Two BIG Votes Are Coming Up – Are Republicans About to Be Haunted?
Remember that great opening scene in A Christmas Carol? Jacob Marley’s ghost stands before Ebenezer Scrooge. He calls upon him to face the choices he has made and the consequences that followed. Great literature, powerful theater.
Beware, Member of Congress– A Ghost is Looking for You
I find myself wondering how many Republicans in Congress have seen that play or read that book. Their Marley ghost is coming closer to call upon them and to call them out.
Members of Congress have an important vote before them and another one looming on the horizon. These are the type of votes that determine how history remembers one. These are forever votes.
The first of these is to nullify President Trump’s specious emergency declaration. As of this writing, it has passed the house, with just over a dozen Republican votes, but not enough to override a veto. The same outcome is likely in the Senate.
You don’t have to be a constitutional scholar nor historian to know Mr. Trump is dead wrong on this one. For starters, read Article 1 of the constitution, especially Sections 1, 7, and 8. Go ahead, read it, I’ll wait….
Not all that complicated a read, is it? And yet, a stunning number of Republicans in Congress seem ready to ignore the constitution. They would allow Mr. Trump to replace the US Congress in this critical area of spending. If Mr. Trump can operate on so flimsy a basis, why bother with having a Congress at all?
How Could One Possibly Support the Emergency Declaration?
At first, I was amazed, even at this point in our recent history, that so many Republicans are ready and willing to defile the constitution. They are ready to debase their own institution. They would set a dangerous precedent for the future. We expected that some would do this. Mitch McConnell has proven himself to be a man without principle, for all I know without a soul. Tim Meadows is a permanent Trump marrionette. He is eager to support anything Mr. Trump wants. This includes shutting down the government twice to no good outcome. Lindsey Graham needs someone to check his medications for conflicts. He is increasingly erratic and bellicose.
These and others can be written off as irrational actors with no sense of history or mission. But what about all the others? What about those who protest in private, but vote to support the president over the constitution?
It finally dawned on me that this is not as complex as I have thought it to be, nor as mysterious. It is disappointingly simple. I believe most of these legislators know that what the president is doing is wrong. Ah, but they see an out for themselves. A practical out, if not a moral one. They can vote to sustain the emergency declaration. This pleases what passes for their leadership. It mollifies the most agitated of the base, minimizing the risk of primary challenges. And the courts will save the country.
That’s right. They KNOW this is wrong, but they are punting to the courts to save the country. I hope they are right. This is not risk free. The legal history of such declarations leaves room for judicial interpretation. If these legislators lose their bet, it is we who are screwed. This is high risk on a most fundamental issue. It is shameful cowardice. I, for one, will not forget how people voted on this one.
Now, an Even Bigger Vote Looms
In perhaps a few weeks, a second historical vote may come before us. When the Mueller report is done, who will vote for its disclosure, should such votes be necessary? And if said report has indictable and/or impeachable offenses? Who will have the courage to vote for the country and history? Who will fail to answer the call?
“ I wear the chains I forged in life. I made it link by link, yard by yard.Is its pattern strange to you or would you know the weight and the link of the strong cords you bear yourself?”
– Jacob Marley to Ebenezer Scrooge
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