Four conservative quotes worth noting

Three Republicans and one long time Republican who left the party have made very sober statements, with the last one being more of a stance. Let’s begin with General James Mattis, who served as Secretary of Defense under Donald Trump and resigned in December, 2018, with many Republicans pleading with him not to go. Note, former Chief of Staff, General John Kelly reinforced that Mattis was not asked to leave as mentioned in rebuttal by the president.

In an op-ed in The Atlantic, Mattis wrote “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.”

Next, we have the words of Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee who reinforces Mattis’ comments in an article in The Hill.

“I thought General Mattis’s words were true and honest and necessary and overdue… When I saw Gen. Mattis’s comments yesterday I felt like perhaps we’re getting to the point where we can be more honest with the concerns we might hold internally and have the courage of our convictions and speak up,” she told The Washington Post’s Paul Kane, who pooled the remarks and sent them to other Senate reporters. Asked if she could vote for Trump in the 2020 election, Murkowski admitted, “I am struggling with it. I have struggled with it for a long time.”

Next, from an editorial by venerable conservative columnist George Will, reported in a CNN article called “One of America’s most prominent conservative columnists wants Republicans to lose in 2020,” Will’s comments are very indicting, as well as colorful. Here are two select comments written by Will who left the Republican party.

“In life’s unforgiving arithmetic, we are the sum of our choices. Congressional Republicans have made theirs for more than 1,200 days. We cannot know all the measures necessary to restore the nation’s domestic health and international standing, but we know the first step: Senate Republicans must be routed, as condign punishment for their Vichyite collaboration, leaving the Republican remnant to wonder: Was it sensible to sacrifice dignity, such as it ever was, and to shed principles, if convictions so easily jettisoned could be dignified as principles, for … what?…

The measures necessary for restoration of national equilibrium are many and will be protracted far beyond his (Trump’s) removal. One such measure must be the removal of those in Congress who, unlike the sycophantic mediocrities who cosset him in the White House, will not disappear “magically,” as Eric Trump said the coronavirus would. Voters must dispatch his congressional enablers, especially the senators who still gambol around his (Trump’s) ankles with a canine hunger for petting.”

Finally, Senator Charles Grassley, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, has officially raised concern over the president’s firing of a couple of Inspectors Generals releasing a statement.

“Though the Constitution gives the president the authority to manage executive branch personnel, Congress has made it clear that should the president find reason to remove an inspector general, there ought to be a good reason for it. The White House’s response failed to address this requirement, which Congress clearly stated in statute and accompanying reports.”

Grassley announced he is blocking Trump’s nominations of Christopher Miller to head the National Counterterrorism Center and Marshall Billingslea to be the State Department’s undersecretary for arms control and international security, pending explanations by Trump for the firing of a number of Inspectors General. He said he will not allow consideration of Miller’s nomination to proceed until the White House provides answers on Trump’s firing in April of intelligence community inspector general Michael Atkinson. In addition, he said Billingslea’s nomination cannot proceed until Trump explains why he terminated State Department inspector general Steve Linick last month.

Political courage is too rare these days. I applaud these folks for speaking out. As an independent and former Republican voter, I am in agreement with their comments. I have been especially concerned by the firing of Inspectors Generals. If we were a publicly traded company, firing the auditors (or Inspectors General) would be flagged by the independent Audit Committee of the Board of Directors. It matters not who is in the White House. This should be a concern to all of us and I am grateful Grassley is raising the issue.

Please do not dismiss these four conservative voices as lone wolves. Groups like Republican Voters against Trump, Republicans for the Rule of Law and The Lincoln Project have all organized to advocate the defeat of the president and/ or hold him accountable. These are all Republican groups, not Democrats or Independents. The question to ponder is why would they do that? This is not fake news nor is it from people who some supporters would dismiss as Trump haters. These are sober voices who are saying what is needed to be said.

25 thoughts on “Four conservative quotes worth noting

  1. Keith – I had read and admired George Will’s column. Glad you point out the others, and hope more will find a voice for decency in politics. As always, thanks for the analysis. – Susan

    • Thanks Susan. Will’s columns do not appear with the regularity in our paper. I am hoping this one will. I reach out to him with select pieces and he has responded a couple of times. Those were nice surpises. The others deserves kudos, as well, for their courage. Keith

  2. Well said, my friend. After the events of the past couple of weeks, I hope and expect to see more republicans realizing that Trump is single-handedly destroying the Republican Party and standing for what is right.

    • Jill, thanks. We need to get as many Republicans to see words like these. The fervent support for this undeserving person is astonishingly persistent. Keith

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  4. It’s fine that Lisa Murkowski is having a change of heart, but she claims she has “struggling” with supporting Trump for a long time now. Really?? Yet she couldn’t let her “internal thoughts” get in the way of acquitting him in the impeachment hearings. I wonder if she regrets that, in light of what has happened since. I kind of see her remarks as hypocrisy, or at least cowardly – she agreed with what Mattis said but couldn’t stand up to say it beforehand. I still don’t think we can count on her as a voice of sanity in the upcoming elections. She hasn’t come through before.

    • Your comment is along the lines of Silverapplequeen’s, so I will guide you to my response to her. I believe the GOP Senators missed the opportunity to save the country and party. Instead of removing the corrupt and deceitful president, they opened Pandora’s Box. The GOP will reap what they have sown. Keith

  5. I love Will’s comments, especially the last sentence of the second comment you posted of his. I don’t trust any of the Republicans in the Senate to do anything about their concerns, except perhaps what Grassley plans to do. They all seem to be under McConnell’s spell.

    • I hope Grassley sticks to his plan. He has been supportive of IGs and whistleblowers. I am glad General Colin Powell has added his voice in condemnation of Trump. Keith

  6. Hello Keith. You ask why other groups than Democrats or the left would run adverts against tRump. Because tRump is destroying the status quo they enjoy and used to their personal benefit. Each one of these people may have their principles, but those principles did not stop them gaming the system to get wealthy and increase their own influence / power. They like the system tRump is destroying on them. I notice those still desperately trying to hold on to their positions of less and less power wont say a negative thing about tRump. Look at Lindsey Graham who was a rabid anti-trump, until one weekend golf game where he had a magical conversion. Heck he has even changed his hair color to match tRump’s. The rumors are Vald gave his pet tRump some good old fashion blackmail material so tRump could get a pet of his own. Hugs

    • Scottie, many thanks for filling in the context of my “why” which was meant more for those who will be more surprised by these four quotes. Reaching the more strident followers is nigh impossible, but there are some who may think more about the fealty to Trump if questioned.

      Another factor in the change in Graham was the death of his friend John McCain. He lost his pilot. No question, McCain would support Mattis and McCain has made remarks like these even before he died, when he saw Trump betray the advice of his own intelligence officials and sided with Putin. Keith

  7. “I thought General Mattis’s words were true and honest and necessary and overdue… When I saw Gen. Mattis’s comments yesterday I felt like perhaps we’re getting to the point where we can be more honest with the concerns we might hold internally and have the courage of our convictions and speak up,” she told The Washington Post’s Paul Kane, who pooled the remarks and sent them to other Senate reporters. Asked if she could vote for Trump in the 2020 election, Murkowski admitted, “I am struggling with it. I have struggled with it for a long time.”

    How on earth is this statement ANYTHING to admire? Except for the first sentence, which is true (sad & true), the fact that she is so lily-livered to have to say that she “felt like” (what, she can’t think? she has to feel her way through things?) that “we’re getting to the point we’re where we can be more honest” (you’re not COMPLETELY honest all the F*ng time???) “and have the courage of our convictions and speak up” … please, STFU already.

    And anyone who has to struggle with deciding whether or not to vote for Trump is simply a bleeding idiot. Sorry.

    • SilverApple Queen, I fully understand your point and cannot disagree with the large part of your premise. The likes of Trump as president of the US, we have never seen (Nixon is the only one that comes close, but he did not have Fox, Sinclair or Twitter). Trump is a vindictive, mother….You can complete the word. It takes courage to go up against someone supposedly on “your team,” but especially when someone will make you pay for it. What too many have failed to realize is Trump has only one team – the person who stares back from the mirror when he shaves.

      Even in the above statement which you repeat, Murkowski gives herself no reason to vote for Trump, then says she is conflicted. So, again, I do not disagree with your point. My purpose is to say, if Trump supporters won’t listen to me, maybe they will listen to their own. My rebuttal will be similar – these are Republican voices.

      Thanks for your thoughts. I love your passion. Keith

  8. Note to Readers: Retired General and Bush Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell has offered his condemnation of the person in the White House noting his difficulty with the truth. He also noted that he will be voting for Biden. Like Mattis, Powell’s words have gravitas.

  9. Perhaps the emperor’s invisible clothes are starting to fall away. I’m sorry it took so long but, hopefully, many more will rediscover their spines and join in. I think these republicans (and, in the case of Powell, former republican) are beginning to realize what an ugly, disgusting swamp they’ve been wallowing in.

    • Janis, I agree. But, we still need to get the message out. Too many Americans do not pay attention to news, getting their news from social media and even from president, who is the most dubious of sources. Keith

      • Y’all have work to do. From Tasmania, we can only despair at your task. The lack of engagement with how your country fares indict the sources of news many US of A folk must follow

      • David, well said. When a source is telling you what you want to hear, that is not news; it is regurgatation. Too many do not realize that. Keith

  10. Thanks for posting this. It’s a glimmer of hope. It’s mind-boggling to know that Lisa Murkowski is still struggling. I did read your previous replies on that topic. Excellent as always.

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