Over the past four-plus years, we’ve watched, over and over, as Republican office holders have sold whatever souls they have to the devil that Donald Trump embodies. They did it because of political ambition. They did it because they didn’t want to be voted out. They did it because they felt that the appointment of conservative judges was worth turning their backs on immoral conduct. But their motivation is even closer to home now.
Ruled by fear
by Ruth Neuwald Falcon, Seattle, Washington
I woke up this morning thinking about Republican senators. And fear.
I thought about what happened to Lindsay Graham on his way home from D.C. after voting to certify the election results. The footage of him walking through the airport surrounded by guards and being harassed by angry Trumpers because he had, finally, said he’d had enough and refused to stand with The Big Lie. I actually felt bad for him. That didn’t last long.
Today, Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala) stood by his account of his phone conversation with Trump on January 6 about the danger Mike Pence was in. Mike Pence, loyal as a dog to a man who did nothing to save him from a mob chanting, “Hang Mike Pence.”
I thought about the stories I’ve read about the threats received by the ten House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, the fear they are living with. “Many of us are altering our routines, working to get body armor, which is a reimbursable purchase that we can make,” Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI) said. “It’s sad we have to get to that point. But our expectation is that someone may try to kill us.”
Last night, Rachel Maddow said, “The former president knows he has a mob at his fingertips. And even all the Republican senators in that room know that Trump would happily direct such a mob against them if it served his purposes. And he’d do it at the drop of a hat.”
I’m not saying this to let them off the hook. I’m saying it because that is where we have arrived in this country. What do we think would happen if the impeachment vote were secret? I’ve not heard anyone say anything other than that the majority would vote to convict in those circumstances.
Half the Congress is being ruled by fear and that puts us all in danger.