Here’s your moment of terror for today, courtesy of Vox’s Matt Yglesias.
You can believe this argument, or not. But it is true that the independence of majority senators is one of the checks in our system, and that the first appointments are a battle worth fighting. And the good news is, Trump, and many of his potential nominees, are deeply unpopular in their own party. Using this Atlantic piece, I’ve compiled a list of GOP senators who either did not or only tepidly supported Trump during the election and who may be convinced to take a stand. Even though I don’t agree with many of these people, many of them are courageous, patriotic people of principle who will do what’s right…if we convince them.
The problem is that everything will be lined up against GOP senators taking a stand. The GOP will consider it treason. Many of these senators’ own supporters (especially the ones in red states) who voted for Trump will be furious. In other words, it will fall to us to do the convincing by pressuring the heck out of them, largely with phone calls and letters.
Truth be told, I’m a bit out of my depth here. I don’t know the best way to start this fight. I’ll look for the ways (or you can tell me by responding) and report back. The good news is, we have some time before these appointments start. I suspect that right now, if you live in one of these states, the best thing you can probably do is write a physical letter to your senator’s local office letting them know that you’re counting on them to make sure Trump’s nominees are qualified and not compromised by ties to foreign entities or Trump’s businesses. Then, when the appointments are announced, you call the office asking them to oppose.
A fiercely independent libertarian who has often broken with his own party, Paul has already indicated he will not accept a Secretary of State who approved of the war in Iraq.
A moderate from a blue state known for its independent streak who didn’t vote for Trump.
A deeply patriotic hawk with an independent streak who is already speaking out against Trump’s cozying up to Putin and Russia.
A hawk who was unabashedly anti-Trump during the primaries. He’s already promised to check Trump on immigration and foreign relations and called for an investigation into Russian influence during the election.
One of Trump’s most out-spoken GOP critics during the election who wrote at length about why he couldn’t support him. Unfortunately, Sasse is currently tweeting about paid protestors, but who knows, he may be convincable.
Lee is apparently Ted Cruz’s only and best friend, so make of that what you will. But the guy did apparently fly to Florida to try to block Trump from winning the nomination there. He’s also a devout Mormon and outspoken libertarian from a state whose Mormon population was ambivalent at best about Trump, and voted for Evan McMullin in protest.
Flake is a devout Mormon, stood up to Trump during the election (Trump told him he’d lose his nonexistent reelection bid as a result), was critical of his party’s SCOTUS obstructionism, didn’t vote for Trump and seems to be tepid, at best, about the early transition.
A moderate who lost her Republican primary to a tea partier on 2010, then won election as a write-in candidate. Didn’t vote for Trump.
Heller is up for reelection in 2018 in an increasingly blue state where Hispanics surged to defeat Trump. He didn’t vote for Trump.
An outspoken Trump critic from an increasingly blue state. Did not vote for Trump. He’s also leading the NRSC for 2018, so will be particularly tuned in to how constituents respond to Senators’ actions when it comes to Trump.
Was firmly in the anti-Trump camp during the election.
A swing state senator who campaigned as a moderate. His initial post-election comments indicate he’s probably not going to be a check. But maybe?
Apparently, somehow, Scott voted for Trump. But he did kinda-sorta agree with Black Lives Matter about police abuse, famously noting that he himself has been stopped many, many times by Capitol Police.
A swing state senator who has dabbled in compromise on immigration, sure to be one of the hottest issues this year, in the past. In the end, Rubio voted for Trump because he is a coward. But he was still outspoken in his belief that Trump is unfit for the presidency. If others lead, Rubio might follow.
Swing state senator who never said how he was voting. He won Pennsylvania by much more than Trump did.
Thune called for Trump to step down after the Access Hollywood tape. But he also previously endorsed Trump. So…who knows.
Ted Cruz is a gutless, spineless excuse for a human who managed to ultimately support Trump despite the fact that the President-elect criticized his wife’s looks, suggested his father might have assassinated President Kennedy, started a Cruz birther movement, said he wouldn’t even accept a Cruz endorsement, and attacked his faith. Also, nobody who knows Cruz likes him (except “best friend” Mike Lee), and he might be the zodiac killer.
But as we can see from the above above, he’s just craven enough that if other people are rewarder for taking a stand, he might, too.
Exported from Medium on October 22, 2020.