I’ll admit it. As we approach the Trumpocalypse, I’ve been worried about the ability of Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill to withstand conservative pressure and refuse to play nice with Republicans intent on crippling government’s role in ensuring the welfare of what the Tea Party used to routinely and pompously refer to as “We the People.” She’s a Democrat who’ll soon be facing an election battle in what has become a rabidly red state – and it isn’t likely that she’ll get a gift like Todd Akin running against her in the next election.
Now, however, I need to give credit where it’s due. And it’s due to Senator McCaskill. At the Senate Armed Services Committee opening hearing today, McCaskill’s expressed loud and clear outrage about the Trump cabal’s dismissal of Russian interference. As Politico‘s Nolan D. McCaskill (a coincidental convergence of names?) reports:
Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill accused the president-elect of putting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whose site released many of the most damaging hacked Democratic emails, “on a pedestal,” adding: “I think it should bring about a hue and cry. … No matter whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, there should be howls. And mark my word: If the roles were reversed, there would be howls from the Republican side of the aisle.”
This is the Claire McCaskill who keeps progressives trotting off to the polls election after election with the intention of sending her back to Washington one more time, hoping that she has an inner Elizabeth Warren who might peek out from time to time.
Despite threats from corporate GOP groups to pressure red-state centrists like McCaskill, there could be a bonus in vocal opposition to the GOP plan to strangle responsible government. If the terrible promise of shock-therapy governance under a fringe-right GOP and their Great Orange Legislation Signing Machine in the White House materializes, it could mean good things for Democrats in 2018 when some of the more misguided Trump voters realize what havoc they have unleashed.
But if every action generates a reaction, we have to make sure the reaction is correctly targeted. Busy, essentially apolitical folks have to realize who is sending out the raiding parties, who is responsible for the collapse of important government programs, and, of course, who is looking the other way to the detriment of national security when Trump cozies up to Putin and other ethno-nationalist, facist leaders in his foreign policy preferences.
It will be up to Democrats to put the correct targets into relief. The only way that is going to happen is if leaders like McCaskill refuse to take part in the potential debacle. If they stand up in opposition and refuse to participate in the GOP feeding frenzy that is on the way, they may be able to buck the odds come next election. Trump used emotive propaganda to convince his gullible base that an essentially prosperous and growing economy was in decline, but when the real thing is unleashed, he and the GOP congress he promises to loose upon us need to take the fall all by their lonsies.
We need to thank McCaskill for beginning the process of differentiating principled Democratic opposition from GOP Trump-toadying today in the Senate Armed Forces Committee hearing, and standing up for national security in a cyber-insecure world. And while we’re at it, let her know that we’re waiting to hear her voice raised in the same way in opposition to cabinet appointees like the racist Jeff Sessions, the destruction of Obamacare, or the gutting of Social Security and Medicare under the false rubric of “reform.”