The Republican Party Has Shown It's Colors, and Lost It's Credibility
The question has been asked over and over again, but how far will Republicans go to protect Donald Trump?
188 days into his Presidency, Trump has finally struck a meaningful chord in his party with his senseless and cowardly attacks on Jeff Sessions, but to anyone objectively evaluating the last few months, the Republican party has allowed it's reputation and credibility to be degraded to such a degree that further damage amounts to kicking a dead horse.
Even though the President's approval rating has dipped to a precarious 35% in a new Reuters poll, it seems likely that many Republican lawmakers have refused to publicly denounce the President because of the fact that he enjoyed similar numbers during the campaign and defeated Secretary Clinton anyway.
Many Republican Senators and Representatives will only become concerned if their odd's of reelection worsen to a point of concern, but there is something to be said for the damage that their indifference and assistance to Trump in his destruction of the presidency has done to their reputation.
Regardless of what right-wing punditry says, Donald Trump Jr.'s emails are clear evidence that there is more to the Russia collusion story than Trump and his cohorts have let on. One might have been able to understand Republicans defending Trump if there was no public evidence of wrongdoing, yet once the conversation turned to "well collusion isn't a crime," the lack of Republican support for aggressive investigatory measures showed and continues to show a troubling lack of respect for the integrity of the country and our electoral system.
The blatant tribalism of the Republican party, one which would have impeached Clinton within moments of receiving 1 - 100th of the of the information we currently have on suspected Trump-Russia collusion, has seriously depressed confidence in the integrity and fortitude of American insinuations both at home and abroad.
It is not easy to stand up to a President, but I never expected the incredible levels of cowardice we are seeing from out elected representatives. Even conservatives that have respectable records and moral legitimacy- Ben Sasse and Mike Lee - have refused to attack anything more than Trump's policy. Trump has publicly attacked news outlets with unacceptable vigor, ignored basic ethical guidelines, made grossly inappropriate statements on behalf of our nation, ceded major policy victories to our greatest geopolitical foes, and implored his cabinet members to conduct politically motivated investigations, but the best we can get from Republican Senators is that they disagree with how conservative the current health care bill is.
Americans around the country should question the patriotism of these and other men in the leadership of our Congress because they stood and are standing for their party and their own values over the country and Constitution they swore to serve. Conservative policy advances are far less important than maintaining the integrity of government. Whether the Democrats would do the same if put in similar circumstances is a valuable and legitimate question, but one that does not absolve Republicans of their role in the degradation of our national discourse, reputation, and institutions.
One can obviously criticize the Republicans for their inability to effectively govern and create legislation after years of obstructionism and complaint, but in my eyes their serious disregard for the health of our constitution and republic is far more serious. The last 6 months have been disastrous for the Republicans not only because they have failed in nearly every major policy area, but also because they have shown their true colors as a party that is willing to ignore the constitution and a dangerous President to get what they want.
Jeff Yarbro, a State Senator from Tennessee, put it best last week:
"The Constitution anticipates a President like this. It does not anticipate a Congress so indifferent to a President like this."