The most terrifying revelation last week wasn’t that President Trump actually upstaged his own escalating horror show, it was the reaction of political leaders and the rest of the nation that was so chilling.
Congressional Republicans are now moving beyond complicity in Trump’s depraved presidency. Once-conservative GOP lawmakers at capitols from Washington to Colorado are becoming willing confederates in Trump’s White House sect.
It’s a horror the world has similarly seen time and again in thuggeries like Italy, Germany, North Korea and China.
Whether it’s desensitization or fear, as Trump has ratcheted up what looks like fascism, quacks like fascism, more Republicans each week fall behind him.
This was a week of extraordinary Trump malfeasance, exposed corruption and immorality on a level rarely seen outside of fiction. Even then, Trump capped off his sordid week with his own two-hour, live extravaganza at the Conservative Political Action Conference to delight his base and strike fear in his party. The marathon was a metaphor for the iniquity of the week and his entire presidency.
America is in serious trouble.
After two years of relentless and escalated atrocity dished out by Trump and his gang of shysters, a hardened America never even flinched at what rushed past them in last week’s torrent of headlines.
So accustomed to Trump’s obscene presidency, antics, lies, corruption and immorality, it was easy for most Americans to just shake their heads during Michael Cohen’s startling House testimony that began the week.
The president’s former and long-time fixer, a self-admitted felon and liar, got religion before a House oversight committee on Thursday. After perjuring himself more than a year ago, he’s back trying to reduce his prison sentence by telling what he now says is the truth.
Being a disloyal man who only wants out of jail faster, there’s little reason to doubt most of his new testimony, much of it backed by irrefutable records.
Yet as Cohen revealed appalling details about Trump’s unsurprising contempt for the law, for blacks, for decency and for any semblance of morality, the response by committee Republicans was far more distressing.
Cohen deserved reproach, but that’s all Republicans were interested in. Behaving like Trump himself, there was no Republican recoil at the horrors Cohen detailed. There wasn’t even the customary cowardly, “if any of these allegations turn out to be true…”
Trump was accurately described as a liar, a con, and a racist, based on everything we know so far, and especially everything Cohen related.
It’s unnerving that the party of “family values” would embrace a man who had his fixer lie to his wife about hush money paid to a porn star he had sex with in 2006, the same year his third-wife, Melania, gave birth to his son. This in addition to 19 women who have publicly accused Trump of sexual misconduct. As to prolific and well-documented lying, The Washington Post recently pointed out that as of Trump’s 759th day in office, he had spewed more than 8,500 provably false or misleading claims. His penchant for racist statements, claims and bents are well-documented going back decades. He has disavowed his own military and security forces. He has embraced the world’s most repugnant, murderous tyrants. And now he wants to undermine the Constitution and the balance of power in Washington by stealing money to build a useless border wall he “promised” Mexico would pay for.
And all but a few Republicans have gone from “tisking” him, to ignoring him, to — unbelievably — supporting him.
This will not end well for Trump and Republicans, but hopefully the rest of the nation won’t suffer right along with them.
By the time Trump was walking away from a “deal” with North Korea, and lying about it, and then taking the word of Chairman Kim Jong Un about his culpability in the gruesome murder of student Otto Warmbier, rebuking the rest of the free world, Republicans weren’t running for cover. Instead, they were giving cover to Trump for revelations that he had tried to undermine U.S. security by having his chief of staff force the U.S. government to give his son-in-law Jared Kushner top-secret credentials, even though the government determined he shouldn’t have them.
Trump’s gruesome behavior and performance, however, pales in the alarm caused by Republicans now fully joining a campaign that in no way resembles the GOP even three years ago.
It’s one thing to put party before country, but what’s happening with Trump and his gang of Republicans is like nothing this country has ever seen, and those nations who have suffered similarly, ended in disaster.
Any nation can be split politically, but it cannot survive a regime of liars, cheats and thieves. Trump has turned the greatest nation in the world into a pathetic banana Republic. Republicans like Colo. Sen. Cory Gardner have endorsed him. GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell emboldens him. A great majority of Republican senators publicly relish him. In cowardice or corruption, the majority of Republicans voted against a measure to stop Trump from stealing money for his border wall, including Colorado congressmen Ken Buck, Doug Lamborn and Scott Tipton.
Cohen said two things last week that were as prophetic as a dead man walking who’s acceped his fate. He talked about his fear that Trump won’t relinquish power if impeached or dethroned. It’s a fear that last week made not only possible, but probable.
But Cohen also warned Republicans off his own wretched fate.
“So to those who support the president and his rhetoric as I once did, I pray the country doesn’t make the same mistakes that I have made or pay the heavy price that my family and I are paying,” Cohen said.
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