Brent Budowsky: The patriotic duty of Senate Republicans

Brent Budowsky: The patriotic duty of Senate Republicans
© Greg Nash

Senate Republicans will vote unanimously in support of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests Sotomayor, Ginsburg should have to recuse themselves on 'Trump related' cases Sanders says idea he can't work with Republicans is 'total nonsense' Sanders releases list of how to pay for his proposals MORE on the great matter of articles of impeachment, following what will be a farcical show trial if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSchumer on Trump intel shakeup: 'Disgrace,' 'closer to a banana republic' Bottom Line The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders's momentum puts Democrats on edge MORE (R-Ky.) gets his way. I propose Republicans have a patriotic duty to support and pass a censure resolution condemning Trump’s repeated praise of foreign dictators, his repeated efforts to solicit foreign dictators to attack his Democratic opponents, and his pressure against a democratic ally under attack by Russia to fabricate political dirt against former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSanders defends Castro comments in wake of backlash from some Democrats Klobuchar releases medical report that says she's in 'very good health' Candidates face pressure to exit presidential race MORE, the Democratic candidate he fears the most by far.

Let me be clear about one thing. The censure resolution I believe Senate Republicans have a patriotic duty to propose should not be a long list of grievances and wrongs, but should be strictly limited to the one question that undoubtedly poses an existential and extreme danger to the future of American and Western democracy.

If the result of a Senate impeachment trial legitimizes the president’s solicitation of foreign nations to attack and corrupt American democracy, Senate Republicans would be giving aid and comfort to the Russian attack against American democracy first in 2016 and now in 2020, and guarantee that these attacks — from Russia and other hostile nations — continue and escalate in 2020 and future elections.

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If my call to patriotism from Senate Republicans is not sufficiently persuasive, I would warn that some of them, who are up for reelection in 2020, could be defeated. And other Republicans will almost certainly, at some point sooner or later, join Democrats as targets of attacks from hostile foreign powers themselves.

If any Republican is ever attacked by Russian intelligence, North Korean intelligence, Iranian intelligence or any other intelligence service of a hostile nation I would defend them just as aggressively as I defended Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBloomberg called Warren 'scary,' knocked Obama's first term in leaked audio Trump trails Democratic challengers among Catholic voters: poll Sanders under fire from Democrats over praise for Castro regime MORE in 2016 and defend Joe Biden today.

Exhibit A for a GOP-supported censure resolution is Trump’s despicable behavior in 2016 when he asked “Russia are you listening?”, and when his aides shared voter information with Russians using that information, which was obviously the intent of Trump associates who shared it, to attack American democracy in that election.

Exhibit B is Trump suggesting it would be good for China to dig up dirt against Biden or other Democratic opponents in 2020.

Exhibit C is Trump withholding military assistance to Ukraine, while Ukraine was under attack from Russia, in a transparent attempt to blackmail, bribe or extort Ukraine into attacking Biden. By doing this, Trump simultaneously aided the Russian attack against Ukraine and sought to corrupt American democracy, which President Volodymyr Zelensky wisely and courageously refused to do.

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Exhibit D is Trump suggesting, repeatedly, that many who are defending America by investigating the Russian attack against America were guilty of treason, for which they could be put to death.

Exhibit E is Trump’s repeated high praise of foreign dictators, which is unprecedented in the history of American presidents. Would President Reagan or any other president have bragged about exchanging love letters with the North Korean butcher Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnSanders defends Castro comments in wake of backlash from some Democrats Sanders under fire from Democrats over praise for Castro regime Sanders comes under attack for Castro comments MORE, or said they believe Russian intelligence more than American intelligence, as Trump has done?

Exhibit F is when American intelligence reports that the story that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the American election was a lie spread by Russian intelligence. Any Republican who parrots Russian propaganda spread by Russian intelligence, while Russia is attacking America, should be ashamed and humiliated.

Exhibit G is the latest report that Russian intelligence has recently been hacking the Ukrainian company Burisma, suggesting the Russian crime against Hillary Clinton in 2016, designed to elect Trump, is being repeated in 2020, designed to reelect Trump, if the allegation is proven true.

I am NOT suggesting Senate Republicans have a patriotic duty to remove President Trump from office.

I am suggesting that Senate Republicans DO have a patriotic duty to condemn — clearly, publicly and unequivocally — the Russian attacks against American democracy and the president’s attempts to encourage or exploit them.

 

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.