Opinion: Will Senate Republicans allow their louts to rule the party?

  

Category:  Op/Ed

Via:  hallux  •  2 weeks ago  •  2 comments

By:   George F. Will

Opinion: Will Senate Republicans allow their louts to rule the party?

George F Will was once feared by the Left, today he is more often derided by the Right.


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



The first of this century’s national traumas is denoted by two numbers: 9/11. One purpose of, and a sufficient justification for, the second impeachment of the 45th president was to inscribe this century’s second trauma in the nation’s memory as: 1/6.

 Although not nearly as tragic as 9/11 in lives lost and radiating policy consequences, 1/6 should become, as its implications percolate into the national consciousness, even more unsettling. Long before 9/11, Americans knew that foreign fanaticisms were perennial dangers. After 1/6, Americans know what their Constitution’s Framers knew: In any democracy, domestic fanaticisms always are, potentially, rank weeds that flourish when fertilized by persons who are as unscrupulous as they are prominent.

 The Framers are, to the 45th president, mere rumors. They, however, knew him, as a type — a practitioner of what Alexander Hamilton (in  Federalist 68 ) disdainfully called “talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity.” Post-1/6 America has a quickened appreciation of how those “little arts,” when magnified by modern modes of mass communication as wielded by occupants of the swollen modern presidency, make civilization’s brittle crust crumble.

 Intelligent people of goodwill disagree about the constitutionality of an impeachment trial of a former president.  Forty-four Republican senators  voted (generally less from constitutional conviction than from political convenience) to truncate the trial. They lost, but their role as jurors remained. In that constitutional role their duty was to decide whether the president’s two months of inciting what occurred on 1/6 constituted an impeachable offense. Saturday’s revelations about Donald Trump’s comportment during the riot — redundant evidence of his character, surprising to  no  senator — were no match for 100 senators’ unifying desire to spend a week away from the Senate.

The presentation by the House impeachment managers was a demonstration, the more welcome for its rarity, of congressional conscientiousness and meticulousness. Congress is an investigating institution, for three purposes: To establish the need for particular legislation. To provide oversight of the operation of existing laws and the institutions they undergird. And to inform voters about matters that they must understand in order for representative government to function. The investigative aspect of impeachment proceedings serves this third purpose.

 Information is inherently good, and the trial was a cornucopia of information about the sights and sounds of 1/6. And about the Republican Party. Its congressional membership overwhelmingly says, and perhaps believes, that 1/6, and the low presidential intrigues that preceded it, were not violations of the presidential oath to defend the Constitution.

 As the trial proceeded, there appeared a new aspirant for membership in the Republican senators’ large Lout Caucus: Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), Ted Cruz (Tex.), Josh Hawley (Mo.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), et al. In Ohio,  Josh Mandel announced his candidacy  to replace Rob Portman, the temperate conservative and meticulous legislator who is retiring in 2022. Mandel said the impeachment “got my blood boiling to the point where I decided to run.” His blood boils frequently: This will be his third Senate run.

 His agenda for creating a more perfect union is “to pulverize the uni-party,” meaning “this group of Democrats and Republicans who sound exactly the same and are more interested in getting invited to the cocktail party circuit than they are in standing up for the Constitution.” With his stupefying unoriginality, Mandel sounds exactly like innumerable congressional Republicans who clawed their way to Washington by espousing an anti-Washington-cocktail-circuit stance as conservatism. Mandel has perfect pitch for populism’s rhetorical banalities.

 Were he to win, he would occupy the seat once held by  Robert A. Taft Sr. , the son of a president, and one of the five senators (with Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John Calhoun and Robert La Follette Sr.) first  honored with portraits  in the Capitol’s Senate Reception Room. Taft’s wife was once asked, “Do you think of your husband as a common man?” Aghast, she  replied : “Oh, no, no! The senator is very uncommon. He was first in his class at Yale and first in his class at the Harvard Law School. We wouldn’t permit Ohio to be represented in the Senate by just a common man.”

 Taft was known as “Mr. Republican.” Seventy years later, Mandel is an increasingly common Republican. Today’s two major parties have framed political competition since the middle of the 19th century — since the Republicans rose from the rubble of the Whigs. An essential conservative insight about everything is that nothing  necessarily  endures. Care must be taken. The Republican Party will wither if the ascendant Lout Caucus is the face it presents to this nation of decent, congenial people.


Tags

jrDiscussion - desc
[]
 
Hallux
Freshman Participates
1  seeder  Hallux    2 weeks ago

So many RINOs, 43 and counting ... so few zoos to house them in. 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
2  Bob Nelson    2 weeks ago

I used to subscribe to the Post, before it lost its way. I always read Will, although I rarely agreed with him. He's a good writer. He makes his readers think.

 
 
Loading...
Loading...

Who is online



41 visitors