Bob Stannard: When is enough, enough?
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God" - Congressional Oath of Office
"I did the same thing that you're doing now for 10 years. I protected Mr. Trump for 10 years, I can only warn people. The more people that follow Mr. Trump — as I did blindly — are going to suffer the same consequences that I'm suffering." - Michael Cohen
Last week was a tough week for America. The president's fixer/lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified before Congress on his decade of working for, and protecting, Donald Trump. Cohen made it clear why Mr. Trump needs protection; Trump is a very dishonest person. Dishonest people need protecting.
The question that has been on the minds of most Americans is why have the Republicans in Congress remained silent? It's not like it's been a big secret that Mr. Trump is dishonest, yet the silence has been deafening when it comes to calling out this president.
I'm old enough to remember a time when the former Chair of the House Oversight Committee, Trey Gowdy, spent two years and $7million trying to disprove established facts on the Benghazi attack. I recall the day that they held Hillary Clinton in the witness chair for eleven hours and the only tidbit of information they got was that she had used a private email server; something her predecessor had also done. This served one and only purpose; to allow now convicted felon, Michael Flynn to chant "lock her up" at the GOP Convention. The now irrelevant issue is still the chant at Trump rallies; albeit it should now apply to Mr. Trump's.
Sen. Mitch McConnell and former Speaker, Paul Ryan, did a marvelous job of sitting in silence during Trump's first two years in office. The potted plant in the corner of the room had more to say about Trump's indiscretions than either of these men. As more news, real news, came to light about paying off porn stars; millions of dollars unaccounted for from the inaugural, the never-ending stream of misleading statements, the flat out lies and the in-your-face corruption from many in his cabinet, the Republicans in Congress have remained silent. We've have yet to hear one word of protest or descent from any of them.
The increasing volume of their silence has led Americans to believe that their loyalty is not to the Constitution for which they swore an oath to uphold, but instead to a man. They feel they are trapped and have no alternative, because they live in fear of being voted out of the office they hold. The trappings of the office, along with all it's perks, prestige and power, have taken precedence over the oath they took. In addition, they're beholden to their rich donors who are thrilled with things like tax cuts and getting more and more money that they can use to donate back to those who helped increase their wealth.
There's a term for those who sit in silence; "Enabler". We've seen this before when people sat in silence as Hitler rose to power. The parallels are uncanny. People will look the other way as long as they get what they want.
There comes a point, though, when even the most loyal will finally say "enough is enough" and will have to support the country over the man.
We all know this day is on the horizon. Hard to tell which straw placed on the pile will be the straw to break the camel's back, but one thing is for certain; there are a lot of straws.
Bob Stannard writes a regular column for the Journal.
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