The McConnell Declaration

Alan Zendell, February 9, 2022

Declarations of war are generally issued well after conflict has begun. That’s despite the constitution’s requirement that only Congress can declare war. It wasn’t FDR’s classic Day of Infamy speech declaring war on the Axis powers that began our entry into World War 2, it was the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Or if you look further back, you can argue that we actually entered the war with the Lend Lease Agreement and the release of the Atlantic Charter.

Similarly, the civil war in the Republican Party has been brewing since Donald Trump declared his candidacy for president in 2015. His opening salvos made it clear that he wouldn’t tolerate any disloyalty, and he defined any Republican who disagreed with him as disloyal. He savaged each of the other Republican Candidates who were running in 2016, insulting people and inventing crude, vulgar nicknames for them. His conduct was so out of bounds, his opponents had no idea how to respond, and once they realized the true nature of the monster they had enabled, it was too late.

Observing how each of them reacted should have taught us a valuable lesson. The entire Bush clan slinked away with their tails between their legs, forever truncating their influence in the Republican Party. Would Representative Liz Cheney have been subjected to constant attacks from within her own party if brothers George and Jeb remained engaged? Chris Christie started out criticizing Trump, was viciously attacked because of Jared Kushner’s personal grudge against him, then became Trump’s lapdog, and finally, now that Trump’s star may be fading, has found the courage to tell the truth about him. Trump ridiculed renowned African-American neurosurgeon and committed Christian Ben Carson shamefully, yet, despite Trump’s pandering to every racist group in the country and lack of moral character, Dr. Carson inexplicably joined his administration and never spoke out publicly again.

Perhaps the most aggegious examples were Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham. reported that Trump and Cruz exchanged serious public insults fourteen times during the 2016 primary campaign. Trump attacked Cruz’s wife and implied that Cruz’s father had been involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, while Cruz called Trump a sniveling coward, a liar, and consistently disgraceful – before Cruz endorsed Trump and became one of his most ardent defenders.

Trump’s attacks on Graham were equally disgraceful, calling him a nut job and suggesting that Graham didn’t have what it took to stand up to him. Yet Graham ultimately supported Trump and became one of his most enabling sycophants, remaining silent when Trump repeatedly trashed his “best friend” John McCain. Then, he got caught in the crossfire of the burgeoning Republican civil war between Trump, Mitch McConnell and the Republican National Committee. Is that a shred of integrity I hear when Graham speaks out against the insurrection and in favor of the Constitution?

It didn’t take Republican politicians and office holders long to recognize what Donald Trump was, but by then, their fear of his hold on his ignorant, racist base was so great, they were individually afraid to criticize the former president and seemingly unable to unite to restrain him. But despite their relative silence, the Republican Civil War simmered, and revelations coming from the January 6th Committee have raised the temperature to a boil. With the midterm elections looming and the Supreme Court appearing ready to permit states to gerrymander any semblance of election fairness out of existence, it was now or never.

Some Republicans joined the party out of principle and still believe it is their sacred duty is to uphold and defend our Constitution. We’re approaching crunch time if they’re going to act against the Trump faction of their party in time to save our democracy. Like most politicians, they need a truly horrendous action by the other side to give them the fortitude to speak out; fortunately for the rest of us, the RNC delivered that to them on a silver platter when it released a statement censuring Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kissinger for participating in the investigation of the Trump-inspired insurrection, which it characterized as “legitimate political discourse.”

The RNC action was so outrageous it catalyzed Former Vice President Mike Pence to speak against his former boss for the first time, reacting to all the slurs and threats around his refusal to unlawfully attempt to overturn the election of Joe Biden. Maybe Pence was the tipping point. If the RNC was the Confedracy firing on Fort Sumter, Pence and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accusing Trump of violating his oath of office was Lincoln calling out 75,000 troops to quell the rebellion.

Now we have an acknowledgement, a declaration of civil war by McConnell. About the RNC’s statement he said, “The issue is whether or not the RNC should be sort of singling out members of our party who may have different views from the majority. That’s not the job of the RNC.” And about the RNC’s stance on the insurrection, he said: “We all were here; we saw what happened. It was a violent insurrection for the purpose of trying to prevent the peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election from one administration to the next. That’s what it was.”

That sounds pretty clear to me. It says the gloves are off and the so-called RINOs, the real Republicans, are ready to fight for their party. We can only hope Senator McConnell, one of the most ruthlessly partisan politicians in the country, is equally ruthless in defending democracy.

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2 Responses to The McConnell Declaration

  1. A. L. Kaplan says:

    Reblogged this on alkaplan and commented:
    We’ll see. He back-peddled before.

  2. A. L. Kaplan says:

    We’ll see. He back-peddled before.

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