A note to Mitch and Paul

Published 1:43 pm Friday, July 28, 2017

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, just a note to remind you of some basics you seem to have left behind in the Trump era.

First, while Congress has been ceding authority to the office of the president for more than a decade, Senator John McCain recently reminded you that Congress is a co-equal branch of government, not a subordinate to a president who governs by his favorite TV pundits, alt-right websites, and tweets. McCain’s point goes to the heart of your problems…spending endless time defending the absolutely indefensible rants of a president who understands Congress as well as he grasps climate science, which is to say “not at all.”

For example, Speaker Ryan, when the president diminishes the office of the attorney general and the office of the president by his bullying efforts to humiliate Attorney General Jeff Sessions in public, it is not adequate to say the president hires and fires whoever he wants. The honest response is that the president is attempting to force out Sessions, perhaps his most loyal supporter, to stop the investigation into his Russian connections. This is both an offense to the separation of politics and justice, and is an obvious attempt to obstruct justice. Kindly, for the protection of our system of government, call the issue for what it is and stop defending the absurdity of Trump’s open interference.

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Likewise, Majority Leader McConnell, you know far better than to attempt to re-write a sixth of our economy, healthcare, in a backroom and then present it as a “must sign” blind bill to the Senate. Yet you did this at the request of the guy in the White House, who you know could not care less about the content of the bill.

Now Majority Leader, we tolerated your abuse of the constitution in denying Merrick Garland hearings for the Supreme Court. We tolerated your abuse of Senate practices reducing confirmation of Neal Gorsuch to a simple majority, though the long term effects of that decision will haunt the Senate for generations. But, before you undermine the entire history of the Senate, please listen to Senator McCain and restore normal order.

This means, if you are serious about healthcare for Americans, and that means all Americans, set up committee meetings, hearings, and budget policies to fund what most Americans now see not as a privilege but as a right, healthcare for all. This may mean a year, or two years, to reach the conclusions and means by which to help, not harm, millions and millions of your fellow citizens. Is that too much to ask?

Most importantly, Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McConnell, stop ignoring the egregious actions of a president unfit to serve. This president will, if ignored, undermine the freedom of the press, prosecute his political enemies, obstruct justice to hide whatever he so greatly fears in the Russian collusion investigations, and lead the Republican Party into the wilderness for decades.

By ignoring Trump’s obvious distaste for truth, facts, ethics and morality, you place yourselves standing beside a president who only destroys and never creates. The Bully in the White House does not represent what is best about this great nation, rather he diminishes all that he touches.

Have you not noticed the distance from our best allies Trump has created, while he has embraced the strongest dictators on the planet?

Have you missed that he makes no effort to lend support to your own work in passing bills into law?

You have the responsibility to represent the American people and to advance and protect our laws and constitution. We ask you to take this obligation more seriously and govern with honesty and honor.


Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.