Unaccountability

Keith, as always, has words of wisdom that need to be heard and heeded far and wide. Thank you, Keith, for reminding us of that oft-forgotten concept of “accountability”.

musingsofanoldfart

Parents have tended to emphasize to our children that they need to be accountable for their actions. When I see a child or adult accept accountability, it impresses.me, probably because it should be more commonplace than it is. “It is my fault, I messed up, and I will take care of it,” are words that need to be said more often.

Sadly, one of the worst examples of the lack of accountability is the former president. He has long avoided accountability which has contributed to his blaming others or avoiding blame for his mistakes. This is a key reason he remains an “enfant terrible” even into his 70s and is well known for his deceitful bent.

The latest example is the sycophants in Congress who are rationalizing his autocratic-like spying on people he perceives as his enemies – Democrats and the mainstream media. This is on top of only seventeen…

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So It Doesn’t Happen Again …

I would think that the Republican Party, aka GOP, upon seeing the party’s reputation turned from a once respectable political organization to a circus act would welcome the opportunity to do some housecleaning.  Today begins the impeachment trial for Donald Trump, and the republicans in the Senate have an opportunity to show the people of this nation that they do not condone treachery and violence from a member of their group who held the highest office in the land.  Will they do the right thing and begin to repair the damage of the last four years?

Adam Kinzinger is a Republican representative from the state of Illinois, one of ten GOP members of the House who voted to impeach Donald Trump last month.  He has important words for his fellow Republicans in an OpEd in The Washington Post that should be heeded by the Senate when it comes time to vote to convict or acquit Trump.


My fellow Republicans, convicting Trump is necessary to save America

Adam-KinzingerOpinion by Adam Kinzinger

Feb. 8, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. EST

Winston Churchill famously said, “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” All Americans, but especially my fellow Republicans, should remember this wisdom during the Senate’s trial of former president Donald Trump.

I say this as a lifelong Republican who voted to impeach Trump last month. Virtually all my colleagues on the right side of the aisle took the opposite path. Most felt it was a waste of time — political theater that distracted from bigger issues. The overwhelming majority of Senate Republicans appear to feel the same way about conviction.

But this isn’t a waste of time. It’s a matter of accountability. If the GOP doesn’t take a stand, the chaos of the past few months, and the past four years, could quickly return. The future of our party and our country depends on confronting what happened — so it doesn’t happen again.

The immediate cause for Trump’s impeachment was Jan. 6. But the president’s rally and resulting riot on Capitol Hill didn’t come out of nowhere. They were the result of four-plus years of anger, outrage and outright lies. Perhaps the most dangerous lie — or at least the most recent — was that the election was stolen. Of course it wasn’t, but a huge number of Republican leaders encouraged the belief that it was. Every time that lie was repeated, the riots of Jan. 6 became more likely.

Even now, many Republicans refuse to admit what happened. They continue to feed anger and resentment among the people. On Jan. 6, that fury led to the murder of a Capitol Police officer and the deaths of four other Americans. If that rage is still building, where does it go from here?

Impeachment offers a chance to say enough is enough. It ought to force every American, regardless of party affiliation, to remember not only what happened on Jan. 6, but also the path that led there. After all, the situation could get much, much worse — with more violence and more division that cannot be overcome. The further down this road we go, the closer we come to the end of America as we know it.

The Republican Party I joined as a young man would never take that road. The GOP that inspired me to serve in uniform and then run for public office believed a brighter future was just around the bend. We stood for equal opportunity, firm in our conviction that a poor kid from the South Side of Chicago deserves the same shot as a privileged kid from Highland Park. We knew that if we brought everyone into America’s promise, we would unleash a new era of American progress and prosperity. Outrage and the fear of a darker future were nowhere to be found in that Republican Party.

When leaders such as Donald Trump changed that dynamic, many of my fellow Republicans went along without question. Many are still there because they believe the rank-and-file Republican voter is there, too. But I think that’s an illusion. The anger and outrage are drowning out the much larger group of people who reject that approach. Worse, many have gone silent because they assume the party’s leaders no longer represent them. They’re waiting for leaders who will say what they know is true.

Since my vote to impeach Trump, I’ve heard from tens of thousands of my constituents. Their reaction has been overwhelmingly supportive. Republicans of all backgrounds and outlooks have told me they appreciate my efforts to return the GOP to a foundation of principle, not personality. I’ve even heard from many Democrats. They don’t agree with me on a lot of issues, but they want the Republican Party to be healthy and competitive.

I firmly believe the majority of Americans — Republican, Democrat, independent, you name it — reject the madness of the past four years. But we’ll never move forward by ignoring what happened or refusing to hold accountable those responsible. That will embolden the few who led us here and dishearten the many who know America is better than this. It will make it more likely that we see more anger, violence and chaos in the years ahead.

The better path is to learn the lessons of the recent past. Convicting Donald Trump is necessary to save America from going further down a sad, dangerous road.

impeachment

Three former Republican Senators say the former president should face accountability

It is good to know that the Republican Party still has at least a few members who haven’t sold their conscience downriver. Our friend Keith tells us of three such men and their reasons for believing that Donald Trump must be convicted of impeachment charges. Now, if only they could inspire others to find their conscience and do the right thing for the nation … Thanks, Keith!

musingsofanoldfart

The following opinion was written by three former Republican Senators, David Durenberger, Larry Pressler and Gordon Humphrey as reported by CNN called “3 former GOP senators: Trump should not escape accountability on a technicality” Most of the opinion can be found below, but a link follows at the bottom.

“Former president Donald Trump incited an insurrection and has faced little consequence for it so far. As such, senators must take on their constitutional duty to sit as impartial jurors in the impeachment trial, regardless of any lingering concerns — unfounded we believe — that the process is unconstitutional.

When the House of Representatives voted to impeach then-President Trump on January 13, by abipartisan vote of 232 to 197, those voting to impeach knew it was unlikely that the Senate would be able to hold a full trial before Trump left office. However, both Democratic and Republican members of…

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MISSING: Courage & Conscience

These are the only five out of fifty Republican senators who have at least a smidge of a conscience:

  • Susan Collins of Maine
  • Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
  • Mitt Romney of Utah
  • Ben Sasse of Nebraska
  • Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania

Five.  Count ‘em … 1-2-3-4-5 … just five out of fifty who believe in democratic principles, believe that people elected to office need to be held accountable for their actions, believe that nobody is above the law.  The other 45 jackasses on the right side of the aisle in the United States Senate deserve to be removed from office as quickly as possible, for they lack both a conscience and courage.  They cower in their tracks if Donald Trump so much as looks in their direction.  And they do not give a royal damn about the people of this nation, the people who elected them and who pay their salaries, pay for their plane trips, meals, hotel rooms, and whatever other perks they may receive.  We pay them, but they don’t do the job for which we pay them, don’t care about us once they win that election.

The five listed above are far outnumbered by the bastards who roam the halls of the Capitol and call themselves ‘senators’, in particular …

  • Kevin McCarthy
  • Josh Hawley
  • Ted Cruz
  • Rand Paul
  • John Cornyn
  • Marco Rubio
  • Thom Tillis
  • Mitch McConnell
  • Joni Ernst
  • Lindsey Graham
  • Cindy Hyde-Smith
  • Jim Inhofe
  • Ron Johnson
  • Tommy Tuberville

… and many others, though these are the very worst of the lot.  Every single one of these men & women have taken an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, then turned right around and swore an oath of fealty to the most evil, lecherous, maniacal person to ever sit in the Oval Office.  Donald Trump is gone now, but not forgotten by those who apparently hope he will return to the office of president in a short four years, and who haven’t got the courage, the cojones, to do what is the right thing for this nation and its people.  They are more than happy to sign our death warrant, for that is what they are doing.

The other 45 republican senators, led by Mr. Rand Paul, attempted to stop the impeachment trial scheduled to start on February 9th.  Mr. Paul made two main points concerning why he thinks the process is unconstitutional: Trump is no longer president and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts won’t be presiding over the trial.

Citing specific parts of the U.S. Constitution, Paul said: “Therefore I make a point of order that this proceeding, which would try a private citizen and not a president, a vice president or civil officer, violates the Constitution and is not in order.”

He was overridden by the 48 Democratic senators, 2 Independent senators, and the 5 Republican senators who found the courage to do the right thing.  However, it’s almost a certainty that this will be a sham of a trial just as the last one a year ago was, and that as a result, Trump will be acquitted and thus given the opportunity to run for office again in the year 2024.  If he runs, and if he wins, this nation will no longer be able to call itself a democratic republic, for it will have become a mockery of democracy, and we will have the Republican Party and its members in Congress to thank for that.

45 senators have already decided that their own personal fortunes matter more than our lives.  45 senators have already chosen not to honour the oaths they took.  45 senators hold our lives and the future of this nation in their sweaty palms, and sadly, they are cowards who cannot find the courage to act in our best interests.

During his first three years in office, Mr. Trump did much damage to this nation and to our reputation abroad, but it was in his last year that he dealt the crippling blows.  First, by lying about the coronavirus, its spread and lethality, he cost nearly half a million American lives.  And for the last two months in office, he completely ignored the pandemic, so focused was he on his election loss and trying to find ways to alter the results.  And that — his denial that he lost, and his constant barrage of rhetoric coupled with costly and foolish lawsuits, firing of people who did not support his mirage — is the thing that has done the most damage to this nation. Some believed his claims, either out of ignorance or because it was what they wanted to believe, and Trump’s lies and desire for vengeance culminated in death and destruction on January 6th in the Capitol.

Many have blood on their hands for the attack on Congress, but none more than Donald Trump himself.  To allow this ‘man’ the opportunity to run for office again is simply beyond credulity.  If we allow him to escape accountability for his horrible actions, then we will have set a precedent and opened the door for future presidents to act in similar manners, and sooner or later, probably sooner, we will end up with a dictator who overthrows the principles and foundation of our government.

I call on the United States Senate to put aside your cowardice next month and hold Donald Trump accountable for what he attempted to do.  If you fail to do so … the consequences to this nation will be grave and it will be your fault, and the faults of those people who voted for you.  Our friend Roger sent me this quote this morning that I think is apt …

“You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately… Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!” – Oliver Cromwell to the Long Parliament 20th April 1653

An Open Letter to the Republican Party

In my head, I was composing an “Open Letter to Republicans in Congress” that would have eventually become a post here on Filosofa’s Word.  But this morning, our friend TokyoSand beat me to the punch, and since her thoughts echo my own, I decided not to re-invent the wheel, but rather to share hers with you.  Thank you, TS!


An Open Letter to the Republican Party

writing-letter

Dear Republican Party members,

No, we will not be moving on.

We reject your attempts to change the subject and calls for “unity” because we see them for what they are: You’re desperately trying to escape accountability for the role you played in Trump’s Insurrection this past Wednesday.

As Thomas Paine said, “A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody.” And until you take responsibility, we do not trust you to do the job you were elected to do.

Lest anyone think I am only talking to Republicans in Congress, I am not. I am also pointing my fingers at Republicans in state legislatures as well.

For 4+ years, you either actively pushed lies spewed by Trump and his allies, or stayed silent in the face of those lies, which perhaps you now realize allowed them to take root and spread.

Taking only the most recent lie as an example — Trump pushing the lie that he won the November election in a landslide — you all helped him push that lie, and that took root in tens of millions of Americans, and radicalized many of them as you personally bore witness to on Wednesday.

Read entire letter …

Something To Think About …

If you speak the truth, tell the facts, but your facts are not what Trump wants the people of this country to believe, you will be punished.  If your position is within Trump’s reach, you will be fired.  At the very least, your voice will be stifled, and you will be publicly denigrated by Trump.  This is the new reality in our government … you either agree with all that Trump says or pay the price.

The latest casualty of Trump’s war against We the People is Christi A. Grimm, the inspector general with the Department of Health and Human Services.  Her ‘crime’?  She told the truth.  She issued a report chronicling testing delays — up to seven days in some cases — as well as severe shortages of supplies in hospitals amid the coronavirus pandemic.  Part of her report states …

“Hospitals reported that they were unable to keep up with COVID-19 testing demands because they lacked complete kits and/or the individual components and supplies needed to complete tests. When patient stays were extended while awaiting test results, this strained bed availability, personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies, and staffing.”

Trump’s response was to falsely claim that the report was not only wrong but was politically motivated.  Say WHAT???  He demanded to know the name of the Inspector General who wrote the report, then demeaned her on his favourite venue, Twitter …

“Why didn’t the I.G., who spent 8 years with the Obama Administration (Did she Report on the failed H1N1 Swine Flu debacle where 17,000 people died?), want to talk to the Admirals, Generals, V.P. & others in charge, before doing her report. Another Fake Dossier!”

Just as an aside, if 17,000 people died from the H1N1 flu, how does that compare to the 70,000+ dead already in the U.S. alone, with another 100,000 or more projected in the next few months?  Not even in the same ballpark.

Ms. Grimm is a career official, not a political appointee, and began serving in the Office of the Inspector General in 1999, ten years before President Obama took office.  She is the third inspector general that Trump has fired in just over a month.  In early April he fired Michael Atkinson for his proper handling of the whistleblower complaint that led to Trump’s impeachment.  Then just a few days later, he fired Glenn Fine, the inspector general at the Department of Defense, who had been chosen to lead the newly formed Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.  The committee was to oversee the disbursement of the $2.3 trillion stimulus package approved by Congress.

Three inspectors general fired in a month’s time.  A U.S. federal inspector general (IG) is the head of an independent, non-partisan organization established within each executive branch agency assigned to audit the agency’s operation in order to discover and investigate cases of misconduct, waste, fraud and other abuse of government procedures.  So, in essence, Trump is removing all oversight of his administration, replacing men and women of conscience with his own hand-picked people.  This is akin to the fox guarding the henhouse.  And it poses a danger to this nation, for it evades all accountability by this administration.

Who will be next on his hit list?  When the U.S. Senate failed miserably to do their job on February 5th, they unleashed a monster.  They essentially told Trump just what Attorney General William Barr told him last year, that there is no law that applies to Donald Trump, that he is free to do as he wishes.  He began his purge with Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman and his brother, then Admiral Joseph Maguire.  There may have been others that just didn’t cross my radar … almost certainly were.  And there will be more.

To date, every single senate-confirmed person has been removed from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.  All that remain are appointees or ‘acting’ officials, none approved by anyone other than Trump himself.  It is also worth noting that Trump’s purging isn’t just retaliatory, it’s forward-looking, too. By removing officials who committed the sin of trying to defend the rule of law from his efforts to corrupt it, Trump sends a message to others about what awaits them if they try to stand in the way.

These are the moves of an autocrat, folks.  This reeks of corruption, and it sets off warning bells, at least in my head, that Trump is setting the stage, making sure there are none left who will stand in his way.  His way of what?  Think about it.

Bastards! R.I.P. United States

The vote began shortly after 4:00 p.m. and by 4:20 this afternoon, the Senate had decided that Donald Trump should be given the keys to the kingdom, should not be held accountable for his crimes, and should be henceforth allowed to run the nation as he pleases, without interference from either the Courts or the U.S. Congress.

I was writing a letter to a friend when the verdicts flashed across my screen.  Sure, I expected it, knew the final outcome would be that the GOP members of the U.S. Senate — those whose salaries and luxurious lifestyle WE support — would have neither conscience nor male-parts enough to do the right thing, to hold the excuse for a man who sits in the Oval Office accountable for his actions.  I was prepared, right?  No surprises.  And yet, when I saw those news briefs cross my screen, I honestly felt as if I had been punched in the stomach.

I gasped for air, but there was none.  I felt tears welling, yet my struggle to breath precluded all else.

This is what the bastards we have elected and whose salaries we pay have done to us.  They have laughed at the idea of holding the “president” of the nation accountable for his actions.  They scoff at the notion of values or ethics.  And, they have decided that the time has come to burn the Constitution that was ratified in 1787, some 233 years ago.  How many of them could even quote from the Constitution they swore to uphold, I wonder?  Few, I think.

We have, in the last few hours, traded in a democratic republic for an autocracy with a cruel dictator who has no conscience, no moral compass, and no compassion for any who are not his equal in wealth and stature.  And now, permit me to blow off just a bit of steam before I screw my head back on straight …

I hope … sincerely hope … that Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and every other republican in Congress, as well as those who put them there, contract the Coronavirus and die a very long, slow, and painful death, equal to the one they have just cast upon this nation.

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Good faith dealings

Last week saw the funeral of the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush. While he was certainly not perfect – who is? – the contrast between him and the current occupant of the White House is stunning. It makes me long for the day when character and integrity were expected and admired. Our friend Keith has done a terrific job pointing out some of the finer traits of President Bush, Sr., and leaves us to draw our own comparisons. Thank you, Keith, for an excellent post and for your permission to share it.

musingsofanoldfart

The passing of former President George H.W. Bush has highlighted the many positive attributes of the imperfect 41st President. Of course, we are all “fixer uppers,” and our willingness to know this about ourselves keeps us humble and in a constant state of self-improvement.

Many positive things have been highlighted about the elder Bush this past week, with many of us nostalgic to how we all should conduct ourselves, especially our leaders. Here are a few things I took away:

– a communication advisor to an early campaign noted he made a big mistake from which he could not hide. Thinking he would be fired, he recalled Bush telling him “I know you will knock the next opportunity out of the park.”

– a friend noted he played golf often with Bush when he was President. He noted the clubs Bush played would invariably try to “comp” his green and…

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