Following the Trump mob assault on Congress last Wednesday, I have watched a lot of Republican officials suddenly decide it was time to distance themselves from Trump. One was former South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. From Politico:
Former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley sharply criticized President Donald Trump over the Capitol riot and his behavior since the election, telling Republican National Committee members in a closed-door speech Thursday evening that Trump’s actions “will be judged harshly by history.”
That makes my blood boil. Donald Trump's character was not suddenly revealed to Nikki Haley by what he did on Wednesday. Trump's character was well-known to many of us Republicans before he was ever nominated in 2016. Even if Haley was somehow in the dark about what type of person Trump was, she certainly knew what type of person he was by the time she ceased working for his administration in October 2018.
|Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley|
For four years, Trump has embraced conspiracy theories, encouraged violence, and cozied up to white nationalist organizations. For two months, he has been claiming, without any proof whatsoever, that the November election was "stolen" from him. He's developed a cult following over the years and his followers would do anything he told them to do. With the fuel already poured, Trump lit a match on Wednesday. Following his speech to supporters/seditionists, they walked to the Capitol building and stormed it in an attempt to stop the counting of the electoral votes. That is exactly what Trump wanted to happen.
Another Capitol Police officer died this morning, making six people who have died as a result of the insurrection instigated by Trump.
Haley is one of the few officials who managed to escape from the Trump administration with her reputation mostly intact. It was even suggested her resignation was perhaps a protest against the President she would occasionally criticize. But then she published a book, "With All Due Respect," in which she outed other administration officials who had worked behind the scenes to protect the country from Trump's excesses. With the book and subsequent attacks on "Never Trump" Republicans, Haley had made the calculation that her career would be best served by fully embracing Trumpism and kicking traditional conservativism to the curb. On Wednesday, she suddenly realized she had made a bad bet with her book. Haley's speech Thursday was an attempt to walk back her embrace of all things Donald Trump.
When I saw the news about the speech, I couldn't help but send her a tweet:
@NikkiHaley Oh, hell no Nikki Haley. Some of us Republicans risked our political futures to do the right thing to stand up to Trump and warn about him. What did you do? You enabled him and attacked us. We will NEVER forget.— Paul K. Ogden (@ogdenonpolitics) January 8, 2021
Last week, I've heard Trumpers who claim to be "conservative" argue that Congress should be able to override state elections, that the Vice President has absolute authority to disregard state electoral votes, and that government should tell private companies they have to publish objectionable material on their internet websites. Throughout the four years of Trump, I have watched these same people applaud Trump's attacking free trade, his running up huge budget deficits (during a time of economic prosperity), his playing footsies with America's enemies, dictators who suppress human rights, while undermining our allies at every opportunity. But it didn't stop there. These Trumper "conservatives", who claim to support the Constitution, had no problem with Trump's assault on free speech, his refusal to submit to congressional oversight mandated by the Constitution, his ignoring the emoluments clause which limits his ability to personally profit from his position, and his continued pursuit of autocratic powers.
No real conservative would support any of this nonsense. But you know who would? Someone who supports totalitarianism. Someone like a Communist. Or, apparently, a Trump supporter.
As I've said many times before. Trump is not the problem. The problem is the Trump enablers, the people who supported the President and refused to ever hold him accountable for anything he did, including undermining the conservative principles upon which the GOP is based. This includes people in Congress, people like Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Devin Nunes, Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert, and Mo Brooks. It also includes people in the conservative media types, people like Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh and Hugh Hewitt, who have enriched themselves by setting aside their conservative principles to slavishly appeal to the Trump cult.
The time is soon approaching for real conservatives to retake the GOP from the Trump cultists. When that happens, we can never forget those who betrayed us. The Trump enablers need to be held accountable.
OOP's short takes:
- There also needs to be action taken against those members of Congress who participated in the attempted coup by their ridiculous vote not to accept slates of electors already certified by the states. People like Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz knew Congress had no power to do that and they knew what they were doing was giving oxygen to the false "stolen election" narrative which led Trump supporters to storm the Capitol just hours earlier. Congress should consider censuring those members who pulled that stunt.
- Another option I saw proposed, which I like a great deal, is to build a monument reflecting the attempted insurrection and sedition which took place on January 6th. On the monument, you could list all the names of the insurrectionists/seditionists who attempted the coup so their names would be engraved in stone for prosperity. (Not only the rioters but also the members of the Sedition Caucus in Congress.) Nothing like shame to deter one from ever pulling this stunt again. The Sedition Monument wouldn't even have to be on government property. It could be on private property in the D.C. area. You could even have a museum associated with it and show videos of what happened that day. We should never forget what certain traitors tried to do to our country that day.