Republican Congressman says the obvious

Per a recent Reuters article, “Speaking at a POLITICO Playbook Elections event in Philadelphia, retiring GOP Rep. Ryan Costello said the polarized political climate is the result of many variables that are ‘shaking up the hornet’s nest’ but that Trump’s rhetoric ‘is certainly one of them’ for people on both sides of the aisle.

“’In the grand scheme of things, if you were to subsequently ask me, does he quell or exacerbate? I would say he oftentimes exacerbates,’ Costello added.”

These are obvious statements. In fact, he could be even more definitive. The divisiveness in America did not start with Trump, but using Costello’s word he has exacerbates it.

It is good to see a Republican saying what others know, including Republican leaders.  Unfortunately, he is retiring. It seems those who are retiring are more emboldened to speak. Others fall in line as sycophants and only rarely risk the wrath of Trump. It will be interesting to see what the election brings. If the GOP retains the House as well as the Senate, my guess is the sycophancy will be far worse. If General Mattis leaves his position, we will also lose a governor on the mercurial President.

In my view as an Independent, former Republican, Trump does far worse than exacerbate the divisiveness. He exploits less informed people to bend to his wishes. He knowingly bullies, lies and demeans. Yet, he does it so much, it is second nature.

His campaign for reelection (which has never ceased) is running a commercial that “America is back.” Really. We have continued economic good news, but we have dug ourselves a hole. We have retrenched from our global leadership using fear, more than diplomacy. We have alienated our allies by bullying them and placing tariffs on them. We have non-white Americans who feel their rights are secondary. We have an environment which is now more threatened.

We must have leaders speak out against these actions and behavior. They will be met with childish ridicule from the self-annointed King, but must continue to lean into the wind. He has more than exacerbated – he is exploiting us.


11 thoughts on “Republican Congressman says the obvious

  1. I’m afraid we are now living in a trump created alternate reality designed just for his base alone and no one else. He says and can claim any fact as a lie and a lie as the truth and they gasp for more. I truly believe their brain’s neural connections and some dna structures have been altered over time by all this and they have become true believers in the fake and false. Like relig, they will not consider another possibility or view.

    They will not change.
    The rest of us are screwed.

    • Mary, sadly your first assertion is true. I won’t venture down the scientific path other than to say cognitive dissonance is a powerful attraction. They have now integrated their self worth with this man, so even when it is shown he lies far more than he does not, they won’t buy it because of that unsettling disharmony. In other words, if they admit he is lying, then that lessens their worth. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: I caught up on watching John Oliver’s “Last week tonight,” one of the best covered news (in a comedic way) shows. Oliver laid into Geraldo Riviera and other entertainers on Fox who said early on the bomb mailer was a “false flag” operation to discredit the GOP. Without evidence, Riviera and others proclaimed that this was not an actual bomber, but someone pretending to be such hired by the Dems.

    When the Justice department came out and said this was real, Riviera wrote a cheap apology by tweet saying he “outsmarted himself.” As Oliver noted that quote is another way of saying he did something stupid. What I would have preferred to see is him go on Fox and say he screwed up and should not have made stuff up without proof. The President does this often enough for all of our sakes.

    Note, I used the word entertainer to define him. He is not a pundit as most pundits try to get it right. Like Sean Hannity, who has been measured to get it wrong 51% of the time, and Rush Limbaugh, who has an 80% error rate, these shock jocks are entertainers. They certainly are not news people and they do not strive for accuracy enough to be called pundits.

    These people and others like them are what I call “homers,” meaning they just spout drivel for the home team (or tribe). If you want accuracy, don’t watch or listen to these folks. Unfortunately, the US President, who has access to the best intelligence information in the world, chooses to listen to these homers for his information.

  3. Trump and his cronies are absolutely responsible for the outspoken racism, bigotry, misogyny and hatred that is rampant in our country. It existed before but it was accepted that it would not be accepted, one might say as so may far right despise, that we were politically correct. That’s a thing of the past, the KKK, the Neo Nazi’s, etc have an open invitation from this president to create chaos and violence. BTW, just this morning he said the Obama was actually the one who separated children from their parents, not him. Lie after lie.

    • Holly, he is without shame. When he tries to rewrite even recent history saying he did not do or say, I have two thoughts. First, I can read and can hear. When Gary Cohn finally convinced him that he said something that he denied saying, Cohn referred to his boss as a “professional liar.”

      Second, I think of “1984,” as he tries to rewrite history. The word “trump” should be equated with “lying.” Keith

      • It is indeed. Sadly it is associated with much more and just how bad those things will be is to be seen . I must add that whatever chaos and violence he is allowed to perpetuate the Republican Senate is complicit and that will go down in history.

      • Holly, those who say nothing or downplay the negative are complicit. When I hear some of the Trump cult tell me how truthful he is because he kept his promises, I have two reactions. First, what if what he promised is based on lies. Climate change is not a hoax, multi-lateral deals that precede him are not disastrous, immigration is a concern but not as bad as portayed, foreign trade is not the enemy and the ACA is not horrible. Second, this man is as untruthful as they come. Keith

      • You’re so right Keith. it’s really a shame that so many people who really care about our country are living with so much anxiety, some of them very old, maybe in their last days, not knowing what kind of America they are leaving for the next generations.

  4. Dear Keith,

    Gary Cohen has it right. The president is a professional liar with a cult of believers who will buy into anything he says. So he lies about everything even when he doesn’t have to resort to this behavior.

    But he gets too much coverage from news outlets as he helps to increase ratings. I wish the media would try going for one day without mentioning his name.

    Whenever the news is overly negative like the election results on Nov. 6, 2018 and his covering for Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman having ordered the hit on the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, he deflects by creating another story that the media chases like President Trump picking a fight with the 9th circuit court and the the US Supreme Court Justice John Roberts.

    The media folks fall for his tactics every single time.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, I just watched the John Oliver piece on “Drain the Swamp,” that Jill had in her post. As we know, he has made the swamp worse, but the piece showed Trump a month after he was elected that he made that up and had no intention of doing so. And, they cheered. It is akin to hia saying he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and his followers would not care. This piece showed him taunting how he could snooker his followers. I think he could play Jim Jones, tell them the Kool-aid was poisoned and they would drink it. Keith

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