Trump must define the word ‘great’ differently than I do, but never really delved into … what makes a country ‘great’? How do we define greatness? Do we all agree? Hmmmm … I feel one of my introspective pieces of work coming on! But on to the topic at hand tonight …

      As I posted in my comment to Keith, I would like to be able to ask those 53 senators just what their reason was for acquitting a ‘man’ who was so obviously guilty of crimes against this nation, of breaking his oath of office in the most heinous way? Are they such cowards that they feared his wrath more than they feared ruining their reputations, trashing the careers they have worked toward for most of their adult life? Did they feel even a twinge of conscience? Sigh.


  3. Agree with much Bill Press says, but his first paragraph leaves out the most shameful moment in the history of the United States of America, and Trump is not responsible for it, though the racist beliefs handed down to him from past generations are. Actually, this event started before the American Revolution, and still continues today. While Price did say some shameful moments, he missed his chance to at least make a minimum retribution from the systemic racism that does not even acknowledge America’s BLACKEST MOMENT.

    The United States of America may have been built on slave labour, and the enforced labor of other races, BUT THE PRESENCE IN ALL THE AMERICAS OF WHITE EUROPEAN PEOPLE IS BUILT ON THE GRAVES OF RED MEN, AND OTHER SIMILAR SHADES.

    This moment cannot be passed over, but MUST BE PROCLAIMED whenever white history in The Areas Now Known As The Americas (TANKATA) is mentioned.
    The corollary to this is the racist crime of mislabeling the OHIOTANKATA as Indians. We are not Indians, they live in or come from India! We are the Original Human Inhabitants of this land. And your people are nothing better than THIEVES and MURDERERS!

    My apologies, Jill, but now I have realized the extent of this systematic racism, I am going to take every opportunity to proclaim it. BLACK LIVES MATTER. SO DO RED LIVES.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ll be politically incorrect and say ALL LIVES MATTER (in the universal sense). Apologies to the BLM folks who would undoubtedly find offense to… well everything.
      RE: Anyone living in the Americas who are not native indigenous, indeed we must own up to the legacy of our forefathers, THIEVES and MURDERERS indeed!
      From a higher dimensional perspective, we are all fellow travelers in spirit, just passing thru. Wakȟáŋ Tȟáŋka


    • I understand, but rawgod … when you say you’re going to take every opportunity to proclaim it … choose those opportunities wisely, please. I fully support Black Lives Matter, I fully support Red Lives Matter. I am disgusted and ashamed by the way this nation has treated, and continues to treat, both groups. But, every conversation does not need to be turned into one about the ongoing racism in this nation. We will have those conversations, and I will write about them, but there are also other ongoing issues that require our attention and we cannot turn every conversation into one on racism. Okay?


      • Price made it about racism when he ignored the founding of the USA. These are what I mean about opportunities. Conveniently forgetting about wiping whole nations off the map is a very important component of systemic racism. I cannot let it go unchallenged. We’ll see how things go, but I can make no promises.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Jill, I agree with this 100%. It is painfully obvious these Senators and many Congresspeople are ignoring, rationalizing and some even echoing untruths to abet the efforts of the most corrupt and deceitful president in my lifetime. But it is more than that. As conservative David Brooks notes in two apropos quotes – the president “lacks a sense of decency and empathy” and his White House is “equal parts chaos and incompetence.”

    Americans have died because of his decision to naysay and misinform about COVID-19. I watch GOP governors explain they were not in the wrong to open up early saying how could they have known, when what is happening was easily foreseeable? The COVID-19 uptick is not a surprise. Of course, the untruthful president is playing Pollyanna and saying it is all good. An old saying comes to mind, “don’t pee on my head and then tell me it’s raining.”

    We need why questions asked and answered. Mr. president, why do you care more about crooks and autocrats than inspectors general and those upholding the constitution? Is it not a concern that you fired the IG oveseeing the stimulus payouts and now people are concerned about fairness of said payouts? And, there are plenty more why questions that need answering,. Of course, the Senators are not asking those questions. Somebody should.


    Liked by 1 person

    • All you say is right, and I agree with your questions … these and many more must be answered, though I have my doubts that they will be until after this administration has left the building. But I have another question, as well. Why were 53 senators willing to quell their consciences, willing to risk their entire career and their reputation, to acquit a ‘man’ who was so obviously guilty of crimes against this nation? Sure, he’s a bully, and sure, he threatened them with his non-support in their future elections. Perhaps even their big money donors threatened to pull their funding if they didn’t keep him in office. But, all of that is self-interest, and they took an oath to put the interest of the people of this nation first. Did their oath really mean so little to them? Are they really such weak men and women that they cannot stand up to an ignorant bully? I would like to hear their response to these questions. WHY???


      • Jill, so true. Trump attorney and fixer Michael Cohen said under oath “Donald Trump is a racist, he is a con-artist and he is a cheat.” Yet, Republican Congresspeople and other sycophants told Trump followers they could ignore Cohen because he lied under oath before.

        He did, but he lied to protect Trump. So, when he told the truth to indict Trump, that was bad. The other thing he testified is he sent ovet 500 cease and desist letters to organizations and people to not release damaging information on Trump, be it grades, racist outtakes from The Apprentice, or settlements for sexual misconduct, business dealings, etc. Cohen did not define the reasons. This is why he does not want his taxes released – something therein is damaging. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • Cohen put his own credibility in jeopardy, but still, I do believe what he says about Trump these days. He’s got nothing to gain at this point, nor really to lose.

          Over 500??? I knew about some, such as the one to Wharton, but who has that much to hide, for Pete’s sake??? Trump must surely be in the top ten of most disgusting, corrupt, dishonest people on the planet!


  5. I still think the U.S. is a great country. It’s just being run by someone who considers his own personal interests, desires, and ego more important than anything else. And, as Mr. Press pointed out, he has been allowed to do this by a bunch a weak, sniveling, selfish individuals who were more devoted to their personal political standings than they were to the Constitution of the United States.

    Liked by 2 people

    • True, but the thing is that the people, at least some of them, put that person into the White House and are still cheering his every vicious word. That is mainly why I don’t see it as a great country any more. It is a nation that puts profit over people, that applauds politicians with no conscience, and that supports the religious values of a single group determined to shove their beliefs down the throats of all. We are so divided that in one sense, we are actually two separate nations, though living side by side. There are some beautiful places and beautiful people in this nation, but the ugliness is rapidly encroaching on them. Sigh.


  6. Every word a truth. As November comes round we’ll see how many voters put party before Country.. They should be voting in all new politicians in disgust at the current ones but unfortunately too many of them will still support Trump for that..I hope enough have the courage to make sure not enough get in to make a majority.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Needless to say, I hope Trump is thrown out on his backside by a sizeable margin, but I hope the people also have the good sense to rid themselves of senators who have placed their own fortunes and love of party ahead of their oaths to the people.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. We need to take only a few seats and the remaining Rs in the Senate will be as useless as holy water at a bar mitzvah, as eunuchs at a stud farm, as a T-bone steak to a man without teeth, as a commercial stove to a woman who can’t boil water, as a parakeet that won’t sing, as t— on a bull hog😁😁there, I feel better now.

    Liked by 6 people

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