Through their ongoing obstructionism, Donald Trump and the GOP continue to put party and power ahead of country and ethics. And their actions may very well threaten the survival of our republic.
According to a recent report, the White House has privately directed federal agencies not to comply with oversight requests from Democratic members of the House and Senate.
At best, such a directive is not merely an extension of partisanship but rather a frontal assault on the federal government’s system of checks and balances. In addition, such direction could constitute collusion or engagement in the cover-up of illegal or unethical activities.
At worst, this act could mark an effort to transform the United States from a republic with multiple political parties into a single-party authoritarian state.
That may seem like an overstatement. But it is important to remember that this is not even the first instance of such behavior. Rather, it is part of a pattern of activity by the White House and the Republican-controlled Congress since Donald Trump took office.
Before Trump was even inaugurated, the GOP-controlled Congress attempted to gut an independent Congressional ethics committee. Since then, the violation of norms, protocol, ethics, regulations, and laws by Trump and the Republicans has occurred at a blinding pace.
In just over four months, the Trump administration has granted 17 ethics waivers to appointees, including top White House staffers. One such waiver allows Trump advisor Steve Bannon to run a for-profit, pro-Trump propaganda outlet while serving in the White House.
Further, only two out of 238 Republicans have supported the call for an independent body to investigate possible collusion between the Trump team and the Russian government. Letters from Congress to the White House and federal agencies have gone unanswered. Both the U.S. attorney general and the chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have each violated their respective recusals and interfered with aspects of the various investigations.
As a result, the Democrats have been forced to call out publicly their Republican counterparts and the White House for obstruction. They have resorted to invoking little used parliamentary procedures to move related legislation out of committee and onto the floor for public vote.
They have even been put in the position of publicly begging both their GOP colleagues and the media for assistance on something that, as it is vital to national security and sovereignty, should be a nonpartisan issue.
Through their ongoing obstructionism, Trump and the GOP continue to put party and power ahead of country and ethics. And their actions may very well threaten the survival of our republic.
Republicans have consistently evinced little to no interest in holding Trump and members of his administration accountable either to the letter or the spirit of the law. Without anyone willing or able to enforce laws, they become nothing but words on a page.
And because of this dereliction of their duty, members of the GOP should prepare themselves for the American people to hold them accountable in 2018. Republican lawmakers swore to protect and defend the Constitution and the republic for which it stands, and they are willfully refusing to uphold their responsibilities under that oath — potentially allowing the nation to be transformed into something wholly unrecognizable to its citizens.