Bankrupt Republican Party: Intellectually Bankrupt, Morally Bankrupt, and Running Scared

In the Senate vote on Impeachment jurisdiction on February 9, just six Republicans cleared the lowest and easiest hurdle to clear of intellectual honesty; the Party has sunk irredeemably low.

Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash

That one incidental vote in the whole Impeachment proceeding, where 44 Senators put on record either their intellectual bankruptcy, or moral bankruptcy, or both, is to me the proverbial straw breaking the camel’s back. In a previous Medium blog

I had tried to maintain that the Republican Party is still redeemable, had tried to maintain that it could perhaps rehabilitate itself and get back to being a functional political party again, had tried to maintain that it is worthwhile in the admittedly messy world of politics to negotiate and make deals with reasonable people within the Republican Party. But then came this vote on February 9, a determination to be based upon nothing other than intellectual analysis of constitutional law, analysis of precedent, and analysis of the Framer’s intent, in order to judge whether the Constitution allows for the impeachment of an official not presently holding office. The answer is an unequivocal yes, by law, by history, by Founder’s intent, and by any other measure you wish to apply. Yet 44 Republicans voted no. That vote was not based on any substantive argument, as no credible substantive legal counter argument was put forward.

Just 6 out of 50 Republican Senators demonstrated intellectual honesty. There were the usual and unsurprising ones: Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine. There was the born-again-intellectual (and wish he had been a little more outspoken over the past 4 years, but better late than never) Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and there was Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, who declared the reason he voted as he did was that he listened to the arguments presented by both sides and voted based on who made the more compelling case, or in other words, he acted like a responsible juror in a trial. Applause to all of them for demonstrating intellectual capability and moral responsibility. But that is still just 6. Just 6.

The Republican Party as a sane democratic organization is dead. It was a prolonged hospital stay of over 4 years, but it is officially dead. Not just because of this one vote, of course.

It went into the ICU on January 6, when after the insurrection, after the death, violence, beating of police officers and vandalism, 147 Republicans still voted in favor of an authoritarian coup touting itself as “true” democracy by voting to throw out the election votes that were not acceptable to Dear Leader.

The Republican party took its first dying gasp and was intubated when in the House Impeachment vote just 10 out of 211 Republicans demonstrated an understanding of the rule of law and that they had a moral compass.

A still more ominous dying gasp from the Republican Party, came with the House vote — what should have been the easiest and least controversial slam-dunk vote of a politician’s entire career — to remove Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments. Only 11 Republicans voted to remove her. Or to put it another way, 202 Republicans were okay with an unstable, conspiracy-theory-liking, nut case being on the Education Committee, apparently because she is friendly with Dear Leader.

It is not just Republicans in Washington DC. It is the Republican Party apparatus in many places across the country. There are Republicans being censured, or under threat of being censured, across this country, all because they do not demonstrate sufficient admiration, loyalty and worship of Dear Leader. Senator Sasse of Nebraska is under threat of censure. Representative Cheney of Wyoming has been censured. Arizona’s Republican establishment has censured, in a largely symbolic gesture, Gov. Ducey, former Sen. Flake, and Cindy McCain, widow of the late Sen. McCain.

The crime that the Republican Party establishment is complaining about? Insufficient fealty to Dear Leader. That is not a political party. That is an authoritarian cult. It has no place at the table of a democracy. There is no room for an Authoritarian Party in America, yet the Republican Party is now the Authoritarian Party.

It goes without saying that in the Senate Impeachment trial, regardless of any evidence presented, the Authoritarian Party will not vote to convict Dear Leader. How could it?

It is important to note though that while I have called some Republicans intellectually bankrupt and/or morally bankrupt, there is a third category: There are Republicans who are running scared. They are voting the way they are voting not because they are “true believers” in Dear Leader. They are voting the way they are voting because, well, imagine you were the victim of a violent crime, and then you were tasked to be the judge and jury against the criminal who assaulted you? And the criminal who assaulted you, upon conviction, will not be going to jail but will still be roaming free. It is a big ask, isn’t it, to vote to convict? To vote to convict when you fear the death threats from the followers of Dear Leader that will inevitably come? When you fear the insurrectionists who are still roaming free, still not jailed for what they did on January 6, and whom you know, if you vote to convict Dear Leader in this Impeachment trial, are going to not only threaten you, but threaten your family and your loved ones? Would you have the courage to vote to convict?

Republicans of good conscience, it is time to establish another party. May I suggest calling it the Lincoln Party? There is already the Lincoln Project, which you could tap into for assistance in getting the ball rolling as far as organization, fund raising, etc., for a new political party. It is doable. Make it a party grounded on issues and concerns and philosophy, not worship of a Dear Leader. Make it what conservatism used to be, before people peeled off to be Libertarians or Independents. I think you would be surprised by how much support you would get in elections, how many people would vote for a Lincoln Party candidate. Give conservatives who are anti-racists a home. Give Libertarians who don’t want government abridging individual liberty a home. Give independents who have legitimate concerns against government ineptitude and wasteful spending a home. Give intellectually consistent conservatives, who recognize the need to raise taxes to balance a budget, a home. Make a Lincoln Party a home for intellectuals with a moral compass. Create a party which Democrats can argue with and debate with, occasionally fight against and occasionally find common ground with.

A two-party democracy comprised of a Political Party on one side and an Authoritarian Dear Leader Party on the other cannot stand, cannot survive, will ultimately collapse into the chaos of January 6 running rampant all across the country in the years to come. Remember that the Dear Leader party says voting is a fraud and news is fake, so how can it participate in a democracy? It can’t; it’s mission can only be the subversion and destruction of democracy.

Trump is not going away. Hopefully, he will one day be going to jail for crimes committed. But even in jail, he will still be Dear Leader to masses of blindly loyal people. Please, Republicans of conscience and integrity, and I know some of you still exist because we have seen you vote accordingly, please relegate the Dear Leader Party to the role of a pathetic ineffectual third party sitting on the sidelines screaming invectives but never grasping actual power again. Please. The Dear Leader Party is abandoning and censuring you, so why stay with it? Leave and create a proper political party that will not censure you but instead support you whenever you vote according to your conscience and according to your intellect.

A private person, now living mostly “off the grid.” I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science (and photo is from the 80s, I’m hopelessly nostalgic)

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