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Opinion | When hope is lost

Joey Kennedy

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With President Donald Trump now vowing not to cooperate with the House’s impeachment inquiry, he’s practically assured himself that he’ll be impeached for obstruction of justice if nothing else.

Where obstruction is concerned, the House already has 10 possible cases for obstruction just from the Mueller Report. And just by trying to inhibit the impeachment inquiry, Trump is flirting with other counts of obstruction as well. It only takes one.

What’s puzzling (but not really considering today’s hypocritical Republicans) is how so many members of the so-called law-and-order party, the GOP, continue to back Trump and all his criminal acts.

In Alabama, the Republican Party is quick to pass laws that crack down on crime. Alabama Republicans love keeping the state’s awful prison system full. But full of ordinary people, not politicians.

Former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard was sentenced to four years in prison more than three years ago, yet he remains free as the dozen counts of corruption for which he was convicted are considered on appeal by the Alabama Supreme Court. It’s not a complicated case, but first the Court of Criminal Appeals and then the Supreme Court have taken their time on Hubbard’s behalf.

That would never happen for you or me.

The Republicans running for Democratic U.S. Sen. Doug Jones’ seat are crawling all over themselves defending Trump and calling the impeachment inquiry a bogus investigation.

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Trump put pressure on the Ukraine to investigate his top Democratic Party opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, and that violates all sorts of laws. It’s a blatant misuse of presidential authority, yet most Republicans in Alabama and across the nation contort themselves defending the crimes.

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They do this even as Trump keeps us in a dangerous trade war with China and unilaterally abandons the Turkish Kurds, our allies in the fight against ISIS. Farmers across the nation, some right here in Alabama, are hurting because of Trump’s China tariffs, but Republicans turn their backs on these farmers in support of this very unstable “genius” who demonstrates dailyhe cares truly about one thing: Himself.

Trump has used the White House and U.S. tax dollars to make him and his family richer, and Republicans are just fine with that. Trump celebrates some of the world’s most brutal dictators who interfere with our elections and would love to see the United States crippled, and Republicans are just fine with that.

Even as Trump throws various members of his own Cabinet under the bus over his criminal phone call to Ukraine’s president, he continues making multiple attempts to sway otherforeign leaders to help him in his re-election bid for president, clearly against the law, and Republicans are just fine with that.

I’ve generally opposed Republican policies because they’re usually mean-spirited and cruel to the least of these, but at least you felt Republicans had certain principles they would aggressively defend, no matter how wrongheaded.

Not today. Republicans have no principles. They’re no longer fiscal conservatives; they’re defenders of the rich and powerful. They don’t care about the rule of law when that involves one (or more) of their own. They do what they can to suppress the vote of minority and poor Americans, yet they don’t give a hoot when Russia overtly meddles in our own elections.

Trump may have accelerated the absolute corruption of the Republican Party with all his shenanigans, but we should understand that most Republicans were headed that way even before Trump.

It’s sad, really. And scary. Really scary. But this is where we are in late 2019. Perhaps it’ll turn around in 2020 – at least nationally if not in Alabama.

We can hope, can’t we? Or can we?

Joey Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize winner, writes a column every week for Alabama Political Reporter. Email: [email protected]

 

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