Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Party Of Cowardly Lions

Joe Scarborough, Charlie Sykes, George Will, and other never-Trump conservatives bemoan the failure of GOP members of Congress to criticize their puppet master, Donald J. Trump.

But a cowardly Congress is a perfect compliment to a cowardly President.

Donald Trump built his mighty reputation as a tough negotiator, willing to take on anyone and everyone on behalf of the USA, upon his spectacular acting gig on "The Apprentice."  As President, he won't take on democrats such as settlement-expanding Benjamin Netanyahu or tyrants such as Kim Jong-un ("I have very good personal relations with Chairman Kim") or employees he loathes, such as John Kelly or Jeff Sessions ("I don't have an Attorney General. It's verysad.").

 Several days after the revelation that Christine Blasey Ford maintains that Brett Kavanaugh and a friend attempted to rape her at a party a few dacades ago, the Los Angeles Times reports

Jim Gensheimer, who has been friends with Ford and her family for several years, said she confided to him and another friend over lunch on July 11, telling them she was communicating with the Post and was deeply concerned her name would eventually become public.

Gensheimer, a freelance photographer who previously worked for the San Jose Mercury News, said he explained to her how journalistic ethics forbid identifying confidential sources without approval.

Ford, he said, was torn. She felt it her “civic duty” to come forward but worried that it would have no effect on the confirmation process, Gensheimer said. At the same time, he said, she was worried about ruining Kavanaugh’s career and was open to the idea that people can change.

Ford then confided in her US Representative, Democrat Anna Eshoo, who gave a letter from the aggrieved to ranking Senate Judiciary Committee Democrat Dianne Feinstein.  Having moved on  and wishing to retain a private life, Ford did not want the traumatic incident she alleged to become public. However, existence of the letter leaked.

We don't know what, if anything, occurred that night 36 years ago between a 17-year-old Brett Kavanaugh and a 15-year old Christine Blasey. But we do know that Ford did not want to become the focus of controversy and Senator Feinstein conscientiously and respectfully honored her request. Republicans being Republicans, that was dangerous as right on cue

Republican leaders argue that it’s the Democrats who created this situation. They blame Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, for holding on to a letter from Ford that she’s had since July. The missive details the allegation that Kavanaugh “physically and sexually assaulted” her during high school but asks Feinstein to keep the matter confidential until the two are able to speak.

McConnell suggested Feinstein “decided to spring it right at the end” for political purposes. “It’s pretty obvious this is all about delaying the process, but the accuser certainly does deserve a right to be heard, and we’re looking forward to hearing what she has to say on Monday.”

Steve M argues that Republicans decided to make Democrats, rather than the accuser, the Antichrist "because it's always easy to demonize Democrats in the eyes of heartland white voters, and besides, that's what congressional Republicans need as a base motivator with midterms coming up. "

That, but more. Like their boss, Donald J. Trump, congressional Republicans lack a spine.  They could accuse Ford of deception. They could have conceded that Brett might have attempted to rape Christine but that it was long ago, both were juveniles, and details have been horribly distorted, They might have contended that Kavanaugh's record of accomplishment and integrity in both his personal and professional life over the past few decades more than compensate for one horrid mistake.

They won't, however. They won't because demonizing Democrats riles up their base... and because like Dear Leader, they have no spine.

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