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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#14041 User is offline   andrei 

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Posted 2019-October-17, 08:45

View Posthrothgar, on 2019-October-17, 08:10, said:

If any of these accusations have merit, then the governments of Canada and Israel are more than welcome to raise this as an issue...

None of which has any bearing on the issue at hand.
That being actions taken by Trump, Giuliani, and the like to swing domestic US elections.


It is an issue when it is done against dems.
There is no issue when dems are doing it (I haven't seen you being outraged by it).

Isn't this the definition of hypocrisy (which you are accusing others of being)?
Don't argue with a fool. He has a rested brain
Before internet age you had a suspicion there are lots of "not-so-smart" people on the planet. Now you even know their names.
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#14042 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2019-October-17, 09:12

View Postandrei, on 2019-October-17, 08:45, said:

It is an issue when it is done against dems.
There is no issue when dems are doing it (I haven't seen you being outraged by it).

Isn't this the definition of hypocrisy (which you are accusing others of being)?


No. It is another example of an idiot Russian playing what-about-ism games...

1. I am not aware of any US laws that ban American citizens from interfering in foreign elections. So, even if this were tre, this wouldn't be an issue under American law
2. These types of actions may very well be an issue under Canadian / Israeli / Russian law. I agreed that said governments should feel free to investigate any such claims
3. I have not seen any such charges made by any of these governments.
4. What I do see if you dragging up random claims from the fever swamp in transparent attempt to distract from the topic being discussed

Trump and Giuliani are breaking US law.
Three of Giuliani's partners have already been indicted
Giuliani will probably be indicted as well

We're seeing a steady stream of folks testifying that Trump broke domestic regulations and laws.
These include both civil and foreign service career professionals as well as political appointees.

Polls are now showing that a majority of Americans favor impeachment (not an impeachment inquiry, actual impeachment)
We didn't hit this point with Nixon until a week before he resigned from office.

These are the issues at hand.
Not whether President Obama liked Netanyahu...
Alderaan delenda est
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#14043 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2019-October-17, 10:05

Here is some help for andrei: https://www.law.corn...e/text/52/30121
The easiest way to count losers is to line up the people who talk about loser count, and count them. -Kieran Dyke
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#14044 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2019-October-17, 10:40

Here's another quote that might be of interest

Quote

Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, broke sharply from President Donald Trump on Thursday, telling House impeachment investigators that he opposed the president’s request to run Ukraine policy through his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

“We were also disappointed by the president’s direction that we involve Mr. Giuliani,” Sondland told congressional investigators, according to his opening statement, which was obtained by POLITICO.

Sondland testified that he contacted Giuliani anyway at Trump’s direction after a May 23 meeting at the White House, and that Giuliani drew a direct link between scheduling a White House visit for Ukraine’s newly elected president and demands that Ukraine prioritize investigations targeting Trump’s political rivals, including former Vice President Joe Biden.

“Mr. Giuliani emphasized that the president wanted a public statement from President [Volodymyr] Zelensky committing Ukraine to look into anti-corruption issues,” Sondland said.

“Mr. Giuliani specifically mentioned the 2016 election (including the DNC server) and Burisma as two anti-corruption investigatory topics of importance for the president,” he added.


https://www.politico...estimony-000288
Alderaan delenda est
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#14045 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-October-17, 10:49

From Lindsay Koshgarian at NYT:

Quote

As Democratic presidential candidates debate the merits of Medicare for All, a Green New Deal or free college, a chorus of scolds from across the political spectrum will chime in to tell you we can’t afford it.

All these ambitious policies of course will come with a hefty price tag. Proposals to fund Medicare for All have focused on raising taxes. But what if we could imagine another way entirely?

Over nearly 20 years, the United States has spent $4.9 trillion on wars, with only more intractable violence in the Middle East and beyond to show for it. That’s far more than the $300 billion per year over the current system that is estimated to cover Medicare for All (though estimates vary).

While we can’t un-spend that $4.9 trillion, imagine if we could make different choices for the next 20 years.

We’ve identified more than $300 billion in annual military savings alone that we could better invest in priorities like Medicare for All, working with a national grassroots movement called Poor People’s Campaign.

Cutting military spending this way presents its own tremendous obstacles. Yet the exercise, however aspirational it may seem, also shows how ambitious proposals are still within reach — if we make different choices.


Tame the American War Machine

The $4.9 trillion we’ve spent on wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and elsewhere grows to $5.9 trillion once we add in future care for veterans of those wars. That’s more money than the G.D.P. of every country in the world other than the United States and China.

These are unwinnable wars. After nearly 18 years in Afghanistan, the Taliban now “controls or contests” more Afghan territory than at any time since before the invasion. One Army study of the Iraq war noted that “an emboldened and expansionist Iran appears to be the only victor” of the U.S.-launched war there.

Despite the obvious downsides, Pentagon officials first requested $165 billion in war funds for 2020, although even they admit that only $66 billion of that is actually related to fighting wars — the rest covers regular operations.

The government doesn’t just shell out for our own military — we pay significant sums for foreign militaries, too. The $14 billion provided to foreign militaries in 2017 is more than five times the budget of the United Nations.

Bring the Troops Home

With more than 800 bases and installations in more than 90 countries, our military is ready to step into any conflict at any time, and often that’s just what it does. Our bases in Germany, established after World War II, serve as a launchpad for missions in the Middle East and Africa, where the U.S. has quietly been escalating its presence for years.

That’s a terrible model. Just imagine if the U.S. still had thousands of troops in Afghanistan in 2076.

Our overseas bases come with all sorts of costs. Just shipping private vehicles overseas for military personnel costs around $200 million each year. In the context of the $716 billion military budget, that doesn’t sound like much, but it’s 50 percent more than the U.S. spent on international disaster prevention and preparedness in 2017.

Closing half or more of our foreign bases could actually enhance our national security by defusing unnecessary tensions and discouraging ill-thought-out interventions. And it would raise about $90 billion for things like Medicare for All. What are we doing with that base in Aruba, anyway?

Banish Nuclear Weapons (or at Least Scrap the Trillion-Dollar Upgrade)

The United Nations has called for nuclear disarmament and the prohibition of nuclear weapons, and at least 70 countries have signed on to a total nuclear weapons ban. The U.S. agreed to negotiate nuclear disarmament in the Non-Proliferation Treaty, though it has failed to follow through on that commitment.

The U.S. now has 4,000 deployed or stockpiled nuclear weapons, plus 2,500 more retired weapons awaiting dismantling. Our nuclear stockpile amounts to almost half the world total of 15,000.

A total nuclear weapons ban would mean new treaties and would take years to negotiate. But if we could get there, we could save roughly $43 billion each year on weapons, delivery systems and upgrades, according to calculations based on data from the Department of Defense, the Congressional Budget Office and the Department of Energy. That’s roughly the same amount we’ve allocated in federal hurricane aid for Puerto Rico. Even canceling current plans for nuclear modernization and simply continuing on our current path could save about $20 billion per year.

Next: Cut the Bloat and the Pork

Private contractors consumed fully half the Pentagon budget in 2018, raking in more than $364 billion.

The F-35 jet fighter is a prime example. Over its lifetime, the F-35 is estimated to cost $1.5 trillion — more than the G.D.P. of Australia.

This is a plane with more than 900 performance deficiencies, according to a recent government report. Among the problems is a dangerous night vision defect in the plane’s high-tech pilot’s helmet, which costs $400,000, four times more than a typical helmet for other fighters, like the F-16.

Like so many weapons programs, the F-35 program is a congressional darling, but not because of military necessity. A group of more than 100 members of the House of Representatives wrote a letter calling for the purchase of 24 more F-35s than the 79 that President Trump has already called for. With parts of the F-35 manufactured or assembled in 350 congressional districts, it’s no mystery what is driving the enthusiasm for the plane.

Our proposed cuts to production and operation of the F-35 total $14.7 billion — more than the military budget of Iran.

Vanity Boondoggles: The Space Force and the Wall

President Trump’s border wall has been estimated to cost as much as $25 billion. The sum budgeted for this year alone, at $9 billion, is more than the budget for the Environmental Protection Agency. Rather than using this money to build a wall for a nonexistent emergency, why not put it toward Medicare for All?

Likewise, the planned Space Force is a novelty that the administration first promoted with a logo bearing the phrase “Mars Awaits.” While military spending related to Mars is currently unknown, the $400 million that the administration has requested for its Space Force is a down payment for a project that would quickly reach many billions of dollars.

Things That Would Run Better Outside the Military

Under Medicare for All, we would no longer need a separate Pentagon system to provide health care for troops and their families. This now costs $33 billion a year. This item takes us well past our goal of saving $300 billion.

Hundreds of thousands of active-duty military members are also assigned administrative jobs that could be done by civilians at lower cost. Transferring just one-quarter of those jobs to civilians could conservatively save $3 billion, enough to cover the current value of Affordable Care Act tax credits for health premiums in 46 states (but not Florida, California, Texas and North Carolina).

Putting Titanic Savings to Good Use

Many military experts are likely to disagree with some or even all of these options. And no doubt there are other equally sensible options for cutting military spending. (Our cuts total $2,807 for every American household.)

Remaking our military as a truly defense-based institution, rather than a war machine and A.T.M. for private contractors, will require major changes. It’s a project that can’t happen overnight, and it will need serious planning and wiser uses of some of our $50 billion surplus to ensure both U.S. security and that people leaving military service find new jobs in our economy. That’s no excuse for continuing to spend hundreds of billions in ways that make our world more dangerous and deny us the ability to seriously invest in things like jobs, health care, education and all that makes our lives better.

GW hospital just billed my insurance company $11,000 for an MRI. I hate to think what a bill like that would do to the finances of someone who doesn't have health insurance.
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#14046 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-October-17, 11:17

View Posty66, on 2019-October-17, 10:49, said:

From Lindsay Koshgarian at NYT:


GW hospital just billed my insurance company $11,000 for an MRI. I hate to think what a bill like that would do to the finances of someone who doesn't have health insurance.


Wonder if it doesn't cost that if you don't have insurance ...

https://www.vista-he...vQaArnKEALw_wcB

Hell for that you could fly to the UK and get a private MRI done here.
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#14047 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2019-October-17, 12:16

View PostCyberyeti, on 2019-October-17, 11:17, said:

Wonder if it doesn't cost that if you don't have insurance ...

https://www.vista-he...vQaArnKEALw_wcB

Hell for that you could fly to the UK and get a private MRI done here.

Generally, rates without insurance in the US are considerably higher.
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#14048 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2019-October-17, 14:39

In today's testimony from Mick Mulvaney

https://www.emptywhe...-from-congress/

Quote

Amid all the other batshit admissions in today's press conference, Mulvaney's admission that 1) the White House didn't have a very very good reason to withhold appropriated funds and 2) they knew doing so w/o notice to Congress was a crime may be the most important.

Alderaan delenda est
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#14049 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2019-October-17, 14:52

View Postandrei, on 2019-October-17, 07:52, said:

Surely you see no problem with:

Now who's interfering in an election
Barack Obama’s endorsement of Justin Trudeau is an unjustifiable American intrusion

How about 2015 Canada?

Millions in foreign funds spent in 2015 federal election to defeat Harper government

How about 2015 Israel?
Not gonna post any links about this, you know very well how hard Obama worked against BN.

Moderator - I am begging you to please give andrei a participation award for this forum topic. He is trying the best he can to try to post some relevant information with his obviously limited abilities.

It would be very bad if President Obama endorsed Trudeau in the latest elections. But, oh wait a minute. Obama isn't the POTUS and hasn't been since January 2017. As POTUS, it would be inappropriate to take sides in a foreign election. andrei - Do you have any understanding that Obama is not currently POTUS? To jog your memory, the current POTUS is a man whose name rhymes with "the Manchurian President". In fact, Obama is a private US citizen, and Mr. Obama is entirely free to endorse anybody in any country as he sees fit, just like any other private US citizen.

andrei - Do you have any comprehension of the difference between an action of a private citizen and an official representative of the USA, specifically POTUS? From what you've written so far, apparently not. You can take my word that there is a unbelievably large difference, or you can look it up someplace that has better sourcing than the places you are currently using.

You might want to compare this to the Grifter in Chief directly interfering in the Isreali elections at a time when he is President.

Trump Takes to Instagram to Endorse Netanyahu Campaign Billboard – Featuring Himself

As for your other so called relevant links, private citizens and organizations are not instruments of the government. Besides some wild conspiracy theories that don't pass any kind of smell test, post something where Obama directly interfered in a foreign election while he was serving as POTUS or stop posting.
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#14050 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-October-17, 15:46

You hate to see Mulvaney undercutting his boss's repeated denials that there was a quid pro quo.
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#14051 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2019-October-17, 16:04

View Posty66, on 2019-October-17, 15:46, said:

You hate to see Mulvaney undercutting his boss's repeated denials that there was a quid pro quo.

And there was no collusion, no obstruction :lol:
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#14052 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2019-October-17, 18:34

The Criminal in Chief's legal strategy is becoming obvious. The White House is planning an insanity defense including the fact that they are mentally incompetent to have had criminal intent.

Mick Mulvaney Walks Back Admission Of Quid Pro Quo In Trump’s Ukraine Call

Quote

Hours after saying Thursday that President Donald Trump withheld foreign aid in order to get Ukraine’s help in the U.S. election, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney walked back his remarks.

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#14053 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-October-17, 18:51

Now I think the guy is actively trying to get impeached and removed:

Quote

Openly rebuffing congressional investigators and dismissing political optics, President Donald Trump will hold the G-7 summit of world leaders at one of his family’s resorts in the middle of an election year — shrugging off a House impeachment inquiry into whether he is illegally making money off the presidency.


That way he could claim himself a victim of the "deep state" and rely on a Pence pardon.
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#14054 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-October-18, 08:01

From the post that started this thread:

Quote

TRUMP: I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And you know what? When I need something from them, two years later, three years later, I call them. They are there for me. And that's a broken system.

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#14055 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-October-18, 09:28

View Posthrothgar, on 2019-October-17, 14:39, said:

In today's testimony from Mick Mulvaney

https://www.emptywhe...-from-congress/


Dr. Wheeler nails it:

Quote

2) they knew doing so w/o notice to Congress was a crime may be the most important.


I seem to recall Mueller's report stating that one of the reasons charges were not brought against Don Jr. was they could not verify a knowledge of crime. Nice of Mick to serve this tidbit on a silver plate, on television, with the world as witness.

Either these guys believe themselves bulletproof or they are the gang who couldn't shoot straight.

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#14056 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2019-October-18, 15:56

Nothing to see here folks :lol:

Stephanie Grisham: Mick Mulvaney ‘Did A Great Job’ At Disastrous Press Briefing

Quote

Amid the fallout from a press conference in which acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney publicly admitted there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine, the Trump administration’s top spokesperson attempted some damage control on the president’s network of choice, Fox News.

Mulvaney’s Thursday briefing was, by nearly all media accounts, a disaster. But White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham insisted it was nothing short of a success.

“He was over there for more than 30 minutes, he took probably 40 questions, people were talking over one another, he did a great job,” she said Friday. “He mentioned the same message over and over and over, and now the media of course is ― we put a statement out clarifying some of the things that the media got themselves in a tizzy over.”

Grisham also noted that Mulvaney did not poop in his pants or open up zipper on his pants and masturbate during the press conference which was also great. :rolleyes:
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#14057 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-October-18, 16:53

From Trump’s Capitulation to Erdogan Is Complete by Eli Lake at Bloomberg:

Quote

The strange thing about the “cease-fire” negotiated Thursday in Ankara between the U.S. and Turkey is that one party isn’t actually fighting and the other seems unlikely to abide by it.

Turkey’s foreign minister said the agreement “is not a ceasefire” but rather a pause in military operations. He vowed that those operations would continue until Kurdish fighters — aligned with the U.S. until earlier this month — leave the border area entirely. For good measure, he also contradicted Vice President Mike Pence, saying his government never promised not to send its army into the city of Kobani.

Nor is it likely that Kurdish forces will agree to Turkish demands. For one, the Syrian Democratic Forces have already struck a bargain with Russia and the Syrian regime, allowing the Syrian army into the semi-autonomous zone it controlled. The deal reached in Ankara was just between Turkey and the U.S.

And those are just a few of the problems with the agreement negotiated by Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Far from fixing a problem caused by President Donald Trump’s diplomatic bluster and caprice, they have compounded it. The U.S. has essentially acceded to Turkey’s demand for control of a 20-mile buffer zone deep into Syrian territory. The Turks intend to use this new territory to relocate the more than 3 million Syrian Arab refugees now living in Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been open about this. Just this week, he outlined his plans: “We will secure the area extending from Manbij to the Iraqi border and then facilitate 1 million Syrian refugees’ return home in the first phase and, later on, the return of 2 million people.”

But this safe zone is an area that is for the most part historically Kurdish. If the Turkish military and its allied militias are allowed to dominate the area, then it is a near certainty that Kurdish civilians will suffer.

And while it’s hard to confirm early reports in the fog of war, that appears to be exactly what is happening. New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi tweeted the grisly autopsy report of a murdered Kurdish politician. Public violence like this is meant to send a message that all civilians are targets. In essence, America has agreed to let Turkey solve its Syrian refugee problem by creating a new Kurdish refugee problem.

Then there is the message this sends to Erdogan himself. The Turkish leader has humiliated Trump and the U.S. in recent weeks and months. He went ahead with the purchase of a Russian S-400 air defense system this summer, over several U.S. objections, and has faced no sanctions. He ordered his military to violate an earlier safe-haven agreement that to which Turkey had previously agreed. His forces fired artillery on a U.S. outpost last week. And he has metaphorically — and literally, according to the BBC — thrown Trump’s “Don’t be a tough guy” letter into the trash.

In exchange for this disrespect and petulance, Erdogan got what he has wanted all along. He started a war to create a buffer zone in northern Syria, then got the U.S. to agree that he be allowed to keep it. Trump is even now repeating Erdogan’s talking points, claiming (without evidence) that the Syrian Kurds have launched attacks into Turkey. “In all fairness they’ve had a legitimate problem with it,” Trump said Thursday, referring to the safe zone. “They had to have it cleaned out. But once you start that, it gets to a point where a tremendous amount of bad things can happen.”

That point has already been reached. Bad things are indeed happening, and will continue to happen. And there’s little reason to believe Trump’s capitulation in Ankara will do much to stop them.

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#14058 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-October-19, 06:18

View PostCyberyeti, on 2019-October-17, 11:17, said:

Wonder if it doesn't cost that if you don't have insurance ...

https://www.vista-he...vQaArnKEALw_wcB

Hell for that you could fly to the UK and get a private MRI done here.

I asked for a quote and was told: In Stratford, 1 body part is £350 for a same day or next day appointment, £295 for any other day or £199 for weekends before 9am. For contrast it is an extra £125 on top.

My insurance company was billed £8,489 for a 3 weeks out appointment in DC (1 body part with contrast). A weekend before 9am would have been fine.
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#14059 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-October-19, 11:50

The Dual Reality of the Frothy Right

As Marcy Wheeler pointed out, Fox News has yet to disclose that two of their commentators, attorneys Victoria Toensing and Joe DiGenova, recently were representing Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Fitash and were being paid $250,000 a month by Fitash to complain that Hunter Biden had been paid $50,000 a month by a different corrupt Ukrainian oligarch. Rudy Giuliani has publicly asserted that Dmitry Fitash has close ties to Semion Mogilevich, a Ukrainian-born, Russian organized crime boss, believed by European and United States federal law enforcement agencies to be the "boss of bosses" of most Russian Mafia syndicates in the world.

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#14060 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-October-19, 12:04

From The Editorial Board at NYT:

Quote

In the summer of 1950, outraged by Joseph McCarthy’s anti-Communist inquisition, Margaret Chase Smith, a Republican senator from Maine, stood to warn her party that its own behavior was threatening the integrity of the American republic. “I don’t want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the four horsemen of calumny — fear, ignorance, bigotry and smear,” she said. “I doubt if the Republican Party could — simply because I don’t believe the American people will uphold any political party that puts political exploitation above national interest. Surely, we Republicans aren’t that desperate for victory.”

Senator Smith surely knew her “Declaration of Conscience” would not carry the day. Her appeal to the better angels of her party was not made in the expectation of an immediate change; sometimes the point is just to get people to look up. In the end, four more years passed before the bulk of the Republican Party looked up and turned on Senator McCarthy — four years of public show trials and thought policing that pushed the country so hard to the right that the effects lasted decades. The problem with politicians who abuse power isn’t that they don’t get results. It’s that the results come at a high cost to the Republic — and to the reputations of those who lack the courage or wisdom to resist.

The Republican Party is again confronting a crisis of conscience, one that has been gathering force ever since Donald Trump captured the party’s nomination in 2016. Afraid of his political influence, and delighted with his largely conservative agenda, party leaders have compromised again and again, swallowing their criticisms and tacitly if not openly endorsing presidential behavior they would have excoriated in a Democrat. Compromise by compromise, Donald Trump has hammered away at what Republicans once saw as foundational virtues: decency, honesty, responsibility. He has asked them to substitute loyalty to him for their patriotism itself.

Mr. Trump privately pressed Ukraine to serve his political interests by investigating a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, as well as by looking into a long-debunked conspiracy theory about Democratic National Committee emails that were stolen by the Russians. Mr. Trump publicly made a similar request of China. His chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, said publicly on Thursday that the administration threatened to withhold military aid from Ukraine if it did not help “find” the D.N.C. servers.

These attempts to enlist foreign interference in American electoral democracy are an assault not only on our system of government but also on the integrity of the Republican Party. Republicans need to emulate the moral clarity of Margaret Chase Smith and recognize that they have a particular responsibility to condemn the president’s behavior and to reject his tactics.

Some have already done so. On Friday, John Kasich, the former Ohio governor, said that Mr. Mulvaney’s comments convinced him that the impeachment inquiry should move forward. Representative Justin Amash of Michigan had already called for impeachment, though he felt it necessary to leave the party as a consequence.

There was a time when Republicans like Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa said that soliciting foreign election assistance would be improper. But most congressional Republicans have taken to avoiding such questions as the evidence against Mr. Trump has piled up. Mr. Trump still feels so well-protected by his party that he has just named his own golf resort as the site for the next Group of 7 summit in 2020, a brazen act of self-dealing.

Yet Republicans will not be able to postpone a reckoning with Trumpism for much longer. The investigation by House Democrats appears likely to result in a vote for impeachment, despite efforts by the White House to obstruct the inquiry. That will force Senate Republicans to choose. Will they commit themselves and their party wholly to Mr. Trump, embracing even his most anti-democratic actions, or will they take the first step toward separating themselves from him and restoring confidence in the rule of law?

Thus far in office, Mr. Trump has acted against the national interest by maintaining his financial interests in his company and using the presidential podium to promote it; obstructed legitimate investigations into his conduct by the special counsel, Robert Mueller, and Congress; attacked the free press; given encouragement to white nationalists; established a de facto religious test for immigrants; undermined foreign alliances and emboldened American rivals; demanded personal loyalty from subordinates sworn to do their duty to the Constitution; and sent his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, around the world to conduct what could most charitably be described as shadow foreign policy with Mr. Trump’s personal benefit as its lodestar.

Some Republicans have clearly believed that they could control the president by staying close to him and talking him out of his worst ideas. Ask Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina — who has spent the last two years prostrating himself before Mr. Trump in the hope of achieving his political goals, including protecting the Kurds — how that worked out. Mr. Graham isn’t alone, of course; there is a long list of politicians who have debased themselves to please Mr. Trump, only to be abandoned by him like a sack of rotten fruit in the end. That’s the way of all autocrats; they eventually turn on everyone save perhaps their own relatives, because no one can live up to their demands for fealty.

The Constitution’s framers envisioned America’s political leaders as bound by a devotion to country above all else. That’s why all elected officials take an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. By protecting Donald Trump at all costs from all consequences, the Republicans risk violating that sacred oath.

Senator Smith’s question once again hangs over the Republican Party: Surely they are not so desperate for short-term victory as to tolerate this behavior? We’ll soon find out.

Sack of rotten fruit was an interesting choice of words. Compost them all.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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