Two cracks appeared recently in the Republican Trump Firewall: one by Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE); and one by Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT). They are both accurate in their criticisms of Trump, and should be applauded for it. They should not, however, in anyway excuse the fact that the Republicans created Trump, and continue to enable him. Republicans should pay a political price at the ballot box this November for having done so.
Senator Sasse, in a telephone town hall, criticized President Trump saying he has: “flirted with white supremacists, mocked Christian evangelicals in private, kisses dictators butts, treated the presidency like a business opportunity,” and mishandled the pandemic. He was correct in saying so. However, no sooner than his comments were leaked, three other Nebraska Republicans, representatives Don Bacon and Adrian Smith along with the state Republican Party executive director, walked the Trump party line. They disagreed with Sasse’s characterization of Trump saying they “appreciate what President Trump has accomplished for our country…”
After Trump’s performance at his dueling town hall, Mitt Romney attacked his refusal to denounce QAnon (a far-right conspiracy organization falsely accusing Democrats and celebrities of pedophilia), calling it an “alarming pattern” in today’s politics. In the past, Romney has criticized the president for calling Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris a “monster,” and labeling Speaker Nancy Pelosi “crazy.” He, like Senator Sasse, is correct at leveling such criticisms at Trump. However, in doing this Romney also leveled criticism at Democrats for non-democratic political discourse and compared Antifa (an anti-fascist movement) to QAnon. This is like comparing apples to oranges.
The Republicans nominated Donald Trump for President. They have supported him through our worst of times which have included: failing to protect us from the coronavirus, which has infected more than 8 million of us, killing more than 215,000 in the process; falsely attacking our democratic electoral process by calling mail-in ballots fraudulent; seeking to take away health care from more than 20 million Americans through the Supreme Court; cozying up to our enemies North Korea and Russia (Russia again attacking our election, North Korea expanding its ballistic missile capacity); putting children in cages; supporting white supremacy; mocking our war heroes; and on and on.
This November’s election is not just about Trump. It is about a Republican Party that rather than work on virus relief in the middle of a pandemic is pushing a right-wing judge on to the Supreme Court during an election. With few exceptions this version of the Republican Party subscribes to all of Trump’s travesties by not condemning them. This is especially egregious in the Senate where there are nine vulnerable Republicans standing for reelection: Martha McSally (Arizona); Thom Tillis (N.C.); Susan Collins (Maine); Steve Daines (Montana); Joni Ernst (Iowa); Cory Gardner (Colorado); David Perdue (Georgia); Lindsey Graham (S.C.); and Mitch McConnell (Kentucky).
The Senate is currently made up of 53 Republicans and 45 Democrats with two independents who caucus with the Democrats. If Biden wins, creating a Democratic vice president, flipping three of these seats will give control of the Senate to the Democrats. If Trump wins it would take defeating four of them.
If you have had it with Trump’s disrespect for our democracy and Republicans enabling him, vote for Biden and choose at least one of the endangered Republican senators and support their opponents.
Things have to change. At this point, we, the voters, are the only ones who can make the change.