Trump Goes Full Anti-Democratic. Some Republicans Object (Hurray).
Understanding that it’s smart politics to encourage good behavior in parties heretofore acting badly — the Republicans in their Faustian bargain with former president Donald Trump: Let’s give a hand to those Republicans starting to object to Trump’s post-White House actions.
Last Saturday, Trump went full anti-democratic. At a rally in Texas, burnishing his strongman credentials, Trump vowed to “pardon” the Jan. 6 “patriots,” those who rampaged the U.S. Capitol to “stop the steal” and are now charged with various offenses (also here). Then Sunday, issuing a statement, Trump denounced his Vice-President, Mike Pence, for failing to act on his Constitutional “right” when, on Jan. 6, 2021, as President of the Senate, Pence failed to declare the Electoral College count invalid and instead confirmed Joe Biden’s victory (also here). Per Trump, Pence “could have overturned the election!” (Factcheck: Vice-presidents have no such “right.”)
Just how “anti-democratic” is this? Trying to obstruct the peaceful transfer of presidential power, and trying to do so using violence, is the very definition of insurrection. Insurrection: “a usually violent attempt to take control of a government,” per Merriam-Webster. Insurrection strikes at the beating heart of democracy, the model of governance by which America lives: of, by, and for the people. That is, until Donald Trump.
That we are thrown back on definitions and first principles, after almost two-and-a-half centuries of vibrant and unique history, seems ludicrous. But then, perhaps not: Is American democracy, the world’s oldest, in its end-stage?
Not if Democrats can help it: Pres. Biden has made saving American democracy a hallmark of his administration. And to protect voting rights, Democrats in both House and Senate have tried, without success so far, to pass two related bills that would provide a federal guarantee of access to that sacred mechanism of democracy by which it functions: the right to vote.
And now maybe, just maybe, some Republicans, heretofore joined in corrupt union with the clearly proto-autocratic Trump, are having second thoughts and saying so.