From the Office of… Destroying Republican Traditions – The Ukiah Daily Journal

After most Republicans vehemently condemned the FBI raid on Donald Trump’s Florida estate, Fox News host Steve Doocy plaintively asked his guest, GOP Congressman Steve Scalise: ” What happened to the Republican Party supporting blue?

When Scalise protested that “rogue” elements of the FBI were responsible for the operation, Doocy fired back, “Steve, who went rogue? Who went rogue? They were following a search warrant.

Over the past half century or more, Republicans have been very astute and successful in embracing the concept of “law and order.” Their candidates campaigned tirelessly in front of supporters dressed in all kinds of uniforms: police and firefighters, helmets and green berets, paramedics and emergency paramedics. Meanwhile, they called Democrats the party of mess — long-haired, pot-smoking, freedom-loving, flag-burning “counterculture McGovernicks,” as Newt Gingrich once said long ago. .

Doocy, normally a Trump loyalist, asks a good question: who, exactly, went rogue? And here is the answer: the Republican Party. The GOP has lost its moorings as a defender of conservative values ​​and established authorities. He replaced those honorable principles with a new one: the Trump rule. What’s good for the Donald is good for the party. This is how “back the blue” became “defund the FBI”.

“I used to think the Republican Party used to support law enforcement,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“There are threats everywhere, and losing faith in our federal law enforcement officers, in our justice system, is a really serious problem for the country,” Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan added on ABC’s “This Week”.

Republicans aren’t the only ones attacking law enforcement for their own political ends. It is left-wing protesters in cities like Portland, Oregon who have made “defunding the police” — perhaps the most misguided slogan in recent political history — their rallying cry.

Moreover, in the weeks leading up to the Mar-a-Lago episode, it was the Liberals who were attacking Attorney General Merrick Garland, complaining with growing bitterness that he was too cautious in his approach and too slow to indict. Trump for his role in igniting the January 6 insurgency.

No one is above the law, not even a former president. But no one is under the law either. Trump has rights that Garland is trying to protect, but the left wants the judicial process to accomplish what it has been unable to do politically: Disqualify Trump from holding office again.

Yet this is not a case of “bilateralism” or equal guilt. “Defunding the police” is a fringe idea among Democrats, while perverting justice for political gain is a fundamental tenet of Trumpism. As Michael R. Bromwich, a former Justice Department inspector general, told Peter Baker of The New York Times, “Trump just doesn’t understand people like Garland and the top DOJ and FBI leaders because their values ​​are so foreign to him. ”

Senior justice department officials are appointed by the president, but the tradition is clear: they serve the law first, not the politician who chose them. Trump’s treatment of his own AGs and FBI directors is the best example of Bromwich’s point of view.

“After winning, Mr. Trump viewed law enforcement as just another institution to bend to his will, firing FBI Director James B. Comey when he refused to pledge his personal loyalty to the President or to publicly declare that Mr. Trump was not a target of the Russia Inquiry,” Baker wrote in The Times. “The President then fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recused himself from this investigation and therefore not shielding Mr. Trump from it.”

Then there was Bill Barr, who succeeded Sessions as Attorney General. “Donald Trump is a man plagued by grievances against people he believes have betrayed him,” ABC White House correspondent Jonathan Karl writes in his book “Betrayal.” And after Barr called Trump’s voter fraud claims “bulls-t” in an AP interview, Karl reports the following exchange between the two men:

“Did you say that?” Trump asked.

“Yes,” Barr replied.

“How the hell could you do this to me?” Why did you say it?”

“Because it’s true.”

The president, livid, responded by referring to himself in the third person: “You must hate Trump. You must hate Trump.

Here it is. In today’s Republican Party, everything goes through Trump. Is it good or bad for him? Do you love it or do you hate it? And if that loyalty means trashing traditions like “supporting the blue,” so be it.

Steven Roberts teaches politics and journalism at George Washington University. Her new book is “Cokie: A Life Well Lived”. He can be contacted by email at

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