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Censure and the GOP

Oh for the good old days when Republicans believed a sexual dalliance and the admittedly questionable truthfulness of a president’s adherence to an oath related to that dalliance were believed grounds to remove a president from power. Today’s Republican party with 21 exceptions in the Congress, believes even an insurrection against the United States itself worthy of a pass if in service to Donald J. Trump. In Louisiana, North Carolina, and yes even Pennsylvania, state level Republican parties have elected to censure wayward senators who took their oaths as jurors seriously and voted to convict the president in his second impeachment trial.

Here in Pennsylvania, any semblance of principle is gone from the Republican party. Washington County GOP chair David Ball made the reality starkly evident last week. Regarding Sen. Pat Toomey, Ball said: “We did not send him there to vote his conscience. We did not send him there to do the right thing or whatever he said he was doing. We sent him there to represent us.”

Foolish me. I thought Toomey my Senator too. My vote for him back in 2012 was because I expected him to do the right thing.

The Senate was always to be the contemplative part of Congress, deliberately distanced from popular passions by six-year staggered terms. Do members of the Senate represent us? Yes, in a sense but their primary obligation is to the good of the nation thus by design, a wider sense of obligation than to any one state let alone to a particular political party. An adherence to the virtues (Justice, Courage, Temperance, and Prudence) was the guiding light of the Founding Fathers. It was this that was to keep the republic governance committed to the harder right over the easier wrong. One need only go back to Mr Ball’s words to see the dangers inherent in today’s Republican party. If Toomey is being taken to task for doing “the right thing” then can we assume that from Mr Ball’s perspective, doing “the wrong thing” so long as it serves the purposes of Donald J. Trump, is preferable? If loyalty to the glorious leader is the only defining criteria for membership in the Congress, then nothing else matters save a willingness to be a sycophant.

This last election has demonstrated how low the Republican party has sunk. Eight senators and 139 members of the House voted to override the wishes of 81 million Americans (51.3 percent of the voting public) by trying to toss state certified electoral votes. Among the ignominious — our two valley members of the House of Representatives, Fred Keller and Dan Meuser.

Trump attorneys failed miserably in the courts (one Win//60 Losses to include two in the U.S. Supreme Court) with many of the judges being Trump appointees. Toss on top of this an attempt to influence state level Republicans and in the case of Georgia (“I just want to find 11,780 votes,” Trump to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger), a blatant appeal to commit election fraud. Finally add an armed insurrection complete with murder and mayhem under a sea of Trump flags.

Mr Ball is right in a sense. There is nothing to suggest that there was ever an expectation that Toomey do the right thing when the wrong thing better serves the purpose as Mr Ball defines it. That the Senator did speaks well of Toomey.

As for Keller and Meuser, they are Ball’s kind of useful puppets.

JOSEPH R. FISCHER

LTC, US Army (retired)

Northumberland

Submitted via Virtual Newsroom

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