Support the Timberjay by making a donation.

Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Saving America

The GOP must stand up to oppose their own president’s reckless threats

Posted 9/30/20

It increasingly appears that it will be up to the Republican Party to save America from a would-be dictator. President Donald Trump has made it abundantly clear in recent weeks that he has no …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Saving America

The GOP must stand up to oppose their own president’s reckless threats

Posted

It increasingly appears that it will be up to the Republican Party to save America from a would-be dictator. President Donald Trump has made it abundantly clear in recent weeks that he has no intention of honoring the will of the voters this election, and he could well get away with dismantling the American system of governance unless Republicans take a stand.
There is no doubt about Trump’s intent. He has made false allegations suggesting widespread voter fraud from mail-in ballots, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. And he repeated that false claim during his embarrassing performance at this week’s presidential debate. When asked recently if he would accept a peaceful transfer of power, Trump refused and complained that “ballots” were the problem.
Clearly, President Trump is reading the polls like most other Americans and he recognizes that the ballots cast by voters may, in fact, be a problem (for him) when the polls suggest he’s headed for defeat.
Because we have experienced a peaceful transfer of power in the United States for 230-plus years, it’s easy to assume that the Constitution has the mechanisms in place to prevent an unpopular president from holding power after losing an election. While the Constitution is masterful in many ways, it assumes that a president would act honorably in defeat, an assumption that is not possible with the current president.
As letters from George Washington and others of his time reveal, what the founders feared most was the ascendance of what they termed a “demagogue” who would place his own power and glorification above the Constitution and the interests of the country. Washington and others of his era used the term demagogue, derived from Greek, to indicate a type of leader who gains power through emotional appeals to prejudice, distrust, and fear. This is a virtual definition of the Trump presidency.
Our founders feared the demagogue because they recognized that the Constitution, even with its checks and balances, could not contain such an individual’s lust for power or his willingness to upend the American experiment.
We know that President Trump will not respect the will of the voters, because he reminds the world of it every day. But Trump can only achieve his plans for an undemocratic takeover with the willing collusion of the Republican Party, a party that at least used to contain men and women of honor. Unfortunately, those of honor have mostly left the party, which today appears populated by shameless, unprincipled political operatives guided only by political expediency or the latest Trump tweet.
As was reported this past week in The Atlantic magazine, GOP leaders in Pennsylvania are already plotting with the Trump campaign to disavow the will of the voters in that must-win state for Trump, where polls show Joe Biden holding steady to a roughly six-point lead. Instead, they are making plans to have the Republican-dominated Legislature handpick its own slate of pro-Trump electors, regardless of the will of its electorate.
Such a move would almost certainly wind up in court, but the Republicans have a plan for that as well, which is why Trump is so eager to stack the courts, particularly the U.S. Supreme Court, with jurists personally loyal to him. He hopes they will disregard the Constitution and hand him the White House for at least another four years, whatever the voters decide.
While Trump’s strategy may be audacious, he has reason to believe that it could work, because similar jaw-dropping actions by this president have already worked many times before. The list of Trump’s affronts to the Constitution and our political norms is long and, with the exception of an occasional voice in the wilderness, the Republican Party has done nothing but facilitate a man who clearly wants to be America’s Putin. The Republican Party that existed as recently as four years ago had more honor than that. Much has changed in 1,350 days.
We understand that the full U.S. Senate, last week, unanimously approved a resolution stating its commitment to a peaceful transition of power— itself an unusual response to a deeply authoritarian president. Yet, as we’ve seen with the Constitution, it will take more than words on paper to stop Trump from his excesses. It will take political courage from a party that has shown virtually none of it for the past four years. Democrats won’t be able to contain Trump on their own. It may well ultimately require bipartisan congressional action to stop Trump from bringing an end to the America we knew. And only Republicans can make that happen.

Comments

2 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment
Michael Wood

This is a very good read on the current situation. I hope that it's not literally true, because I don't think there is a Republican Party at this point. There are only people that are signing on for Trump or those that are standing up for democracy and an authentic approach to the crises of our time. Trump is no longer trying to win the election. He's trying to defeat the election and the democratic and rational government that it's an essential part of. The trouble is that the crises are not going to wait for us to work this out.

Thursday, October 1
bonfire

There is zero chance federal or state republican legislators will step up to the plate on any issue that majority of Americans need and want. They are the trump party now.

News of Donald, Melania and Hope Hicks testing positive for covid-19 is symptomatic of the chaos and irresponsibility of today's Republican party. Trump and enablers totally botched the covid-19 response. Trump's family and entourage took off their masks at first presidential debate. Just look at our MN legislators who were on stage with trump in Bemidji September 18, candidate Jason Lewis, Pete Stauber, Tom Egger, Jim Hagedorn among a few others, all maskless. Were they worried about being infected with covid19 then? Stauber, Emmer and Hagedorn flew on Air Force One from DC to MN Duluth trump rally and back. Maskless in recirculated air on plane and maskless at the rally. Trump met with and had private conversation with Kurt Daudt, Paul Gazelka and Lewis at MPLS Airport Wednesday. Emmer embraced Paul Gazelka and wife. Stauber fist bumped Galzelka before hugging Maralee Gazelka. Hagedorn shook Galzelka's hand and briefly embraced Maralee Gazelka. Trump also attended fundraiser in Shorewood, MN at home of Cambria CEO Wednesday. WH aides said trump appeared tired and lethargic after cutting short Wednesday rally. Were they worried about being infected with covid19 a week later? Criminal negligence.

Gazelka, Daudt and Galzeka and wife saying they are going to quarantine and will be tested as soon as possible, horse already out of the barn "precaution".

JIm Hagedorn behavior is particularly inexplicable. He had been diagnosed with kidney cancer in Feb 2019 but is reportedly doing well with treatment. Yet he has a this very serious pre-existing condition and has been exposing himself foolishly, maskless, close physical contact with other maskless people blase about distance and protecting themselves.

A friend hoped they will be worried about exposure to trump and the people always around him. Heck, they haven't even been worried about their families, loved ones exposure to covid19. They certainly aren't one bit worried about the rest of us.

Friday, October 2