On Tuesday the Republican Senate silenced Senator Elizabeth Warren during a hearing for Senator Sessions’ nomination as Attorney General. Majority Leader McConnell claimed Senator Warren violated the decorum of the Senate by simply reading a letter from civil rights icon Coretta Scott King.
Meanwhile, Republicans make lame excuses as President Trump lies with impunity. Have Republicans’ spines turned to rubber when it comes to demanding truthfulness from their President? What kind of a political party tolerates the leader of their party as he invents facts, slanders people, defends vicious killers (Putin) and fabricates events that never occurred?
Senate Republicans approved Jeff Sessions as the Attorney General, the head of the United States judiciary simultaneously as President Trump insults, demeans and belittles that very judicial system. Shame on Republicans who claim they live by the Constitution and stand with the rule of law. President Trump mocking and disrespecting judges violates the Constitutional doctrine of the Separation of Powers. How long will Republicans turn a blind eye to Trump’s outrageous and un-American behavior?
President Trump’s temper tantrums have created pure chaos in Washington and has America’s allies extremely nervous. Trump’s approval rating is in the 43-44% range in a variety of polls. During their first month in office President Obama was at 76%, George W. Bush was at 58% and his father George H.W. Bush was at 57%, Trump has the lowest approval rating of any president during the first month of their administration. Meanwhile, the same Republicans that criticized President Obama for insignificant and manufactured flaws have lost their voices and simply make empty excuses for President Trump’s reckless behavior.
President Obama left office with a solid majority of the public supporting his presidency. His eight years was exemplified by the “no drama” approach to governing. His well known long-view approach guaranteed stability based on thorough fact-based analysis. His moderate and calming approach to addressing issues was consistently a model of civility.
In contrast, the first three weeks of Trump’s administration has been dominated by his angry outbursts and Twitter rants. He has attacked the press, individual judges, businesses, polling organizations, immigrants, Muslims, foreign leaders, Democrats as well as other Republicans that disagree with him. He characterizes all his opponents as losers and failures. In addition to his thoughtless verbal outbursts he has continued to focus on bragging about his own imagined successes and inflated ego.
Obama was a thoughtful and truth telling leader that demanded a professional approach to governing. His unique and masterful ability to inspire through soaring oratory was a comfort to most Americans. The fact that President Obama left office with a solid approval rating of 53% proves a majority of American’s approved of his management. Obama’s positive approval ratings extend to America’s allies as well. In a 2015 global poll by Pew Research Center, he averaged a 65% approval rating among 40 countries. Some of his biggest fans were our closest allies in western Europe. America’s security depends on having a united Europe that embraces the President’s agenda.
Compare the Trump management style which has resulted in massive protests at home and abroad the day after he was inaugurated. He has insulted Australia, one of our strongest allies in an angry exchange with the Australian Prime Minister. Trump’s diplomatic blunder was so serious Senator John McCain intervened to assure Australia of America’s “unwavering support for the U.S.-Australia alliance.”
Trump’s continued attacks on Mexico threatens to destroy 25 years of cooperation. Former President Felipe Calderon said, “we have to design a policy of retaliation.” Mexican political leaders are suggesting that Mexico, “expel U.S. law enforcement agents, stop detaining Central American migrants or no longer inspect northbound trucks for drug shipments. Some activist groups in Mexico are calling for a boycott of American brands.
The fact that Trump insulted and angered two of our most loyal allies and neighbors in the first two weeks portends future diplomatic chaos. His attacks on NATO nations have all of Europe in an uproar. His Muslim ban has several of the seven countries bitterly threatening retaliation. Many of America’s military leaders suggest Trump’s Muslim ban will actually make America less safe by becoming a recruiting tool by terrorists.
However, the most serious and dangerous of Trump’s tirades is his defense of Russian thug Vladimir Putin. Trump’s comparison of American leaders to the murdering Russian President has brought condemnation from around the world. Bill O’Reilly in an interview with Trump called Putin a killer. Trump responded by defending Putin by saying, “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?”
Trump’s shocking comparison of America’s leaders to Russia’s Putin is a total repudiation of Republican claims of American exceptionalism. Trump’s support for Putin a former KGB killer is an outrageous betrayal of America’s commitment to the rule of law.
Wake up Republicans, grow a backbone, demonstrate some patriotism by condemning Trump’s attacks on American values, our friends, our allies and most importantly on our Constitutional legacy. This is too serious to play politics with America’s heritage of honesty and integrity. Show some courage and condemn Trump’s offensive and despicable behavior.
by Rick Smith