What Fresh Hell Is This?

December 6, 2016

Two Republicans Who Get It And A Congressfull Who Don't

I am not sure if you read about this but there's a REPUBLICAN ELECTOR in the electoral college who's refusing to vote for Donald J. Trump.

His name is Christopher Suprun.  And lest you think he's a RINO, he's actually a yuge fan of Ronald Reagan (read the editorial and you'll see).

He's also a fan of the Constitution.  And here, now, that's what's important.  Good for him.

He gives his reasons for not voting for Trump in this editorial in the NYTimes:
The United States was set up as a republic. Alexander Hamilton provided a blueprint for states’ votes. Federalist 68 argued that an Electoral College should determine if candidates are qualified, not engaged in demagogy, and independent from foreign influence. Mr. Trump shows us again and again that he does not meet these standards. Given his own public statements, it isn’t clear how the Electoral College can ignore these issues, and so it should reject him.
Here is Federalist 68 if you want to check Suprun's work.  Hamilton's always a good read.

He also says:
Mr. Trump does not understand that the Constitution expressly forbids a president to receive payments or gifts from foreign governments. We have reports that Mr. Trump’s organization has business dealings in Argentina, Bahrain, Taiwan and elsewhere. Mr. Trump could be impeached in his first year given his dismissive responses to financial conflicts of interest. He has played fast and loose with the law for years. He may have violated the Cuban embargo, and there are reports of improprieties involving his foundation and actions he took against minority tenants in New York. Mr. Trump still seems to think that pattern of behavior can continue.
We cannot normalize Trump's behavior.  This is not normal.  He is not a normal president-elect.

Then there's Evan McMullin.  A Republican, he ran against Trump in Utah.  In his Times editorial, he outright says calls Trump an authoritarian.  He begins by telling a story from when Trump met with some congressional republicans this summer.  A member of Congress asked him about his commitment to Article I.  McMullin writes:
Mr. Trump interrupted her to declare his commitment to the Constitution — even to parts of it that do not exist, such as “Article XII.” Shock swept through the room as Mr. Trump confirmed one of our chief concerns about him: He lacked a basic knowledge of the Constitution.

There is still deeper cause for concern. Mr. Trump’s erroneous proclamation also suggested that he lacked even an interest in the Constitution. Worse, his campaign rhetoric had demonstrated authoritarian tendencies.

He had questioned judicial independence, threatened the freedom of the press, called for violating Muslims’ equal protection under the law, promised the use of torture and attacked Americans based on their gender, race and religion. He had also undermined critical democratic norms including peaceful debate and transitions of power, commitment to truth, freedom from foreign interference and abstention from the use of executive power for political retribution.
Two faithful GOP members who get it.

Unfortunately there are those establishment Republicans who don't.  From Jamelle Bouie at Slate:
Why doesn't Paul Ryan or Reince Priebus care about Trump's conspiracy theorizing? Because there's no partisan incentive to do so. Indeed, there's an even stronger incentive to ignore what the president-elect says. As speaker of the House, Paul Ryan will have huge influence on the scope and direction of domestic policy. He will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to scale back the welfare state, bringing his libertarian ideology to bear on programs like Medicare and Social Security. With his dream so close at hand, why would Ryan risk his relationship with Trump by challenging his rhetoric? Why would he jeopardize his program?

If it wasn't clear during the election, it is now: Republican leaders will excuse Trump's worst behavior as long as he signs their legislation. Which is to say that Paul Ryan and his colleagues will tolerate Trump's attack on American elections and American democracy, so long as it doesn’t interfere with their program of cutting taxes and slashing the safety net.
The new normal. I will resist the new normal.