A Bit Of This And A Tad Of That

A number of things are flitting across my radar tonight … nothing very major, just little things. Overall, I am enjoying the professionalism that is coming from the Biden administration.  No hateful tweets, no ‘breaking news’ parroting what the prez has said/tweeted/eaten in the past 30 minutes.  We once again have intelligence and compassion in the White House and I am comforted by that.  But, of course, that doesn’t mean I can’t find something about which to snark!

Some Republicans have sense!

I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican, though I lean strongly toward the ideology of the Democratic Party and if I didn’t prefer my Independent status, I would almost certainly register as a Democrat.  In fact, I’ve strongly considered doing so, but … I really don’t want the bombardment of emails and phone calls that any political party subjects its registrants to.  That said, I have absolutely no use for the ideologies of today’s Republican Party, for they seem to be aligned with conspiracy theories and policies that place profit over people and that are largely bigoted in so many ways.  I do, however, subscribe to one Republican newsletter that I find has merit and has led me to believe that there are still at least a few sane heads in the Republican Party.

The newsletter is published by Sarah Longwell of Republicans for The Rule of Law, and while quite often I only give it a cursory glance, yesterday’s had something that I found very satisfying.

Today, we launched a new $1 million campaign to support the 17 courageous Republicans in Congress who voted to impeach and convict Trump. We are putting TV ads and billboards in their home states and districts, thanking them for doing the right thing.

It’s hard to overstate the risk many of these men and women took when they voted to hold Trump accountable. Most are already facing attacks from Trump and his supporters, and many will have to deal with well-funded primary challengers when they run for reelection.

The only way to protect our democracy is to engage voters directly, and this new campaign does just that.

Now is the time to stick up for all Republicans who did the right thing, whether they’re retiring this year or facing the fight for their political lives in the next. Now is the time to let America know that we refuse to cede the Republican Party to Trump and Trumpism.

Sarah Longwell

Executive Director, Republican Accountability Project

Here are a few of the billboards they have erected around the country …

And one of the 30-second television ads …

If the GOP has a future, and I find that very much in doubt at this stage, its future lies with these men and women who do not put party loyalty above their Oaths of Office, do not pander to the wealthy and criminals in the party at the expense of the people of this nation.  Thumbs up to this group of conscionable and conscientious Republicans!


How the hell did he get here?

cawthorn-2Madison Cawthorn is his name, and he is only 25 years of age … younger than my granddaughter … yet he is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of North Carolina.  Cawthorn is the youngest person to serve in Congress since Jed Johnson, Jr., who served a single term from 1965-1967.  I think that perhaps Mr. Cawthorn won on a sympathy vote – due to an auto accident, he is partially paralyzed and uses a wheelchair – for he damn sure didn’t win on intellect.

Just a few of Cawthorn’s faux pas …

  • In 2017, Cawthorn posted an Instagram picture of his visit to Adolf Hitler’s vacation residence Eagle’s Nest, which he said had been on his “bucket list for awhile”. In the post, he called Hitler Führer, a German term meaning “leader”. When he came under fire for the post during his 2020 campaign, he deleted it.
  • During his election bid, Cawthorn’s campaign created an attack website which criticized journalist Tom Fiedler, who had produced investigative pieces on Cawthorn and had written favorably about his opponent. The website accused Fiedler of leaving academia “to work for non-white males, like Cory Booker, who aims to ruin white males running for office.” 🤨
  • Before Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, Cawthorn addressed the crowd and said, “this crowd has some fight.” He voted not to certify the Electoral College results in Congress and called Republicans who voted to certify the results “spineless cowards”.

I’ve known some pretty sharp 25-year-olds in my day, but this kid is not among them.  There have been a number of allegations of sexual misconduct against Mr. Cawthorn, though none have filed charges so far.

His latest episode of lunacy, though, came today when he saw a tweet saying that the Vatican is requiring all personnel to receive the vaccine or lose their jobs …

cawthorn

So, apparently he isn’t quite clear on what the Vatican is, or thinks that somehow the U.S. has jurisdiction over it.  Not criminal, of course, but foolish and it shows his lack of understanding, lack of education, and lack of being mature enough to hold a seat in Congress, the lawmaking branch of our government.  Frighteningly, he serves on the House Committee on Education and Labour.  We surely do not need him helping to shape our policies on education!

Like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, I suspect young Cawthorn will be a single-term representative, so perhaps he should be thinking about what he’d like to do with the rest of his life.

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