GOP Leaders: The Constitution Is Now Optional

With a year left in his second term, Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Garland is well-respected by both the Left and the Right. His qualifications are clear. And his record is spotless. His nomination should have breezed through the Senate. Instead, it never came up for a vote.

Instead, the Senate majority leader – Mitch McConnell – refused to allow Garland even an interview. Let alone a vote. Although the next election was a year away, McConnell insisted voters should have a voice in the decision.

Of course, McConnell quickly cited the Constitution’s “voters’ voice” rule in Article… Um. No. Hold on a minute. There is no “voters’ voice” reference regarding the confirmation of judges. The concept is just something McConnell invented to prevent President Obama from naming a Supreme Court justice.

Welcome to the Republicans’ world… where following the Constitution is strictly optional.

Beware the Phony Emoluments Clause

For more than 200 years, politicians on both sides of the aisle took the Constitution to be the law of the land. Apparently, they were mistaken.

Donald Trump has declared the Emoluments Clause “phony” and impeachment “a hoax” and a “witch hunt.”

His press Secretary, Stephanie Grisham – along with other Republicans – have termed the inquiry a “kangaroo court.” As has Trump.

Never mind the process is enshrined in the Constitution. And the GOP used it with glee to attack Bill Clinton. Suddenly, aspects of the Constitution have become “phony.”

Meanwhile, the Trump Administration – with the explicit support of its Congressional allies – has sought to hinder or delegitimize every aspect of the inquiry.

Claiming non-existent powers to prevent Congressional testimony. Pointing to positive economic numbers to “prove” the inquiry is a sham. Even attacking a decorated military officer – and Trump aide – when his honest testimony wasn’t favorable to Trump.

All while trying to gloss over…

  • How Trump’s businesses have raked in millions from foreign governments. Such as a lobbyist for Saudi interests rented hundreds of nights in Trump’s Washington hotel.
  • Trump sticking taxpayers with over $100 million in bills for stays at his own properties.
  • Trump trying to schedule next year’s G7 summit at one of his own golf properties.

All of which Trump’s Congressional defenders appear more than willing to forgive. Especially since Trump is luring Senatorial support with cash.

Cash “Trumps” the Constitution

Donald Trump speaks one language… and one language only. Cash.

Wealth is Trump’s one measure of worth. And spreading it to gain influence his one measure of power.

Which helps explain why Trump is flexing his fundraising muscles to help vulnerable Republican senators. As long as they stand behind him.

If the House votes to impeach, the trial will be held in the Senate. And Trump desperately wants a favorable majority in the Senate.

One way to ensure that is to keep his supporters in office. So, Trump has been “co-fundraising” with GOP Senators whose seats are in peril. At least, those who are reliably in his corner.

Sometime critics – like Maine’s Susan Collins – have been frozen out.

Stand behind Trump, and his influence with mega-donors is yours to exploit. Cross him, and you have to rely on actual voter support to retain your seat.

Politico points out how backing Trump has helped some of the GOP’s most vulnerable senators. “The donors listen to the president,” former George W. Bush aide Scott Jennings, “and he has the most capacity to energize small-dollar contributions by making the case that he needs a Senate majority to be successful.”

In other words, Trump is buying support in the Senate. If he can ensure a senatorial majority in 2020… any impeachment trial could be doomed to failure. Not based on facts, but on cronyism.

For all practical intents and purposes, Trump is attempting to buy support in the Senate.

Call me crazy – and I’m sure the GOP will – but I’m pretty sure that’s not in the Constitution.


Easley, J., “Trump Calls The Constitution Phony While Comparing Himself To George Washington,” Oct 21, 2019.

Wagner, J. “Live updates: White House expects impeachment, press secretary says; Trump calls Pelosi and Schiff ‘corrupt politicians’,” Washington Post. Nov 1, 2019.

Isenstadt, A., “Trump lures GOP senators on impeachment with cold cash,” Oct 31, 2019.

Dems: Keep Your Hands Off That Self-Destruct Button

Dear Democratic Presidential Hopefuls,

Thank you for your interest in representing your party in the 2020 election. It’s a long haul to the nomination, and a lot can go right – or wrong – in that time. So here are three thoughts to get you through to the nominating convention…

First and foremost, know your enemy.

Quick quiz. Fill in the blank: My party should nominate me because ________.

Did you answer “Because Bernie’s too old”… “Because Joe always has his foot in his mouth”… “Because a gay man is unelectable”… “Because Elizabeth is too much of a wonk”… or with a comment about any other contender(s)?

If so, you should not be the party’s nominee. In fact, you should leave the race now.

Why? Because your opponents for the nomination are notthe enemy. But every time you run one of your fellow Democrats down, you’re just making the GOP’s job easier. You don’t think the DNC’s favoring Hillary last time around didn’t hurt? If so, that’s another reason you shouldn’t be running.

Stop telling us what’s wrong with your fellow Democrats… and tell the voters what’s rightwith you. In relation to Trump.

Would you be a better president than Donald Trump? Absolutely! But you won’t beat him by cutting fellow Democrats to pieces before we even get to the convention.

Second, your ego does not count.

Nobody wants a mass of Democrats vying for the nomination more than the GOP. Why? Because you’ll tap out your financial support that much sooner. Nothing looks better to a well-funded GOP than an opposition party with a begging cup in its hand.

So, as hard as it may be, it’s time to put your ego aside. If you’re polling in the single digits now, you have no chance of beating Trump. So why waste the time and money?

Sure, you know you’d make a great president. But most Democrats don’t think so. And they’re the ones who’ll make the nominating decision. Don’t suck resources the party will desperately need come next year on a vanity project.

Here’s an idea: Pick a House or Senate race in your state currently held by a Republican. Or even a statewide job, like governor, attorney general or secretary of state. Run for that office. We need qualified Dems to run in those races, too.

And your chances of winning in those races are a whole lot better.

So, put your ego aside. Leave this race to the contenders with a chance of actually winning.

Third, Don’t Forget the Team.

Trump’s team, I mean. Yes, you should call out Trump when he makes inflammatory and racist remarks. You should contest his many lies. But you should also focus on what Trump’s party is doing while we’re pre-occupied with his slash-and-burn rhetoric.

Mitch McConnell has blocked virtually all meaningful legislation put forth by the Dems since the mid-terms. Including multiple bills meant to protect our election process. It’s almost as if he’s fighting with Trump to earn Putin’s favor.

Trump’s cabinet secretaries – and acting secretaries – are dismantling key protections piece by piece. Our education system, our environment, and our social safety net are all under attack. And Trump’s attorney general has abandoned all pretense of defending the Constitution.

Name names. State facts. And make noise. Our Democracy has never been on such thin ice. At least tryto act like that’s more important than your presidential run.

Finally, Prepare Yourself to Support the Eventual Nominee.

Look… Only one of you will win the party’s nomination. If you’ve run down the competition for months leading up to the nomination, who’s going to believe you when you throw your “support” behind them?

Look at Lindsey Graham. In 2016, he said Trump would make “a terrible commander-in-chief.” He boycotted the GOP convention. And announced he would not vote for Trump.

For his part, Trump called Graham “…an embarrassment to the great people of South Carolina,” and “…one of the worst representatives of any representative in the United States…”

Now, Graham defends Trump like a life-long friend, golfs with him, and supports virtually every hare-brained scheme Trump proposes.

Lindsey Graham has become a national joke.

Are you prepared to be the next Lindsey Graham? To be the poster boy (or girl) for trading integrity for political capital? To become a laughingstock?

Graham, Rubio, Cruz… Almost all of Trump’s mud-slinging opponents are now sycophants. Toadies who kowtow to Trump’s every whim… and defend his every racist rant.

Don’t let your party sink that low. If you don’t have a snowball’s chance in H*ll, got out of the race now. And prepare to support your party’s candidate whole-heartedly.

Because, if you don’t, we can expect four more years of Trumpian disaster. And our democracy may not survive thatassault intact.

If They Don’t Like It Here…

We all heard Donald Trump’s latest (as I write this, anyway) racist dog whistle. “Why don’t they go back,” he tweeted about four members of Congress, “and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

Generations of racists have shouted pretty much the same thing to anyone in the U.S. that didn’t look like them. Or speak their language. Or go to their church. Etc.

Now that his base has gotten the message, Trump has been backing off just a bit on the language. Now he’s not saying, “Go back where you came from!” Instead, he’s tempered his message to “If you don’t like it here, leave.”

There are two reasons this message may be even more dangerous than the openly racist “Go back where you came from.” Here’s why…

Nobody Said They Didn’t Like It Here

Trump’s “tempered” message starts with a boatload of lies. Members of The Squad – as they’re now known – hate America. They’re anti-Semitic. They’ve called Americans “garbage” and praised al-Qaida.

Of course, none of these claims are true. Trump is making it all up. Just as he made up the claim that he tried to stop attendees at his rally from chanting, “Send her back!” He basked in the chant till it stopped on its own – a full 13 seconds. Then he said nothing to discourage the audience.

Congresswomen Pressley, Omar, Tlaib, and Ocasio-Cortez have shown they love our country. Their policy stands favor the majority of Americans over the handful of wealthy masters Trump serves. They press for a living wage… universal healthcare… a clean environment… women’s equality… LGBTQ rights… and affordable college. (To name a few.)

All these issues put them at odds with the Trump Administration. And they’re not shy about calling Trump and his cronies out.

Those disagreements are why Trump says they hate America. And he’s willing to fabricate all sorts of horror stories to “prove” it.

Open racism is indefensible. Criticizing those who hate America isn’t. So, Trump has moved on to safer ground. As he so often does.

Give the base a solid shout-out… then back off a bit to a safer path. A path that’s usually paved with lies.

The Master of Hypocrisy

Let’s take Trump at his word for a moment. What he really meant, he tells us, was they can leave if they don’t like it here. And they must not like it, because they’re always complaining.

Okay, fair enough. Let’s look at someone else complaining…

If there’s one thing Donald Trump knows how to do it’s complain. Followed closely by finding fault. So you’d think he’d leave any country or organization he didn’t like, right?

Let’s see how Trump has tweeted about his own political party over the years. Here’s a sampling…

  • Jul 2011 – “The GOP doesn’t waste an opportunity to waste an opportunity.”
  • Oct 2011 – “The GOP primary schedule is a disaster.”
  • Jan 2012 – “The GOP primary is getting very nasty. The candidates need to remember that @BarackObama is the main target.”
  • Jan 2013 – “The worst negotiators in history (otherwise known as Republicans) have just offered to suspend debt ceiling for four months. Pathetic!”
  • Jan 2013 – “@GOP is burying itself. 63% of Republican voters think @GOP Congress is ‘out of touch.’”
  • Feb 2013 – “The ruling @GOP consultant class of losers like @KarlRove have no respect for the Tea Party. They do this at their own peril!”
  • Feb 2013 – “What is wrong with the @GOP? Now they want to give all authority on the sequester cuts to Obama… Pathetic.”
  • Jul 2013 – “Why is the @GOP congress focusing on amnesty when so many Americans are unemployed?”
  • Apr 2015 – “Why are the Republicans giving Obama fast track authority for TPP and the Iran agreement?! Obama gets more from the GOP than his own party.”

And then Trump entered the 2016 race…

  • Jul 2015 – “@GovernorPerry failed on the border. He should be forced to take an IQ test before being allowed to enter the GOP debate.”
  • Nov 2015 – “Going to Ohio, home of one of the worst presidential candidates in history–Kasich.”
  • Nov 2015 – “With Ben Carson wanting to hit his mother on head with a hammer, stab a friend and Pyramids built for grain storage – don’t people get it?”
  • Dec 2015 – “A new poll indicates that 68% of my supporters would vote for me if I departed the GOP & ran as an independent.”
  • Feb 2016 – “Cruz is the worst liar, crazy or very dishonest. Perhaps all 3?”
  • Mar 2016 – Rubio is weak on illegal immigration, with the worst voting record in the U.S. Senate in many years.”
  • Feb 2016 – “Lightweight @JebBush said tonight he didn’t know his family used private eminent domain in Texas- Lie!”
  • Feb 2016 – “Mitt Romney, who was one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics…”
  • Feb 2016 – “Wow, Jeb Bush, whose campaign is a total disaster, had to bring in mommy to take a slap at me.”
  • Aug 2017 – “Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn’t get it done.”

And this is just a sampling from Trump’s tweets. No speeches, interviews, or other sources. Just. His. Tweets. And look how he apparently despises the GOP.

Yet he ran as a Republican. Hired the people he trashed during the primaries. And praised others he had so recently run down. What happened to “love it or leave it?” What’s the difference?

The difference is clear. The members of Congress he attacked are women of color. Trump’s message couldn’t be clearer: America is for whites. All others can take the crumbs they’re tossed… or they’re welcome to leave.

And it just doesn’t get any more racist – or anti-American – than that.


Tweets sourced from