Yet another Republican Senator will not seek reelection

Republican Senator Roy Blunt from Missouri has joined Senator Rob Portman of Ohio in choosing not to run for reelection. Both could be viewed as more “statesmen-like” in a caucus who has misplaced that definition. Blunt’s own words are telling, as gleaned from the article called: “This GOP senator slammed Trumpism on his way out the door,” by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large. Here a few paragraphs:

“Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt said something on Monday — following his surprise retirement announcement — that is worth paying attention to as we continue to monitor the control that former President Donald Trump continues to exert over his party.

‘I think the country in the last decade or so has sort of fallen off the edge, with too many politicians saying, ‘If you vote for me I’ll never compromise on anything,’ and the failure to do that — that’s a philosophy that particularly does not work in a democracy. We’ve seen too much of it in our politics today at all levels, and rather than spending a lot of time saying what I’d never do, I’d spend more time saying what I’d try to do and be willing to move as far in the direction of that goal as you possibly could rather than saying, ‘I’ll never do this.’

Blunt is arguing that the Trump-led push for total purity to principle — or, more accurately, utter fealty to whatever the former President decides he thinks that day — makes for a miserable political existence. (And left unsaid but heavily implied: a very long stay in the minority in Washington.) Who Blunt is talking about in that quote doesn’t require too much reading between the lines to figure out.

There’s no question that the fear of a Trump-backed challenger in his 2022 reelection race played into Blunt’s decision. Ditto Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who previously shocked the political world with his retirement announcement last month.

Here’s what Portman said about that decision:

“I don’t think any Senate office has been more successful in getting things done, but honestly, it has gotten harder and harder to break through the partisan gridlock and make progress on substantive policy, and that has contributed to my decision.”

Sadly, to this independent voter, seeing the Trump party, which has replaced the Republican Party, embrace conspiracy-minded parroting along with outright lying is disturbing. But, don’t take my word for it. Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof wrote a piece about Portman’s retirement saying the GOP is losing a statesman and replacing him with a kook, referencing one of the more notorious new GOP Representatives. Blunt would be on the statesman side.

This GOP senator slammed Trumpism on his way out the door (msn.com)

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/

Two Republican Senators raise concerns over president’s attack on Inspector Generals

Last week, I wrote a piece equating the attacks on the Inspectors General by the US president as an attack on the auditors of a publicly traded company. Such action would justifiably get the attention of the Board of Directors’ Audit Committee. In an article in POLITICO yesterday called “Trump’s attacks on inspectors general galvanize unusual coalition of critics” by Andrew DeSidero and Kyle Cherry, it was noted two Republican Senators have joined other voices of concern.

Per the article, “Two key Republican senators on Tuesday raised alarm about President Donald Trump’s recent hostility toward the government’s internal watchdogs, tacitly warning that he has threatened their independence and asking the president to support, rather than undermine, them.

In a letter to the president, Sens. James Lankford of Oklahoma and Rob Portman of Ohio also urged Trump to nominate permanent officials to fill the powerful positions, instead of relying on temporary fill-ins that circumvent the Senate’s traditional confirmation process.”

This should raise concern in all members of Congress. The party in the White House is irrelevant to this issue. We are not a kingdom. We are not an autocracy. The Inspectors General serve a vital role in our government and it is Congress’ role to support them and govern their efforts, not the president’s. It is even more true with this president, who I feel is the most corrupt and deceitful president in my lifetime, including Richard Nixon who was a crook.

A key question we all must ask is “why?” Why the dismissals and why not greater consternation from all Senators. Senators Portman and Lankford deserve kudos for doing the right thing.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/14/trumps-attacks-on-inspectors-general-draw-critics-186679