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.

Third Republican Senator cautions Trump on sidelining Inspectors General

Two weeks ago, I wrote about Republican Senators Rob Portman and James Lankford sharing their concerns in writing over the president’s dismissal of two Inspectors General and the criticism of a third one’s report which shared obvious COVID-19 concerns for hospitals, but ran contrary to the president’s narrative. A link to this post is below.

Now, the senior most Senator from Iowa, Republican Senator Charles Grassley, has added his concerns in a letter to the president. Or, I should say his concerns have now been made public.

In a article called “GOP senator warns Trump against sidelining watchdogs” by Jordain Carney, the following lead paragraphs can be found. A link to the article is below.

“Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is urging President Trump to walk back a signing statement from last month’s massive coronavirus package, warning it could be used to sideline inspectors general (IGs).

Read broadly, this interpretation could be cited as authority to unduly strip IGs of their fundamental ability to timely report waste, fraud, abuse, and misconduct in government programs to Congress. Such authority is vital to their role in securing government transparency and efficiency, and is a critical role that all IGs routinely perform,’ Grassley wrote.

‘I urge you to reconsider the language in your signing statement and take steps to ensure that IGs are able to report effectively to Congress,’ he added.”

As I wrote earlier, the IGs are like auditors in a publicly traded company. If the president were CEO of such as a company, he would be reprimanded and sanctioned by the Independent Board Audit Committee. These IGs exist for a reason, but they are governed by Congress. If Congress abdicates its role, then we are shortchanging our country. I would add, even if this president had veracity, this would still be an issue. The fact he so untrustworthy makes it even more critical to have oversight.

Regardless of party, please ask your Senators and Congressperson to share their concerns over these attacks on the IGs. It simply is not right. And, it certainly, unwise to not protect the integrity of the people doing these jobs.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/gop-senator-warns-trump-against-sidelining-watchdogs/ar-BB133wCz?ocid=spartandhp

https://musingsofanoldfart.wordpress.com/2020/04/16/two-republican-senators-raise-concerns-over-presidents-attack-on-inspector-generals/