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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#13821 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-28, 11:57

This is not my comment and question but borrowed from an Emptywheel comment. I think it is prescient.

Quote

Something to consider. Mike Pompeo graduated first in his class from West Point. He served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army. He graduated from Harvard Law School and was an editor of its Law Review. He worked at a white shoe law firm, served in Congress and as Director of the CIA. He is now the Secretary of State, which traditionally makes him, along with the SecDef, one of the most important members of the Cabinet.

But like the similarly well-educated and experienced Attorney General, William Barr, he has gone all in for Trump (as he has been all in for the Koch Machine since law school). He appears to be aiding and abetting all he does, without restraint. That appears true of GOP Senators and Representatives.

What is wrong with American elites and is it fixable?

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#13822 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-28, 13:17

From the man who originally wrote about Biden and Ukraine:

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JAMES RISEN: Sure, yeah. I mean, one of the — this is a very odd experience for me to see this story that I wrote four years ago come back in this weird way. In 2015, while Biden was vice president, I wrote about how he was — he had just gone to the Ukraine to — as sending a message, really, from the United States government and from other governments, that the Ukraine had to crack down on corruption. And in particular, there was the prosecutor general of the Ukraine, who had been refusing to do anything about major corruption cases in the Ukraine.

And I wrote that this whole effort by Biden to get the Ukrainians to crack down was very awkward for him personally and maybe even looked at as hypocritical, because his own son, Hunter Biden, was on the board of a company called Burisma, which was a Ukrainian natural gas company, and the British Serious Fraud Office was investigating Burisma and its owner, who is a Ukrainian official, or former official, and that the British investigation had been stymied because the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office had refused to turn over documents to the British officials. And as a result, the British effort to freeze Burisma’s assets had been overturned by a British court because they couldn’t get any documents from the Ukrainian prosecutor. And the money that had been frozen in banks in London immediately went offshore to Cyprus. Now, Hunter Biden was on the board of the company at the time that the assets were frozen. And he was on the board of Burisma at the time that his father took this trip to the Ukraine. But Joe Biden went there and said, “You’ve got to get rid of this prosecutor, and you’ve got to crack down on corruption.”

The significance of his trip was that it was backed up by the whole Western world. There were several large Western countries that were demanding that the Ukraine fire this prosecutor and get — and crack down on corruption. His actions to demand this, the firing of this prosecutor, and to ask for a greater crackdown had the effect — the possible effect — of making his son have even greater legal peril than he did by being on the board of Burisma, because it could have led to a more aggressive investigation of Burisma.

Now, what has happened — so, that’s essentially what I wrote. But what I wrote was, this is very awkward and bad for — politically hypocritical for Biden, which was bad enough. But what happened since then is the whole right-wing spin machine got involved in this story over the last four years, as they wanted to use it for opposition research in the 2020 election. And they say — they now claim that Biden went there in order to protect his son and to fire — and to get the Ukrainians to fire the prosecutor to stop him from investigating Burisma — which is the exact opposite of what happened. And so, the original story I wrote was bad enough for Biden, but now it’s taken — it’s been falsified by the Trump camp to make it look like Biden actually was using his position to protect his son, when that’s not true.
my emphasis

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#13823 User is offline   andrei 

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Posted 2019-September-28, 13:44

View Posty66, on 2019-September-26, 19:27, said:

They don't come any more hypocritical than Graham and that includes Trump and all the trolls on this thread. It's not close.


hypocritical huh?

“Because we are here today because the Republicans in the House are paralyzed with hatred of President Clinton. ... Until the Republicans free themselves of that hatred, our country will suffer.”

Nancy Pelosi, December 1998
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Before internet age you had a suspicion there are lots of "not-so-smart" people on the planet. Now you even know their names.
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#13824 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-September-28, 14:21

View Postandrei, on 2019-September-28, 13:44, said:

hypocritical huh?

“Because we are here today because the Republicans in the House are paralyzed with hatred of President Clinton. ... Until the Republicans free themselves of that hatred, our country will suffer.”

Nancy Pelosi, December 1998

The Republicans soon switched their hatred of Bill and Hillary Clinton, then to Obama, then back to Hillary Clinton, and has since expanded their hate to include anybody who isn't white and European descent. Nothing has changed in that respect.

I note once again you have not addressed any of the horrific details of this latest Ukrainian scandal. It's almost like you are part of the Russian and Alt Right propaganda effort to sow discontent and controversy that was put into effect that gained steam with the 2016 election.

Were you living in the USA during the Clinton impeachment period? I don't know the answer to my first question.

Have you read the US Constitution? I'm almost certain the answer is no to my second question.

Do you understand the background behind why there is an impeachment clause in the Constitution? Clearly not.

Have you read the whisteblowers complaint? Part b) Did you know there is an audio version you can download and just listen to on an audio device? If you're like 75% of Republicans in Congress, that would be no (at least that's what they say when asked questions by the press).

Have you read the Intelligence Inspector General's report about the whistleblower's complaint? If you're like Republicans in Congress, that's something like 90% haven't read the IG report about the complaint. At least that's what they say to the press. And when the Manchurian President's flunkies in Congress complain about the "credibility" of the whistleblower, they clearly haven't read the IG's report which in plain black and white says that the complaint was investigated the IG office (or they have read the report and are just lying and trying to gaslight the public) and the complaint was found to be "credible" and of "urgent concern".
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#13825 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-September-28, 14:27

Another entry for Profiles in Cowardice

This Fox News Meltdown Has EVERYTHING: On-Air Feuds, ‘Management Bedlam,’ and Paul Ryan

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That “management bedlam” includes an on-air feud between anchor Shepard Smith and racist prime-time host Tucker Carlson. As reported by Sherman: Legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano told Smith that the president’s actions with the Ukrainian constituted a “crime.” Then a guest on Carlson’s show said Napolitano’s comment made him a “fool.” On Wednesday, Smith called Carlson “repugnant” on air. Apparently, Fox News brass had had enough! CEO Suzanne Scott and president Jay Wallace told the afternoon anchor on Thursday that Smith would be off the air if he continued to attack Carlson. (Even though Carlson’s the one whose ad dollars are tanking but whatever...)

I would be so disappointed if Fox Propaganda collapsed under the weight of racism, bigotry, hypocrisy, and infighting. B-)

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But the most head-scratching part, in my opinion, is how former House Speaker Paul Ryan involved!!! Ryan is now a member of the Fox board, FYI, and he’s taking advantage of having the ear of Lachlan Murdoch. “‘Paul is embarrassed about Trump and now he has the power to do something about it,’ an executive who’s spoken with Ryan told me,” Sherman wrote. Ryan was the highest-ranking congressional Republican, yet only NOW he feels like he has enough power to stand up to the president! I am reeling!!

House Speaker Ryan sucked up to the Manchurian President like every other Republican in Congress except a few who were retiring. And even when Ryan announced he was retiring, he was so whipped by the Tweeter in Chief that he couldn't voice an honest opinion.
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#13826 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-28, 18:29

Joyce White Vance responds to Bill Barr's claim that he was both "suprised and angry" when he heard about the call:

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Barr who knew about the call at least by mid-August, was apparently not angry enough to resign, to permit DOJ to open a criminal case, or to let the DNI refer the complaint to Congress as the law requires.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#13827 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-September-28, 18:47

View PostWinstonm, on 2019-September-28, 18:29, said:

Joyce White Vance responds to Bill Barr's claim that he was both "suprised and angry" when he heard about the call:



The Manchurian President's government paid personal attorney Barr was probably really surprised and angry that details of the phone call were leaked and then released, not that he was lumped in with Giuliani. Is Barr jealous of Giuliani sharing equal billing with himself? No need really, since Barr got one of the most prestigious, highest paying jobs in US Government and the title of AG while it's unclear whether Giuliani is getting paid at all.
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#13828 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-28, 18:49

Meet a nice, friendly Trump supporter:

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A former New Jersey police chief standing trial on charges he slammed a black teenager's head into a doorjam reportedly called President Trump "the last hope for white people" before the 2016 election.

"I'm telling you, you know what, Donald Trump is the last hope for white people, cause Hillary will give it to all the minorities to get a vote," said Frank Nucera Jr., former chief of Bordentown Township, according to N.J.com's reporting of a transcript displayed at trial this week. "That's the truth! I'm telling you."


Makes me think about Ta-Nehisi Coates's article in The Atlantic, The First White President. Racism is endemic in this country. A crime in itself.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#13829 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-28, 19:14

This is an important read during these times of national crisis:

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A critical debate took place on July 20, 1787, which resulted in adding the impeachment clause to the U.S. Constitution. Benjamin Franklin, the oldest and probably wisest delegate at the Convention, said that when the president falls under suspicion, a “regular and peaceable inquiry” is needed.

In my work as a law professor studying original texts about the U.S. Constitution, I’ve found statements made at the Constitutional Convention explaining that the Founders viewed impeachment as a regular practice with three purposes:

To remind both the country and the president that he is not above the law
To deter abuses of power
To provide a fair and reliable method to resolve suspicions about misconduct.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#13830 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-September-28, 19:43

What else is in those Russian phone calls???

Nervous Kremlin Warns U.S. Against Releasing Transcripts Of Trump’s Calls With Putin

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says his mother taught him that sharing private conversations is “indecent.”

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A Kremlin official warned Friday that any release of transcripts of phone calls between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin could exacerbate problems that already exist between the nations.

Absolutely correct. The Russians could get angry and do something unprecedented, like interfere in a US presidential election :rolleyes: What do you think about that andrei?
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#13831 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-September-29, 10:30

James Fallows:

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Chris Ruddy, Trump pal and head of Newsmax: “Trump poll numbers have been remarkably high.”

@brianstelter, instantly and correctly: “The polls have been historically low.”

One Q: Why have these people on?

But if they are on, good to have immediate BS-call.

Matt Yglesias:

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Exactly.

The “you’re full of sh*t” game is fun, but airtime is a finite resource and there are plenty of people who aren’t full of sh*t.

Me:

Why have them on? Because riling up the base and tweaking the libs increases viewer ratings and ad revenue?
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#13832 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-September-29, 10:42

Posted Image
The CBS News survey is conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 2,059 U.S. residents interviewed between September 26-27, 2019. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 presidential vote and registration status. The margin of error is +/- 2.3 points.
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#13833 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-29, 12:43

Lawfare has an important read on the lack of transparency about Trump's meeting with Lavrov in the oval office:


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President Trump told two senior Russian officials in a 2017 Oval Office meeting that he was unconcerned about Moscow’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election because the United States did the same in other countries, an assertion that prompted alarmed White House officials to limit access to the remarks to an unusually small number of people, according to three former officials with knowledge of the matter.
my emphasis

[snip]

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Shortly after the story broke, I received a message from a person directly involved with the FBI’s decision to open a counterintelligence and obstruction investigation of President Trump in the immediate aftermath of the firing of FBI Director James Comey. To say this person, who had clearly learned about the matter for the first time from the Post, was angered by the story would be to understate the matter.

The message read in relevant part: “None of us had any idea. Multiple people had opportunity and patriotic reason to tell us. Instead, silence.
my emphasis


Aside from the incredibly un-American and un-patriotic position taken by Trump, on a legal note an important question to find out is whether or not this transcript was moved to the code-level server in order to keep it hidden from Robert Mueller's investigation.
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#13834 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-September-29, 13:07

View Posty66, on 2019-September-29, 10:42, said:

Posted Image
The CBS News survey is conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 2,059 U.S. residents interviewed between September 26-27, 2019. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 presidential vote and registration status. The margin of error is +/- 2.3 points.

How can these numbers be right? 55% in favor of impeachment? Less than a week ago, andrei posted poll results where the numbers were against impeachment by a fair margin. It seems like only a clear cut and easily understood act of corruption or treason would have changed the numbers so quickly. andrei- can you speculate what might have happened?
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#13835 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-September-29, 20:08

View Postjohnu, on 2019-September-29, 13:07, said:

How can these numbers be right? 55% in favor of impeachment? Less than a week ago, andrei posted poll results where the numbers were against impeachment by a fair margin. It seems like only a clear cut and easily understood act of corruption or treason would have changed the numbers so quickly. andrei- can you speculate what might have happened?

Perhaps the survey he referenced had a large margin of error?
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#13836 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-September-29, 23:29

View Posty66, on 2019-September-29, 20:08, said:

Perhaps the survey he referenced had a large margin of error?

Or the survey relied on polling before

1) The release of the Ukraine phone transcript
2) The release of the Inspector General's report that called the whistleblower's complaint "credible" and "of urgent concern"
3) Additional reports that the Manchurian President told the Russians he didn't care about the 2016 Russian election interference
4) Part of the whistleblower's complaint, and now widely reported that other "controversial" phone calls were stored on a top secret server to hide them from the normal distribution channels.

And the Traitor in Chief's poll numbers are almost certainly get a lot worse as more of public becomes aware of these latest scandals. At some point they will bottom out. Even Nixon had a 24% approval rating immediately before he resigned to avoid impeachment.
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#13837 User is online   cherdano 

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Posted 2019-September-30, 03:35

I am still bewildered by the whole whistleblower-Ukraine saga. So many small parts of it that are kind of amazing on its own.
Just one example. As one of the Trumpists here pointed out, the document was almost entirely based on hearsay. Yet every detail that we know about (including everything about the phone call) has been 100% validated, unlike some of the details in early press reports. Almost as if this guy is a professional at clandestine operations obtaining bits and pieces of crucial information and then fitting the puzzle together to try to understand what happened. If I was the CIA, I would hire this guy!
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#13838 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-September-30, 05:32

View Postjohnu, on 2019-September-29, 23:29, said:

Or the survey relied on polling before

1) The release of the Ukraine phone transcript
2) The release of the Inspector General's report that called the whistleblower's complaint "credible" and "of urgent concern"
3) Additional reports that the Manchurian President told the Russians he didn't care about the 2016 Russian election interference
4) Part of the whistleblower's complaint, and now widely reported that other "controversial" phone calls were stored on a top secret server to hide them from the normal distribution channels.

And the Traitor in Chief's poll numbers are almost certainly get a lot worse as more of public becomes aware of these latest scandals. At some point they will bottom out. Even Nixon had a 24% approval rating immediately before he resigned to avoid impeachment.

It is barely comprehensible to me that someone would use a survey that was taken before the items you mention became public as evidence of a lack of public support for impeachment. But here in the water cooler?
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#13839 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-September-30, 06:59

From David Leonhardt at NYT:

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The Economist argued that Schiff made a mistake by focusing on “process rather than the substance of the whistle-blower’s complaint.” Schiff took a confrontational approach to questioning Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, because Maguire was slow to forward the whistle-blower’s complaint to Congress.

But the complaint ultimately made it to Congress. “The Democrats’ obsession with process made them seem petty and small,” The Economist wrote. The smarter approach would have been to allow Maguire — a Trump administration official — to emphasize his belief that the whistle-blower acted appropriately. The hearing eventually got around to this point, but it took too long.

I still think the hearing on the whole made the impeachment inquiry seem serious and credible. But I also thought The Economist made a fair point. “If the Democrats want to move the needle further, they will have to do better than they did on Thursday,” The Economist concluded.

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#13840 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-September-30, 07:05

Also from the lion-hearted one:

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To the Republican members of the United States Senate:

You have always told us that you believe in the distinctive greatness of the United States of America. “America is different,” as Senator Marco Rubio has said. Ben Sasse likes to say that “America is an idea” — a commitment to universal dignity over brute power.

You have also told us that you went into politics to serve a higher purpose. Well, your moment has arrived.

The president of the United States is betraying his oath of office in the most fundamental way, by using the presidency for personal gain at the country’s expense. He has corrupted our foreign policy with grubby attempts to help himself that his own White House staff immediately recognized as improper. He is telling the world that America does not, in fact, stand for any higher ideal. Can you for a moment imagine the icons of your party, like Ronald Reagan or Dwight Eisenhower, risking the security of a country threatened by Russia, for the sake of smearing a political rival?

President Trump must go, and you — only you — have the power to make it happen.

You can start to distance yourself from him slowly, if it will help bring along your political base. A couple of you — like Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, who called Trump’s behavior “inappropriate,” and Mitt Romney of Utah, who used the word “troubling” — have begun to do so. But more of you should be moving in this direction, for the sake of the country and, ultimately, yourselves.

During the Watergate scandal, George H.W. Bush and other leading Republicans initially defended Nixon, too. They did not do so forever. They didn’t want their own legacies and careers to go down with his.

And here’s the thing: You have a very good alternative. I don’t personally share Mike Pence’s worldview, but you do. He is a deeply conservative, anti-regulation, anti-tax, evangelical Christian. As a bonus, he has never paid hush money to a porn star or made big campaign donations to New York Democrats. Oh, and Pence has a lower disapproval rating than Trump.

The notion that America is different — a “light unto the nations” and “the shining city upon a hill,” in Reagan’s words that you so often quote — happens to be true. Some liberals may not buy it. Trump certainly does not; he called our country “a hellhole.” But you are correct when you say that America stands for something. Now you can show the world that you mean it.

With this mind, I have a few specific questions to pose, respectfully, to several of you:

Senator Rubio, you’ve said, “When America fails to lead, global chaos inevitably follows.” You have criticized politicians who “appease our enemies,” “betray our allies” and are “passive in the face of” Russian aggression. You said all of these things before Trump took office. Which of them do not apply to him?

Senator Sasse, you have offered yourself as a voice of conservative conscience, imploring people to make hard, principled choices over convenient, self-serving ones. You have written a book arguing that today’s Americans need to grow up.

“Throughout our history, our wisest statesmen have warned that America’s greatest risk has never been attack from abroad but rot from within,” you wrote. “This exceptional nation cannot endure by mere inertia.” Senator Sasse, do you believe that defending Trump is the principled thing to do?

Senator Joni Ernst, as a student at Iowa State University in the late 1980s, you traveled to the Soviet Union — Ukraine, to be specific — on an agricultural exchange program. The suffering you saw there made you understand how much you loved the United States and inspired you to join the Army. How do you feel about a president who is willing to undermine Ukraine’s military, which is now fighting a proxy war against its old master, Russia, for purely selfish reasons?

Senator Josh Hawley, in your maiden Senate speech this year, you said: “I pledge to my fellow Missourians that I will work at this task with all the strength that God can give me. And I will serve without fear and without favor to any man.” Senator, do you fear the president?

Senator Susan Collins, you represent the state of Maine. All available evidence suggests that your constituents are disgusted by Trump’s pattern of behavior and want a president who is not manifestly unfit for office. Senator, do you serve the people of Maine? Or Donald Trump?

Senator Cory Gardner — and, I’m sorry, this is going to sound familiar — you represent the state of Colorado. All available evidence suggests that your constituents are disgusted by Trump’s pattern of behavior and want a president who is not manifestly unfit for office. Senator, do you serve the people of Colorado? Or Donald Trump?

Senator Lamar Alexander, your hero and mentor is the late Howard Baker, who held the same Tennessee seat that you now do. In the early stages of Watergate, Baker stood by Nixon and even privately promised to protect him. But Baker had his limits and ultimately stood up to the president when other Republicans were scared to do so. In your 2014 eulogy of Baker, you eloquently listed his strengths, including: “He demonstrated courage.”

Senator Alexander, you will be retiring soon, ending a distinguished career in which you have served as a governor, cabinet member and now senator. Will you honor your mentor by summoning the same courage that he did?

Senators, I know that many of you now feel helpless — repulsed by this president and yet afraid that any criticism of him will end your careers. But his support is shallower than it seems, and you have more power than you may realize. If even a handful of you began speaking out, you would instantly transform this situation and begin to end our long national nightmare.

America is better than this, isn’t it?

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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