Reviews | How many Rusty Bowers Republicans are there?

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Note to all GOP politicians: you have to decide. You can be a Rusty Bowers Republican. Or you can be a Donald Trump Republican.

You can be someone who says to Donald Trump’s consigliere, Rudy Giuliani, “‘Listen, you’re asking me to do something that’s against my oath, when I’ve sworn to the Constitution to uphold it. . And I’ve also sworn to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the state of Arizona. And that’s totally foreign to me as an idea or a theory.

This is the route Arizona House Speaker Russell “Rusty” Bowers took when he refused to overturn his state’s voters’ decision to back Democrat Joe Biden — even though Bowers had backed and campaigns for Trump.

Or you may be someone for whom oaths, laws, the Constitution, and the preservation of democracy are entirely foreign to their worldview. For Trump, power and self-interest are everything.

And so Trump encouraged violence against election workers, asked Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes” for him that didn’t exist, and encouraged his campaign to back bogus electoral college slates. who would support him even if their states had supported Biden.

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Many moments from the Jan. 6 committee hearings underscored that there is a moral vacuum where Trump’s conscience should be. But there is something even worse than trying to cheat, break the law and lie. It is the former president’s will to target officials who are doing their duty and push supporters to threaten them with violence.

Every Republican official should listen several times to the words of Ruby Freeman, a Georgian election worker falsely accused of wrongdoing by Trump and his cronies: “Do you know what it’s like to be targeted by the President of the United States? ?

Her daughter, Shaye Moss, who also performed civic service as an election worker, testified that Trump supporters broke into her grandmother’s house to carry out a “citizen arrest”. She told how hateful and racist threats turned her into a recluse and caused her to gain 60 pounds.

Republican politicians have been incredibly quiet about the big events of the January 6 hearings. Their reluctance testifies to the success of the committee of inquiry. He has presented so much compelling evidence of Trump’s wrongdoing — most of the testimony coming from Republicans — that GOP leaders find little way to defend him or discredit the committee’s work. His “just the facts, ma’am” approach leaves little room for dissent.

But silence is not the right answer. Anyone who has read the transcripts of the hearings, let alone watched them in detail, can only draw one conclusion about Trump, what he tried to do with power and what he would do if he was getting closer to power again.

To refuse to break with Trump now, forcefully and definitively, is to show complete indifference to what the ethics of a constitutional republic and a democracy demand. Staying on the sidelines is the opposite of being an Edmund Burke conservative – the kind who, like that 18th-century politician and philosopher, understands that institutions must be nurtured and that government by mobs is dangerous.

Their terror of Trump’s power in the Republican primaries can no longer be their excuse. Burke was right: “No passion so effectively deprives the mind of all its powers of action and reasoning as fear.”

They should let Bowers free them to reason and act. A staunch conservative, he stood up for his oath – and what he saw as the demands of his faith – when it was difficult, when under siege by Trump and his henchmen. Isn’t he the kind of Republican an American patriot could proudly tell his children about?

They should let Raffensperger, who defeated a Trump-backed candidate in a primary in Georgia earlier this year, free them. He offered a simple but important reason why Trump’s election fabrications and manipulation must be rejected – despite Trump’s threats and lobbying. “Numbers are numbers,” Raffensperger said. “The numbers don’t lie.”

And Freeman and Moss’ testimony cries out to Republicans: Get out of Trump’s way once and for all. To cling to power, Trump was willing to use threats and lies to destroy the lives of two grassroots citizens dedicated to the most fundamental work of democracy. Can a Republican in good conscience defend what Trump has done?

The January 6 committee has done the Republicans a great service. He built up members of their party who showed integrity and courage. And he went into great detail about how egregious Trump’s egregious behavior was.

It’s time for Republicans to get rid of Trump. I wish I had more confidence that the party would seize the opportunity.

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