GOP senators vs. demagogues

Adapted from Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary'' column in GoLocal

Perhaps it will be a Republican senator who helps bring down the crook who is our president. One honorable and brave young Republican senator who can be expected to keep pushing back against this thug: Sen. Ben Sasse, of Nebraska. Better known GOP Trump skeptics (if that’s the word) include Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham.

Back in 1954, Sen. Ralph Flanders {R.-Vt.) introduced a successful motion to censure fellow Republican Sen. Joseph McCarthy for his outrageous and lie-laden  attacks on individuals that came to be known as “McCarthyism’’. Mr. Flanders felt that McCarthy was distracting America from addressing real and serious threats and were creating division and confusion in the United States to the comfort of our enemies abroad. (Sound familiar?)

Senator Flanders pointed to McCarthy’s "misdirection of our efforts at fighting communism” and his role in “the loss of respect for us in the world at large.’’  Other Republican senators who fought McCarthy included, most notably, Vermont Sen. George Aiken and Maine Sen. Margaret Chase Smith.

William Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard,   recently wrote:

“And then 36 hours later, Saturday morning {on March 4}, we had Donald Trump's latest tweetstorm {alleging that then-President Obama had ordered wiretapping at Trump Tower}. Previous ones had been distasteful and vulgar and unseemly. But this one was different in the depth of its recklessness and irresponsibility. It threatens to unleash real damage on our institutional and constitutional order. Trump's accusing his predecessor of illegally wiretapping him, without presenting any evidence, will make partisan bitterness even more acrid, inflame relations between key institutions of the government, and generally threatens to undermine basic confidence in the rule of law. If Trump's suspicions are true, there are proper ways for him to see to it that they are thoroughly investigated. If the allegations are false, he shouldn't make them. But the whole issue of the Trump campaign, Russia, and the Obama administration now threatens our basic political health in a way we've rarely seen.’’

(Given Donald Trump’s close links with the Putin regime, I wouldn’t be surprised if the FBI (not President Obama) got a judge to authorize spying on Russia-related activities at Trump Tower.)