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Opinion | Partisanship that ruined Alabama’s state government has infected Congress

President Barack Obama delivers a health care address to a joint session of Congress at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., Sept. 9, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

Oliver Robinson deserved to go to jail and I wouldn’t vote for him to be team captain in a pick-up basketball game. 

Good riddance to John Edwards. Bye bye to Anthony Weiner. So long to Jesse Jackson Jr. Don’t let the door hit ya, Rod Blagojevich. 

Crooks and scoundrels, all of them. And I wouldn’t vote for or defend a single one. 

But of course, I’ll never have the opportunity. Because all of the men I mentioned above are Democrats. And when Democrats turn out to be crooks, Democratic voters treat them like pariah. 

Or, to be more accurate, progressives treat them as if they are undeserving of the privilege of representing us, and we go find someone who will uphold the constitution and basic laws. And then we move on with our lives. 

I couldn’t help but think of the stark differences between the way Democrats and Republicans treat the bad actors within their ranks on Wednesday, as I listened to Republican after Republican prattle on and on about the unfair the FBI investigation into Donald Trump was and how unfair the impeachment of Donald Trump has been. 

That unfair FBI investigation, I might remind you, turned up more than 250 illegal/improper contacts with Russian officials, documented specific requests by Trump and his staff for interference into an American election, documented specific use of illegally obtained materials by the Trump campaign, documented repeated instances of obstruction by the campaign staff and documented instances of the future president attempting to obstruct the investigation. 

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The impeachment hearings have documented, without even a scintilla of contrary evidence presented, that the president used his office and taxpayer money to pressure a foreign country’s leaders to investigate the president’s political rival. And he has since obstructed every legal effort to investigate that crime, going so far as to order his staff to ignore subpoenas. 

But … those are just facts. 

And those facts haven’t stopped a soul wearing the Republican jersey from labeling this whole impeachment inquiry and Russia investigation as “shams” and defending the former reality TV star in the White House against the mountain of evidence against him. 

Usually by assaulting the intelligence and altering reality to fit a narrative even a child would laugh at. 

For those of us on the other side of this thing — the people who treat politicians as merely men who will probably screw up at some point — this entire display is a mind-boggling demonstration of good old fashioned lunacy. 

And it’s going to kill this country. 

If you doubt that, let me give you evidence: Alabama. 

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These sorts of actions — the refusal to accept reality, the insistence that facts aren’t as important as beliefs, the tendency to defend party over the law, the vilification of law enforcement and career servants — are things that have made this state an absolute mess for going on 200 years now. 

It is why we lead the nation in public corruption. And in embarrassing political scandals. 

Because in Alabama, words matter more than actions. Image matters more than substance. 

Mike Hubbard, Alabama’s former Speaker of the House, got the same treatment from Republicans in this state that Trump is getting from GOP congressmen. Hell, after being indicted by a grand jury on 23 felony counts, Hubbard’s Republican pals re-elected him Speaker. 

They stood on a stage with him and called it all a witch hunt. They helped him go after the attorney general’s office that was investigating him. They threatened the prosecutors handling the case. They attacked the origins of the investigation and spread false statements about the men and women who had worked on it. 

Any of this sound familiar? 

Because they know that in the end, what will truly matter to Alabama voters isn’t that Mike Hubbard was a crook or that he stole their money or that he failed to uphold his oath of office. 

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They’ll care about the Republican jersey he has on. 

This is how we ended up with the worst state government in the country. This is how our working class people are consistently bamboozled by the wealthy and elite. 

And it’s how the country will end up in the same shape. 

The career servants to the country — the men and women we trust daily to protect us from foreign and domestic threats, to root out foreign terrorism and thwart domestic terrorists driven by hate and to protect and uphold the U.S. Constitution — have told us what actually happened. They have described in painstaking detail what this president and his staff have done. They have done so at great personal and professional risk.

The evidence they have provided paints a clear picture — one disputed only by Republicans who fail to attack their statements of fact but instead harp on phony questions of motive or absurd accusations of personal political bias. 

There is no question at this point among those who are even remotely unbiased that the U.S. president abused the power of his office and obstructed Congress’s attempts to investigate. To date, not a single witness has been willing to stand before Congress under oath and dispute any of the facts.  

And yet, not a single Republican in Congress has expressed publicly a concern about this. 

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This level of loyalty to party above the law will be the country’s undoing. A system that fails to uphold and respect the laws cannot function. 

Trust me. We’ve seen it firsthand.


Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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