Republican Party of Fear

Dennis Sanders

Dennis is the pastor of a small Protestant congregation outside St. Paul, MN and also a part-time communications consultant. A native of Michigan, you can check out his writings over on Medium and subscribe to his Substack newsletter on religion and politics called Polite Company.  Dennis lives in Minneapolis with his husband Daniel.

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82 Responses

  1. They are despicable for not standing on principle, and history will judge them. Politics shouldn’t be about the gig, but about serving the country and doing what is right. By not having the fortitude to do the right thing, they have shown us their callow nature and thin humanity. Through their cowardice they have shown us their exaggerated manliness is all show and no substance. They care more about being a congressman than being a steward of the law and even more than personal dignity.Report

  2. Aaron David says:

    I would venture a guess that they don’t support any form of impeachment due to no facts of a crime being shown. And the two articles brought forth show that. The supposed bribery and obstruction were nowhere to be seen. Just hearsay and hate.

    They are standing on principle. The principle of good, responsible government. Not the party of witch-hunts and slander.Report

    • JoeSal in reply to Aaron David says:

      Ya gotta understand, these folks are reading Politico and taking it as gospel.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Aaron David says:

      Impeachment does not require a crime to be committed, or even evidence of anything. It is a purely political act. Criminal acts and evidence merely bolsters support for impeachment, but is not a requisite element of it.Report

      • Aaron David in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        No, it doesn’t require a crime, as we saw last night. But, it does require overwhelming support once it clears that first hurdle. It was designed to be very difficult for a reason. Which we are seeing right now.

        The two articles presented boil down to a simple dislike of how the president is running things. No more, and no less. If that was enough, that if the general populace disliked him, then it would be simple to get the Senator’s who dislike him onboard. But, Trump has 90% popularity in his party and general support for this is sitting at less than 50% right now. So while the house actions might be favored by Dems, it is not supported outside the party.Report

        • The boil down to a President abusing his power for political reasons. If the next Dem President sicks the IRS on his opponents or withholds hurricane relief from a state until they go after his foes, will you defend that?Report

          • The question in reply to Michael Siegel says:

            No because then it’ll be an impeachable action because a democrat did it. IOKIYAR is a hell of a drugReport

          • Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Siegel says:

            To be fair, a good chunk of DC is probably guilty of abuse of power for personal or political reasons.

            I kinda wish Obama had been impeached over the whole ‘assassinating American citizens’ order, but I figure all the power players in DC kinda want that one to stick so they can use it later.Report

          • Aaron David in reply to Michael Siegel says:

            Both of those are actual abuses. And if they are alleged, I would expect that the house would investigate the matters thoroughly, not perform the witch-hunt we saw last week. And that means giving the opposition any and all means to defend their position. If what you believe is truly there, it will come out during those investigations. The investigation may be started on partisan lines, but to have any chance of succeeding it has to cross the aisle.

            I, having read the articles, see only bullshit. No abuse of his powers in dealing with Ukraine, and I firmly believe that obstructing Congress is part of his job, as a co-equal branch of the gov’t*. Just as obstructing him is of theirs. Where they have specific obligations to each other is spelled out in the constitution.

            *Seriously, to maintain the integrity of that office, all presidents should push back against the legislative branch at any time, for any reason, absent what is listed in the paperwork. Co-equal. It means something.

            Nothing about these charges rises to the level ofReport

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        In practice impeachment is political, but according to the Constitution it does require a crime to have been committed:

        The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

        Not that Congressmen of either party take their oath to uphold to Constitution particularly seriously.Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to Brandon Berg says:

          We are in 3 Felonies a Day territory. If you can’t find a misdemeanor the man is guilty of, you aren’t looking hard enough.

          Personally, while I disagree with Aaron and think what Trump did with regard to Ukraine is impeachable, I also think it’s pretty weak, considering all the other shit Trump has clearly done that I feel is much more damning.

          But since I despise both parties, my bias leads me to believe that the weak sauce is the best they can do without cutting their own throats, because the whole lot of them, both sides, have way too many horrible people.Report

          • Aaron David in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

            The problem I have with the “crimes” listed by said impeachment is that both of them are viewpoint crimes. In other words, to see them as crimes you need a certain viewpoint of what is and what is not, legal. And that is what kept them from leaving the arena of partisanship.

            Brandon is right in that there is a specific list of actions of impeachable offenses, albeit a very broad one. And, sadly, you are right that we are in three felonies a day territory. The fact that they couldn’t find a simple one to accuse him of speaks volumes.

            But speaking more broadly of the three felonies a day era we live in, I find this to be one of the greatest horrors of our times. And I will be damned if I will accede to that horror just because some people of the upper-middle and aspirational classes find him gouche. And I will note that I am very much of this class.Report

            • greginak in reply to Aaron David says:

              Misdemeanor isn’t even a major crime. Often the penalty for a misdemeanor isn’t jail, just a fine. Disturbing the peace is a misdemeanor. We’re in the area of they were using the words differently back then. There is fair amount of discussion from those old dead guys about what they thought was impeachable. They wanted the prez to be only acting in the interests of America and not doing so was impeachable for them.

              Bribery? Um that thing. Obstruction of justice? I guess they are viewpoint crimes if you stretch the definition. Stretch in really hard.Report

              • InMD in reply to greginak says:

                I think the point Aaron is making is that its quite telling that they couldn’t even cite something in the criminal code.

                I want the fool out of office as much as anyone but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t share a lot of Aaron’s sentiments. All of this valorization of law and order, jackass law enforcement agencies, Bush era stooges, and their secret kangaroo courts doesn’t sit great with me, and it isn’t like validating all of that bullshit is somehow required to rid us of Trump. I mean we’re voting on it all soon enough.Report

              • greginak in reply to InMD says:

                They cited obstruction of justice. I will neither valorize law enforcement or ignore all the evidence found of trumps crimes. If what trump has done isn’t impeachable then nothing is.

                Backing out a bit and why the D’s needed to impeach despite what the senate will do. We know there was Russian interference, stolen emails and trumps team had, at the very least, a lot of knowledge of what the russians were doing in 2016. In the Uk situation Trump was working to dredge up stuff to throw at his leading rival in 2020. The R controlled senate has refused to increase election security. It’s nice we have an election coming up but we very much need it to be as clean as possible. That means pushing back on whatever dirty tricks trump is up to.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to greginak says:

                They cited obstruction of justice.

                The “obstruction” is forcing Congress to go to the Courts to get their demands enforced. This is pretty normal for the rest of society and is also pretty normal when we have mixed parties controlling the seats and they’re playing gottcha.

                We know there was Russian interference, stolen emails and trumps team had, at the very least, a lot of knowledge of what the russians were doing in 2016.

                The big investigation said no American was involved in the interference. I don’t see why Trump is more culpable than Obama or even HRC, both of whom also had that knowledge and both of whom had a lot more power to do something about it.

                The R controlled senate has refused to increase election security.

                Simply untrue. Granted, there was an election security act of 2019, complete with poison pill, that the GOP refused to pass but there was a massive increase in 2018.

                In 2018, Congress used the Omnibus Appropriations Act to pad HAVA with an extra $380 million to be divided up amongst the states in proportion to their voting age population. The idea was that they spend it to prepare for the 2020 elections, and Democrats and Republicans are likely to approve at least another $250 million through the act this year.

                we very much need it to be as clean as possible.

                Then I suggest you drop the Nazi accusations, untruths about the Russians, and attacking Trump for things you wouldn’t care about if it were a member of Team Blue.

                We have Trump in there instead of someone like Romney because Trump can live with shit being thrown on him.Report

              • Aaron David in reply to greginak says:

                Uhm, that thing, you know, the one…

                Dude. He wasn’t even charged with bribery. Even the Dems know it was a loser of an idea. If there was a smidgen of something, anything, that would have lent legitimacy to this whole shebang. But, alas. So, talking about it simply puts this in the sour grape territory. I know, I know, you really wanted the obstruction thingy, but it still. just. isn’t. happening. At this point, it is just dreaming of a holiday crush, sadly.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Aaron David says:

                You do both know that, in the language of the framer’s day, high crimes and misdemeanors were statements about character and moral fitness? That’s why a President can be charged with abuse of power – impeachment being a political process (since no one is deprived of life or liberty by it) it is by design meant to address gross moral and ethical failings, not just criminal ones. I know its a pesky idea, but just like a criminal charge of obstruction doesn’t actually require an underlying crime, so too high crimes and misdemeanors are not just about the criminal code.

                Of course, Its arguable that inciting a foreign power to interfere in our elections in fact breaks a number of laws, not all of them criminal.Report

              • InMD in reply to Philip H says:

                True but not really relevant when the outcome is a forgone conclusion. The point is that no one who needed to be convinced was convinced. Not even close.

                If I had a wand to magically get rid of him I would but since we’re subject to the constraints of reality I fail to see how handing him and his supporters a big victory he’ll try to ride through November is worth it, regardless of whatever vague high-falutin moral principle is at stake.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Philip H says:

                As I’ve heard it, “high crimes” was meant to refer to the sort of crimes that only “high” persons could commit.

                Meaning people like judges and governors and Presidents who were entrusted with immense power and as a necessary part of their office they were given wide discretionary power with few fixed rules, other than to use that power on behalf of the People, not on their own behalf.

                So yeah, using your office for personal benefit is a “high crime”.

                And in any case, a narrow view of what constitutes a “crime” and treating the elected official the way we treat an accused individual is perverse.

                We deliberately stack the deck of power in favor of an accused individual so as to restrain the power of government. Turning elected officials into accused individuals flips this inside out, restraining the People, and empowers the government.

                I keep capitalizing the People here to emphasize the point that the Constitution sees us the citizens as the sovereign power, able to change governments at our discretion; We answer to no one but ourselves.Report

              • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I thought the only crimes high persons really committed were fender benders in the Taco Bell drive-thru at 3 AM.Report

              • PD Shaw in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                So Lincoln should have been impeached for using his office to ask Generals to furlough soldiers to return home and vote in elections where control of the government stood in the balance?

                This site is funny; almost everything in the world is inherently political, whether it be sports, movies, or sex, but the one thing that should be above politics is the acts of politicians?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to PD Shaw says:

                I’ve read your comment twice, and still can’t find any similarity to Trump’s actions.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Neither can I. What Lincoln did was clearly wrong, compromising wartime troop strength for partisan political gains.

                In contrast, urging a foreign government to investigate the possible looting of over a billion dollars in US aid money (which disappeared from the bank owned by the guy who runs Burisma) is proper. So is investigating a a candidate who was bragging about shutting down prior investigations into such corruption, especially if the candidate’s son is getting paid millions by the same guy who owned the bank where all the US aid money went missing. To not encourage a government to look into that, especially when such investigations are mandated by treaty, would be dereliction of duty.

                By Democrats’ standards, it would be illegal for the Columbian president to encourage the DEA to investigate Pable Escobar, a known narco terrorist, when Escobar was running for office. Indeed, it would be illegal for almost any Columbian official to investigate the other officials who were on the take.

                This problem doesn’t come up if you don’t nominate wildly corrupt politicians who brag about it.Report

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to George Turner says:

                Surely that’s a crime here in the States, too. Why not investigate here?Report

              • PD Shaw in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                He is accused of using an official power with improper motive. According to the impeachment, the Constitution requires the President “to exercise their power only when it is motivated in the public interest rather than in their private self-interest.” The Presidents exercised a power of the office for the purpose of aiding them in an election. The opposition should call them on it, but civilians should recognize that public and private interest are not disjoint sets.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to PD Shaw says:

                Giving soldiers the opportunity to vote is using his office for personal gain?Report

              • George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                This just in: Soldiers already had the right to vote.

                If there’s any way to claim his motives were corrupt then it must be assumed that they were corrupt, a nifty new legal standard that Schiff dreamed up.

                Lincoln also ordered the US military to kill hundreds of thousands of American citizens who were staunch Democrat voters, which clearly would be to his own benefit.

                As Republicans have been saying, the Democrats had to drop the bar so low to target Trump that no US President would escape impeachment, except perhaps for William Henry Harrison who didn’t live long enough to even get an impeachment started.Report

              • Absentee voting was a new thing and no one knew how it would work. Using his authority as commander in chief to manipulate when soldiers were granted leave (or mustered out) for the purpose of shoring up his electoral support would seem to me to count as using the power of the office for his own political gain.

                I have no idea whether such a thing happened or not. It would be easier then than it would be today because Army organization had a very large state-based component. The election was not as close as Lincoln thought it would be, but he got a lovely bump in September from Gen. Sherman and the fall of Atlanta.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Michael Cain says:

                How did he know the soldiers were going to vote for him?

                ETA: Lincoln actually did some things that a reasonable person can find impeachable, including suspension of habeas corpus.

                Which is to say, “If you impeach Trump you would have to impeach Lincoln” isn’t the clever argument people think it is.Report

              • Has there ever been a war where the majority of the soldiers returning from ongoing combat voted to quit?

                That’s probably a dissertation-level question, I suppose.Report

              • PD Shaw in reply to Michael Cain says:

                The previous view was that the soldiers voted Republican (78%) because they supported the war effort. The more recent research points to how solider voting was actually implemented.

                In places with absentee ballots, soldiers might not be able to find a Democratic ballot (in those days parties created ballots and one picked up the ballot that reflected your preference). For furloughs, commanders might select the soldiers to be furloughed based upon whether they are seen as loyal Lincoln men or might even be asked how they would vote. Not much of this should be surprising given the politicization of the military leadership, and the overriding sense that the success of the war and their ability to receive a promotion were intertwined with the Republicans winning across the board in 1864.Report

              • PD Shaw in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                The background is that Lincoln and the Republicans thought the party suffered sweeping losses in the 1862 elections because the Republicans were the men who volunteered to fight and couldn’t vote. Many Republican states passed laws enfranchising soldiers afterwards, but unsurprisingly states where party control was contested did not. Lincoln thought Indiana was the one state Republicans really needed, and asked if troops could be furloughed home in time for the election.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to PD Shaw says:

                The Republicans seem to have learned from their disastrous mistake in allowing people to vote, and are now publicly vowing not to let that happen in 2020.Report

              • PD Shaw in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Did you ever hear that the Democrats are the party of slavery? 😉Report

              • George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Project much? It’s Democrats who have adamantly refused to abide by the 2016 election results and impeached Trump because, as Nadler said, Trump might win the next election. Indeed, Democrats conceded 2020 with the impeachment, knowing they can’t win a fair election and promising to keep on impeaching. Moderates and independents are getting pretty irritated by that stance.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

                We’re just following the Alinsky rule.

                Which is to scrupulously follow the Constitution to the letter.

                Yes, we really are that devious and will stop at nothing until everyone who can vote, does vote.

                I know it sounds radical, but really, you have only yourselves to blame. After spending so much time calling us the “Democrat” party, we decided, screw it, we really will create a democracy!Report

              • George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                You tossed the Constitution out the window. The Constitution lists “high crimes and misdemeanors” and you didn’t even bother trying to provide evidence of those, you just redefined them to be “orange man bad.” Mitch McConnell gave a long speech about it just yesterday, and how much permanent damage the new standard will due to the United States.

                Indeed, one of the articles of impeachment is for “Obstructing Congress” by waiting for the court to rule on separation of powers. It’s now impeachable for one branch to defend itself in court from another branch?

                Only hyper-partisans and morons are buying what the Democrats are selling, and they’ve been selling it since before Trump was even inaugurated. Indeed, this is the seventh time they’ve brought forth articles of impeachment. Prior articles were for such things as “being mean to the press”.

                And now Nancy won’t even do her Constitutional duty and let the Senate conduct a trial, essentially demanding a guarantee of an all-white jury of Klansmen to make sure the black man doesn’t escape her attempt to lynch him for being black. Even the Democrat’s own impeachment expert, one of the only three witnesses they called for Nadler’s impeachment hearing, said she can’t do that.

                So far, they rigged the 2016 primaries to get Hillary nominated. They attempted to rig the 2016 election, using fake evidence, spying, and Russian help, to make sure she won. She did not. They then announced impeachment the day he was inaugurated, and waited only three weeks to get started on it. They kept using Comey to spy on him and then used Mueller to try and frame him. Many of the people involved in those efforts are now under federal criminal investigation.

                When you go for the king, you had better not miss, and Nancy certainly missed. She is obviously terrified of what the Senate will uncover when they subpoena Schiff, Nadler, Ciaramella, Vindman, and others, but has boxed her party into a corner from which there is no escape.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Michael Cain says:

                We don’t need to go as far back as Lincoln to find this sort of thing. The Clintons were well known for mixing personal and public interests. The Charity accepting money from foreign countries, the misuse of the pardon power and so on. That last includes using the Pardon power to fund HRC’s election and to try to influence her election by Pardoning unreformed cop killing terrorists.

                With that as an example of what Team Blue finds acceptable, I have to conclude the only actual issue with Trump’s ethics is he plays for the other team.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Two thirds of all impeached Presidents were impeached because they humiliated Hillary Clinton. Quite obviously she’s the worst thing to ever happen to this country.Report

              • Hillary was the largest factor in Bill Clinton surviving his impeachment.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

                A shame no one ever investigated the Clintons.

                They might have found proof.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                The bar for Team Red convicting Trump is roughly the same as that for Team Blue to convict Clinton.

                Which means if you think there was no proof against the Clintons and Bill’s impeachment was just political, well that’s where we are again with Trump.Report

              • greginak in reply to Aaron David says:

                What evs. He was charged with obstruction of justice ( I know you just ignore the M Report that also found this). The other charge was abuse of power for well….asking for an investigation into a political rival.

                This is going no where. Negative partisanship makes meth look like pez. I know what i think about trump and his many crimes. Every time i’ve pointed at bits of evidence you either didn’t know about, brushed them off without an apparent thought or when full Dude.Report

              • George Turner in reply to greginak says:

                Obama had the CIA and FBI manufacturing evidence to damage a political rival. But I guess that’s okay, unless of course he ends up in jail for it.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

                Well it is okay, since as Rod Dreher explains in that Vox Article that Saul linked, Obama was a “katechon”, a force that holds back something worse, in this case Republicans.


              • PD Shaw in reply to Aaron David says:

                Filed under everything I know about the line btw/ politics and crime, including impeachment, came from living in Illinois.

                When Democrats opened the first modern impeachment inquiry into the conduct of the (Republican) Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, their legal research staff reported that federal and state governments had recognized that “gross abuse of power” qualifies as a high crime and misdemeanor. After deciding the Justice’s use of his official position to try to get out of speeding tickets did not arise to such abuse, they opined that the state constitution should be amended to better clarify impeachable conduct to make everybody’s life easier. But the adjective probably simply restates the existing problem that the misuse of power is always contested.Report

  3. Chip Daniels says:

    Another interpretation is that they are not afraid, but enthusiastic participants.

    If the argument here is that “Were it not for Trump’s bullying, the Republicans in Congress would be bold adherents to high minded principle”, then I would ask for any such evidence in their records.

    When they held a meeting in 2009 and solemnly swore to obstruct anything by Obama regardless of merit, were they being principled? When they held countless baseless Benghazi investigations? When they screamed in 2010 about the deficit, then turned around and massively enlarged it in 2017? When they, in their own words, decided to gerrymander districts so as to make it impossible for black people (aka Democrats) to win elections? When, upon losing an election, decided to strip the governor of power to frustrate the will of the people?

    Where do the Principled Republicans appear in living memory? I don’t recall ever seeing one.

    Of for that matter, what power does Trump hold to terrify Congressmen? Isn’t it the power of the voting base?

    Aren’t they the ones doing the policing, doing the enforcing of dogma?

    Who is forcing the voters to do this? Those two goobers photographed with tee shirts saying “Better Russian than Democrat” were they being coerced into doing that?

    Or were they just reflecting the true and authentic ethos of the party base?Report

  4. Jay L Gischer says:

    Thanks, Dennis. I couldn’t agree more.Report

  5. Philip H says:

    One of the major problems that you and other moderate Republicans seem to have your heads in the sand about is your own complicity in this situation. Few moderates speak in the public square anymore – witness the near total withdrawal of our own Mike Dwyer from this forum. And yet so many allegedly moderate Republicans refuse to also consider voting for Democrats as a remedy for the situation of the Republican Party running ever more rightward which you decry. Frankly, as long as you either stay home or hold your noses and vote for republicans, you really shouldn’t complain about the outcome.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Philip H says:

      “as long as you either stay home or hold your noses and vote for republicans”

      so the only way to be a good and virtuous person was to have voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016? lolReport

      • Philip H in reply to DensityDuck says:

        no, the only way to have been a good republican then would have been to defeat Trump with any of the other way more qualified Republicans.

        I was referring to the fact that too many moderate Republicans STILL won’t consider voting for anyone who isn’t a Republican no matter how that person actually performs.Report

        • DensityDuck in reply to Philip H says:

          ” the only way to have been a good republican then would have been to defeat Trump with any of the other way more qualified Republicans.”

          everybody dropped out after the first two primaries, there wasn’t anyone left to vote for by the time it was my turn, and according to you me switching to Democrat and writing-in Sanders counts as a vote for Trump, so, where exactly are you going with this?Report

          • Philip H in reply to DensityDuck says:

            I’ve never said writing in Sanders was voting for Trump. And I’m not talking past tense either. A number of allegedly moderate Republicans keep saying they still won’t vote for Democrats which seems to me to be flawed logic if the idea is to defeat trump and start walking the Republican party back from its abyss.Report

  6. George Turner says:

    Now, Hurd knows that what Trump did was impeachable. He isn’t stupid. He probably doesn’t think highly of the president. He isn’t up for re-election. So why can’t he say something as simple as saying the president did something that was impeachable?

    Representative Hurd, a former CIA oifficer, has been interviewed at length many times. He’s not a fan of the President. He’s not running for re-election. Trump can’t hurt him and Republican voters can’t hurt him. He’s explained that there’s simply no case that rises to the level of impeachment.

    The impeachment clause, like all other clauses and laws, has examples of impeachable offenses. Those must be interpreted under the legal doctrine of “ejusdem generis”, meaning “of the same kind”. Treason is punishable by death, and bribery results in jail time. High crimes and misdemeanors would thus, likewise, be offenses that result in severe punishment. Policy differences, or not bowing to whims of the House, are not things that result in jail time. Indeed, none of the impeachment charges are even violations of US law.

    By the standard the Democrats used, Obama committed hundred of impeachable acts, such as running a “back door foreign policy” that evaded legally mandated Congressional reporting limits to gift Iran, an avowed enemy of the United States and a hostile foreign power, billions and billions of dollars, some of it delivered as pallets of cash. On top of that, Schiff’s impeachment standard includes speculative motives and rumors as valid evidence, so on that basis, we must impeach Obama because it’s quite possible that Iran didn’t actually receive all the cash because Obama’s folks took a big cut first. In fact, that hypothetical cut or kickback would establish corrupt intent, by Schiff’s legal standard. Or we could go with Fast and Furious and ask how much Cartel Drug money Obama and Holder were paid for their assault rifle delivery program. Or we could ask about Obama’s promises to Putin and Lavrov about what he’d be free to do after the election, or his deal with Putin to delay the annexation of Crimea until after the 2012 election.

    And thus Hurd looks at the case, hopes there’s a case there, and he simply couldn’t find one. If we adopt the Schiff standards for impeachment, and Republicans take and hold the House, no Democrat would ever remain unimpeached for more than a few months. Biden would be “pre-impeached” just on his extortion of a billion dollars in aide to Ukraine to force them to drop an investigation into his son’s company, a case in which the corrupt oligarch actually running both Burisma and Privatbank made over a billion dollars in US taxpayer money disappear, and in which $16 million dollars from Belize and the UK got flagged by Latvian anti-corruption authorities as it landed in bank accounts for Burisma and for Hunter Biden.Report

    • mattbernius in reply to George Turner says:

      > Representative Hurd, a former CIA oifficer, has been interviewed at length many times. He’s not a fan of the President. He’s not running for re-election. Trump can’t hurt him and Republican voters can’t hurt him. He’s explained that there’s simply no case that rises to the level of impeachment.

      Or, the more likely reality is that Hurd wants to run for President in 2024 and knows that there is no possibility of him doing that if he goes against Trump now.Report

      • George Turner in reply to mattbernius says:

        If Will Hurd wanted to run for President, he wouldn’t be dropping out of politics. Hurd, by the way, was considered the House Republican most likely to support impeachment. He’s is by no stretch a Trump supporter, and often worked with Beto. He and Beto once even drove together all the way from Texas to DC when they couldn’t get a flight.

        Not only couldn’t Democrats convince Representative Hurd, they couldn’t even convince Tulsi Gabbard. New Jersey Democrat Jeff Van Drew was so fed up with the nonsense that be switched parties to become a Republican. Under what fantasy about crazy fears does a Democrat do that?

        Indeed, it would be more parsimonious to explain how all the Democrats voted by noting that every single one of them, except for Tulsi, is afraid of being Arkancided by Hillary Clinton, and that the entire impeachment charade was just her way of getting payback for Bill’s impeachment.Report

  7. LeeEsq says:

    I’m joining Chip and Philip H. The Republican Party started to go in a bad direction since Gingrich selected an entirely hostile relationship with Bill Clinton in the White House. For decades, they have engaged in all sorts of dog whistling and flirtations with authoritarianism for a variety of reasons. What Trump provided is what the Republican base wanted and they flocked to him in droves because of that. Republican politicians aren’t going along with Trump because they are afraid of them. They are doing so out of genuine devotion and love to him and his horrible xenophobic and racist ideas.Report

  8. Burt Likko says:

    Last night history called and said, “Declare. Take a side.”

    Rooney did. So did Hurd. So did Stefanik. They took Trump’s side, as did every other Republican in the Chamber.

    Now, let history judge them.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Even someone like Mark Meadows announced he is not running for reelection.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I don’t think that’s related, though the impeachment might have been the final straw. The courts have thrown out he highly gerrymandered House districts in North Carolina, and since SCOTUS has ruled that federal courts don’t have proper jurisdiction over those cases, the state supreme court is the last stop. Meadows will now have to compete for a not safe not clearly republican seat, and he knows its a loosing battle. He’s not going to turn on Trump,however as he needs to stay in good with the base to be of use to whatever lobby shop he ends up in.Report

  9. Saul Degraw says:

    Surprising no one, I am on the side of Chip, Philip H. and LeeEsq, and others. The GOP has been on this road for a long time and are willful participants. Conservatism is not a grand philosophy of restraint. It is a belief that there is a ruling class and they are in it. The rest of us can go fuck ourselves. I don’t see why we should humor the small group of people who insist that it is about restraint and caution when those people clearly have no power or sway in the GOP.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I read in The Atlantic today Sebastian Mallaby’s review of Paul Krugman’s book, wherein he scolds Krugman for an excess of rage towards conservatives.

      His review is posted alongside another article describing the knowing indifference of border guards to the appalling medical conditions of children in refugee camps, where children with lifethreatening illness are shrugged off and turned away at the merest whims of border guards.

      And Adam Serwer notes Michelle Malkin (Once an exemplar of the “Reasonable Republican”) letting her herrenvolk freak flag fly:

      So yeah. I’m pretty done with the whole “Reasonable Republican” kabuki dance. This is who they are. Its who they’ve chosen to be.Report

  10. Jaybird says:

    Guys, guys, guys. I became an atheist in 1992 and I haven’t paid Christianity Today any attention since shortly thereafter but I totally think that everybody should read this article and tell other people to read it and to recognize Christianity Today’s moral authority here and pay attention to them about other stuff too.

    (Short version: They have the same opinion about Trump that they had about Clinton.)Report

  11. Dark Matter says:

    That is how Eichmann was able to get the German military leaders to accept the horror of the Final Solution.

    Nazi analogies? Must be time for a Presidential election. As normal team Blue will spam out Hitler accusations but claim “this time they mean it”.

    To stand up to Trump means you could see yourself be blacklisted from the party.

    Yes, exactly like with the abortion/choice debate, and various other hot button issues, you’re allowed to be a free thinker but only if you reach the correct choice.

    If we can’t hold the President accountable on this matter, he will do something even grander.

    He’s been impeached. Congrats, that’s “holding him accountable”. Of course your team filled out most of the paperwork before he took office (just like Team Red was doing for HRC) so whatever.

    If we can’t stop him from getting a second term, he will do whatever he wants. There is no bottom to his wants, and he will do whatever he can do to ensure he stays in power. His comment about shooting someone on Fifth Avenue in New York is not a joke.

    You’re using a lot oxygen on Hitler analogies in the context of zero dead bodies and hysterical accusations of things that wouldn’t matter if Team Blue were doing it.

    The number of judges ignored is thus far zero. The number of non-serious people appointed to judgeships is thus far zero. When we talk about court packing it’s always the Left talking about why they should do it.

    The number of political opponents arrested is thus far zero. The number of people killed is thus far zero. The level of corruption is not zero but our alternative was someone with her own personal multi-Billion dollar “charity” and that might be worse. You being worried about “self enrichment” is a joke considering you’re trying to impeach Trump for making hay about your current front runner’s son’s “job”.

    If all you have on why your guy should be President is statements about your own fear, things you’d put up with from your own team, and Nazi analogies then your side doesn’t deserve the office.Report