Will Republicans grow a spine and restore democracy?
© Greg Nash

On the one hand, veteran United States senators Hugh Scott (R-PA) and Barry Goldwater (R-AZ), on the other, Republican President Richard Nixon. 

The Senators, Scott a former GOP National Chairman and Goldwater the 1964 GOP Presidential nominee, told President Nixon — it’s time for you to quit, to quit the Presidency to head off impeachment by the Congress. 

Nixon quit.

It was Republican senators that were key to the voluntary exit of Richard Nixon, not then-majority Democrats. The same might be true in the matter of Donald Trump’s presidency.


In the wake of President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sen. Van Hollen releases documents from GAO investigation MORE’s shocking firing of Director James Comey from his job of running the FBI, heads are shaking all over the western world. Senators are not only scratching their political heads over the firing-without-notice, several are calling for far more information than the White House has released.


It is Republican senators that matter here not the whiny “Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidTensions between McConnell and Schumer run high as trial gains momentum The Trumpification of the federal courts Trump to rally evangelicals after critical Christianity Today editorial MORE spawned” Democrats who blasted Comey for effectively “throwing” the Presidential election to Trump. Comey released an Oct. 28 letter informing Congress that he was reopening an investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti defends Tulsi Gabbard's lawsuit against Hillary Clinton Trump to hold rally on eve of New Hampshire primary MORE’s e-mail mess. That, they say, buried Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning.

This time Republicans are in the majority. If President Trump was a real Republican we might expect the Republican majority to handle the Comey firing with more delicacy. That is not the case. 

Several Republican Senators have raised questions about the firing and its aftermath.

Why didn’t the White House handle the abrupt firing with more finesse? 

The firing of the FBI Director shortly after he announced that investigations of alleged Russian/Trump collusion and Russian interference in the Presidential election are continuing certainly looks odd. 

GOP Senators have reacted negatively to the White House’s “Blunt ham-handed; stupid, careless handling” of the Comey firing.

The reference “Blunt ham-handed; stupid, careless handling” is of Richard Nixon’s firing of Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. He was investigating Nixon’s role in the Watergate break down. 

The quote comes from former Nixon White Counsel John Dean, who himself participated in cover-up crimes. Dean recently said Trump and Nixon display authoritarian leadership attributes something that run contrary to the needs of our democracy. 

Cox’s firing was central to the eventual resignation of President Nixon. Nixon’s Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus both refused Nixon’s order to fire Cox; they resigned.

That backlash continued on for a decade. Nixon’s Solicitor General Robert H. Bork inherited the top Department of Justice job when Richardson and Ruckelshaus resigned. He fired Cox. 

A decade later President Ronald Reagan nominated Bork to the Supreme Court. Democrats lined up behind Senator Ted Kennedy in the greatest smear job in judicial nomination history using Bork’s firing of Cox as the foundation of their successful opposition to Bork.

And now, President Trump fires the FBI Director. This is only the second time in the FBI’s history that a director has been fired. The first was William Sessions who was fired — for cause — by President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonNadler plays 1999 clip of Graham defining high crimes: 'It doesn't even have to be a crime' Trump's big reelection weapon: A remarkable manufacturing jobs boom Trump's reelection looks more like a long shot than a slam dunk MORE.

How will this firing affect the Trump Presidency of less than four months into a four year term? American University’s Professor Allan Lichtman’s predicted President Trump will be impeached. Is he correct? Lichtman: “Trump’s policies and appointments pose an existential threat to humanity.”

Professor Lichtman’s book “The Case for Impeachment” explains “how Trump threatens the institutions and traditions that have made America safe and free for 230 years, and (he) make (s) clear why a Republican Congress might impeach a president of its own party.”

In clear terms that fellow Hispanics can use in determining the “existential threat,” “Caudillos,” or “El Supremo” instead of President are words that come to mind. Trump falls short of Caudillo, however, because they have military backgrounds and President Trump has no such history other than military prep school.

Have the spirits of Senators Scott and Goldwater returned to Washington, D.C. in Republican senators that are questioning the President? 

Has the threat of “impunity” crossed the Rio Grande and settled in the White House? 

Raoul Lowery Contreras is the author of The Mexican Border: Immigration, War and A Trillion Dollars in Trade and Murder in the Mountains: War Crime at Khojaly, both published by Floricanto Press and his work was formerly distributed by the New York Times Syndicate.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.