Senator Grassley, Senator Ernst and Representatives Blum, King and Young took the constitutional oath, “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
Only these elected Republican office holders and their GOP colleagues can stop President Trump if he is a threat to our democracy. Democrats can warn and plead for a Trump intervention, but only these Republicans have the power to make this happen.
One can argue that these elected Republicans don’t need to listen to Democrats because Democrats have a political bias. But the GOP’s elected leadership should be willing to listen to other distinguished and credible Republicans that are warning that President Trump is a threat to the Constitution.
The new Wolff book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” is getting all the headlines. His book describes a White House more closely resembling animal house than the pinnacle of presidential power. It describes a President that may be dangerously unstable and seriously unfit to serve. It’s difficult to know the impact this bombshell expose will have on Trump’s approval ratings, but it can’t be good. The allegations in this book add to the mounting evidence of an unraveling presidency.
So far, most Republican Senators and House members have remained steadfast in their support for Trump. It’s too soon to know whether these latest revelations or Trump’s rage against the book’s allegations will shake Republican leaders’ loyalty. Trump’s bragging about the size of his nuclear button should create concern among every reasonable Republican.
Many moderate Republicans are raising the alarm. They are warning that President Trump is endangering our democracy, damaging long standing relationships with our allies and moving America closer to a nuclear holocaust.
Iowa’s Republican senators and representatives must be prepared to intervene and remove Trump if he presents a real threat to both our Constitution and our democratic stability. The constitutional basis for removal includes “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” The interpretation of these charges is much broader. Obviously, a president deemed incapacitated, unfit or unable to function could be grounds for removal.
Here’s a sampling of two credible and respected Republicans that are forcefully warning about Trump’s dangerous behavior. These influential Republican leaders warn that Trump presents a clear and present danger to our democracy.
Conservative New York Times columnist Bret Stephens wrote last week explaining, “Why I’m still a never Trumper.” Stephens isn’t some liberal Democrat. He’s a long time conservative Republican. He separates policy from character. He says he supports most of Trump’s policy achievements but Trump’s character flaws and his temperament are unacceptable behavior for a president.
“Want to preserve your own republican institutions? Then pay attention to the character of your leaders, the culture of governance and the political health of the public. It matters a lot more than lowering the top marginal income tax rate by a couple of percentage points,” wrote Stephens. “Character Doesn’t Count, has become a de facto G.O.P. motto. ‘Virtue Doesn’t Matter’ might be another. But character does count, and virtue does matter, and Trump’s shortcomings prove it daily.”
“Trump is empowering a conservative political culture that celebrates everything that patriotic Americans should fear: the cult of strength, open disdain for truthfulness, violent contempt for the Fourth Estate, hostility toward high culture and other types of ‘elitism,’ a penchant for conspiracy theories and, most dangerously, white-identity politics. Trump is normalizing all this, he is defining deviancy down,” according to Stephens.
Joe Scarborough, former conservative Republican U.S. Representative, weighed in last week on Trump. In a column, “A Storm is Gathering,” in the Washington Post he blasted Trump’s behavior. Scarborough summarizes a long list of Trump’s attacks on immigrants, the judicial system, the free press and Trump’s contempt for the rule of law. One of his strongest condemnations came on Trump’s handling of foreign affairs.
“This president is ripping apart the carefully woven fabric of U.S. foreign policy that bound administrations together from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama … his administration’s undermining of democratic values poses an even greater threat to our Constitution and country,” wrote Scarborough.
Scarborough also warned about a Congress that ignored the warnings of a Presidency out of control, adding, “While the framers of the Constitution foresaw the possibility of a tyrannical president, they never let their imaginations be darkened by the possibility of a compliant Congress.”
If Iowa’s Republican Senators and Congressman continue to be compliant with Trump’s behavior, they will be held responsible for their failure to protect our democracy and defend our Constitution.
by Rick Smith