Letter 2 America for January 12, 2021

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Dear America,

All of the attention of the media, and for that matter of the entire American polity, has been focused on January 6th and Donald Trump's roll in the insurrection that occurred on that date, and now on Congress's efforts to separate Trump from power now and forever.  The House is considering another article of impeachment against Trump after importuning Mike Pence in a House resolution to use his power as vice-president to invoke the 25th amendment and relieve Trump of power to govern in consequence of his unfitness to do so.  Of course, all of those who voted in favor of the resolution know from the outset that Goody-Three-Shoes will never do it, craven toady that he is.  And much of the coverage of the events in Congress has been aimed at the prospects of the article of impeachment, though the cognate trial before The Senate requires a two thirds vote in favor of conviction for the impeachment to succeed.  And of course, the fact that half of The Senate is Republican renders that an impossibility, given what Republicans are.  Notably, there were only a few votes in favor of even the resolution, though Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, proposed that it be passed by unanimous consent via voice acclamation, and very little is being said about that: the roll Republicans are playing in protecting Trump from what seems a more and more apt censure given what appears to be Trump's flagging support in the nation.  So, what about the future of the Republican Party once Trump is gone?

The issue is where Republicans' loyalty lies.  It is obvious that Republicans vote along party lines, but Democrats often do too.  When it comes to ordinary measures, the parties march in relative lock-step in furtherance of their respective party aggenda.  It's always been that way, and in some ways it should be so, but that is a subject for another time.  It has been so in the last two impeachments as well, and even that degree of party loyalty may be just short of vile.  But in both those cases, personal peccadillo was the central matter: with Clinton it was being a hound dog and a liar, and for Trump it was just using his office to promote his own electoral prospects.  But this time, the issue is commission of treason.  It is suborning the interdiction by force of the process of our democracy.  Trump sent a mob to prevent the congressional certification of the election of the next president because it wasn't him. That isn't a peccadillo; it is an offense against our democracy: our nation.  The problem for the Republicans is that they are choosing party over country, which begs the question--as all party line votes do--what is the Republican Party's platform in this instance.

It would be one thing if Trump's behavior had just been flagrantly self-serving.  That's who he is, and more than 74 million people--all fully aware of Trump's despicable penchant--voted for him, and often with enthusiasm if not zeal.  In fact, a handful of them were in our capitol building last Wednesday when they shouldn't have been, and there's the rub: mindless zeal turned to intentional, and perhaps even plotted, action.  We cannot ignore Trump's exhortation to the mob just because he was in the habit of conspiratorial simpering and whimpering.  He acted to usurp power by sicking a mob on our senators and representatives not because he didn't like the duty they were performing, but because he wanted to prevent them from doing it.  It was sedition plain and simple, and law and our Constitution forbid it.  And so, when Republicans vote to enable Trump out of partisanship, they convey their lack of loyalty to country.  Thus, Republicans face a conundrum.

Much of the Republican base isn't just conservative.  It is aligned with the putatively patriotic proposition, "my country, right or wrong."  I do not personally subscribe to that proposition, but for one who does, and is a Republican in service of that creed, he or she is now a walking oxymoron: a conservative "Republican patriot," a paradox that defies resolution.  From this point hence, Republicans are by definition UN-patriotic in that they put party ahead of what they have always raved was their first priority: country...America.   

So, we'll see in the next federal election whether conservative voters are actually thinkers as well.  Fore it seems to me that there is no way to avoid the conclusion that a politician who votes against constraining Donald Trump during his last few days in office from committing what could potentially be a devastating injury to our nation, America--and it is ours, not that of the rabble that thought themselves bodacious when they entered the capitol wearing horned helmets, waving odious flags and putting their feet up on desks--cannot claim to be a patriot any longer, nor can he or she merit the vote of anyone who is one.

Your friend,


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This page contains a single entry by Michael Wolf published on January 12, 2021 2:16 PM.

Letter 2 America for January 10, 2021 was the previous entry in this blog.

Letter 2 America for January 21, 2021 is the next entry in this blog.

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