Apparently, it takes an insurrection to finally raise a counter force.
The fact is, too few Republican elected officials spoke out against the daily outrages of President Trump before Wednesday’s Trump-encouraged violent mob besieged the US Capitol
. The violent insurrection left five people dead, sent members of Congress ducking for cover and left offices and corridors vandalized.
“We’re going to walk down to the Capitol. And we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women. And we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength and you have to be strong,” Trump told the crowd
before they stormed the Capitol.
Now, as Trump’s presidency comes crashing to an end, is the rush of resignations from staffers and cabinet officials
seeking safety outside of Trump’s unsavory orbit surprising to anyone? It took a presidentially incited mob bent on destruction to make some of these people head for the exits two weeks before Trump’s term ends. “Profiles in Courage”
is a thin book for a reason.
No, I’m not impressed by these eleventh-hour conversions. The resignations
of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Thursday conveniently help them sidestep any uncomfortable 25th Amendment
conversations, a constitutional recourse that allows the Vice President and the Cabinet to remove the President from office.
Chao said in a statement
that she was “deeply troubled” by the “entirely avoidable” events at the Capitol building. As for DeVos, she described the events in an open letter
to Trump as “unconscionable for our country” and found the President’s rhetoric on the situation as “the inflection point” for her. Surely these and many other administration officials understood the President’s glaring unfitness long before Wednesday’s violent, frontal assault on the constitutional order and peaceful transfer of power.
Just days earlier, in fact, Trump was caught on tape pressuring Georgia GOP state election officials
to overturn a fair and honest election — and there was nary a peep of protest from the usual Washington enablers. Trying to steal an election in plain sight was not a bridge too far for some of these folks.
Nor was a horribly implemented travel ban
, separating families
and placing kids in cages, placating despots and enemies
like Russian President Vladimir Putin and accommodating tyrants, and Trump’s equivocating reaction to White supremacists rallying in Charlottesville
. None of these events pushed administration officials to step down.
No doubt we will hear the refrain that they all stayed to protect us from much worse things that would have happened but for their heroic hanging in. They were the adults running the adult day care at the White House, were they? Forgive me for vomiting as I hear such claptrap.
If any of these folks harbored deep misgivings about the President’s misconduct in office, they would have said so at the time of these and other outrages, and walked. But they didn’t. So many wanted power or to be close to power. With 11 days left in the administration, relinquishing power as the hourglass runs empty is hardly a sacrifice or statement of conscience. Rather, it’s an acknowledgement that they bear some responsibility for the misconduct of a grossly unfit and dangerous president, whom they served so faithfully.
The GOP reckoning has arrived. Those who enabled or turned a blind eye to the offenses of President Trump over these past four years should not be conducting the impending GOP autopsy. Instead, they should sit silently — as they beg us all for forgiveness.