Will Congress find the courage to hold Donald Trump accountable?

Will Congress find the courage to hold Donald Trump accountable?
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Have we not been listening? There should be no surprise that in a July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi arrives in Jordan with bipartisan congressional delegation Trump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash CNN's Anderson Cooper mocks WH press secretary over Fox News interview MORE repeatedly asked him to work with Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiGiuliani asked State Dept. to grant visa for ex-Ukraine official at center of Biden allegations: report Overnight Energy: Trump taps deputy energy secretary to replace Perry | Praises pick Dan Brouillette as 'total professional' | Perry denies quid pro quo over Ukraine Ex-Watergate prosecutor says evidence in impeachment inquiry 'clearly' points to Trump MORE to investigate the son of Joe BidenJoe BidenCNN's Anderson Cooper mocks WH press secretary over Fox News interview Yang cautions Democrats: Impeachment might not be 'successful' Ocasio-Cortez: Sanders' heart attack was a 'gut check' moment MORE with the intent to cause harm to a likely 2020 opponent. There should also be no surprise that Giuliani met with a top Ukrainian official a month later about the possibility of such an investigation.

​None of this should surprise anyone unless you are willfully ignorant or purposely not paying attention to the news because Trump has made it crystal clear that he is willing to win by any means necessary. In a June interview with George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosKudlow: 'I don't honestly know' if Trump was joking about China investigating Bidens The Hill's Morning Report - Trump's impeachment woes mount Jordan refuses to say whether Trump asking China for investigation was appropriate MORE on ABC News, Trump said, “I think you might want to listen. There isn’t anything wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country, Norway, ‘We have information on your opponent,’ oh, I think I’d want to hear it.” He then went on to say, “It’s not an interference, they have information. I think I’d take it.”

Trump has not shied away about his willingness to win by any means necessary, even if it goes against every moral and ethical standard he is supposed to maintain and uphold as the commander in chief of the United States. Trump is the modern “mass man” who is, as conservative philosopher Michael Oakeshott described decades ago, like a locust that has made a desert of the once revered office of the presidency.


Will Congress hold the executive branch accountable? Or have lawmakers become so filled with cowardice that the mere thought of doing their job is too great a burden? If Congress does not act, we might as well remove all standards, all customs, and all laws that govern and provide structure for our nation. If the president cannot be held accountable for indecent acts and is above reproach, what is the point of civil society?

​Autocratic despotism is the new normal. The executive branch seems to know no bounds to the limits of its power, while those entrusted with keeping that power at bay have made it clear that they themselves have become consumed by the excesses of their own interests. The lack of resolve and courage in Congress to use its constitutionally granted powers is abhorrent and highlights the faults of both parties.

Republicans who see an opportunity to fulfill their agenda through Trump regardless of his bad deeds have remained silent, and like a conformer, Democratic House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi arrives in Jordan with bipartisan congressional delegation Trump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash Scrap House defense authorization provision benefitting Russia MORE fails to act out of fear that her caucus could lose seats in the election. But if members of Congress are only focused on their own interests, then what is their purpose in serving the people? Are they even worthy of the titles they hold?

The office of the presidency has long been considered the “sanctum sanctorum” of government, regardless of the affiliation of its occupant, because one of the duties of the executive branch is to protect the citizens of the United States and maintain the values that are a hallmark of who we are as a society. In the Federalist Papers, James Madison makes the point that our political mechanisms were purposely designed to balance internal conflict. Today, however, those very mechanisms seem to be failing at every corner with no means of recourse.

​It is often asked, “If a Republican president can behave this way, what is to stop a Democratic one from doing the same?” The answer is nothing, which forces the people to wonder what to do next, and that is neither clear nor direct. Perhaps at some point the answer will be a revolution, the likes of which we have not seen in our lifetimes, that seeks to correct the failures of Congress and the abuse of presidential power.

What we face as a nation should not be taken lightly by any man or any woman because an all powerful executive branch that knows no bounds or limits and a Congress that has no interest in doing its job, combined with two political parties that seem to care less about what the people truly want, means the great American experiment has failed.

Shermichael Singleton is a Republican strategist and political analyst regularly appearing on MSNBC. Follow him on Twitter @Shermichael_.