So it is to you that Id like to address a question thats been troubling me for a while. While your party and through your party, the whole countryhas been taken over by what I think can only be called evil forces, where have been the voices of Republicans like you? I cant think of a single prominent Republican including any of youwho has come forward to denounce this Republican leadership that, for all its righteous posturing, acts like thugs.
I can imagine that you might answer me by saying that Im simply mistaken in characterizing of these Republican leaders people like G.W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Tom Delayas lying and ruthless bullies. But thats an answer that certainly wont satisfy me. There are only a few other times in my life Ive felt such conviction about my perception as I do about the evil I perceive in the forces that have taken over the Republican Party. And over the years Ive learned to trust the truth of my perceptions on such occasions.
But if that is what you truly believe, then that would certainly provide me with a kind of answer. Id understand that the reason Republicans like you, whom Ive regarded as honorable, havent spoken out because you simply dont see what I see.
But there you were in 2004 Mr. Integrity, as many of us thought you to be from 2000, the guy who tells it like it isstumping for this president who had already for four years been tearing apart the fabrics into which the goodness of this country has been woven. Ive got to tell you, I was awfully disappointed in you. Since I felt that you must know what kind of man it was to whom you were lending your credibility, and were thus helping to hold onto Americas highest office for another four years, I imagined that it was out of your own ambitions to reach that office four years hence that you had (figuratively speaking) made a bargain with the devil. I hope Im wrong, but I havent come up with another interpretation that seems very plausible.
Which leads me to wonder: Is that the more general answer to my question, i.e. that Republicans know that if they speak up theyll be cutting their own throats politically? I can imagine that would be a tough thing to do, but then, Senator McCain, its not as though you havent been through far worse, as a POW, than the life youd have in the worst-case scenario of losing your seat from Arizona. And how about you, Senators Baker and Rudman, long-retired from public office: what would you have to lose? If you actually have seen what I see, would anything prevent you from speaking out to denounce the dark forces that have taken over your party?
I remember you, Senator Baker, from those Watergate hearings more than thirty years ago. At that time, you seemed willing to follow the truth wherever it led, despite the fact that it was a president of your own party whose abuse of power was being investigated. What did the president know, and when did he know it? you so famously asked, while millions of us watched as the system worked. Now Im wondering, if your party had controlled the Senate at that time, and you already had a pretty strong sense of Nixons malfeasance, would you have been in favor of the Senate investigating the president as it did? Or would you have done what todays Senate Republicans seem to be doingprotecting the president rather than protecting the country?
Well, Im left with my original question and concern. What does it mean that the Republicans have all been so silent while these dark forces have been riding to power with the Grand Old Party as their vehicle? Do none of them see what I see? Or do they lack the courage to make themselves unpopular with the party base whose admiration theyve enjoyed? Or do they, like their present leaders, care more about power than about the values served or destroyedby that power?
Anyway, I hope youll answer. Or better still, speak out. Better late than never.
Andrew Bard Schmookler