By Ruth Gadebusch
Just wondering, could it be that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a better man than we thought? After all, it appears that he is the only thing between the president and wiping out the investigation of possible collaboration with a foreign power and other nefarious acts of the 2016 election. If the president is so innocent, what is he afraid of as we await a report? Unfortunately, we have reason to continue to wonder just where the Republican-majority Congress is in this time of turmoil.
The attorney general (AG) has been maligned time and time again by the President because he, the AG, obviously has more understanding of the responsibility of the job than the President does. Sessions has stood far more firmly than we could have expected given his history in Alabama and the Senate. Then too, let us remember his leaving the Senate to take this job gave us an unexpected opportunity to elect a Democrat as his replacement in the Senate.
While the President expects the AG, as well as other appointees, to be his flunky, Sessions seems to recognize the higher purpose for the position. Thus far, he seems to have more backbone and more honor than any of us expected. Let us hope that continues.
Alas, there is no such hope for the president. He has thoroughly demonstrated that he is basically unfit for the job. Few of us question the description that he is trailed by an odor generated by racism, misogyny, mendacity, ineptitude, ignorance and corruption.
Instead of “cleaning the swamp,” as Trump proclaimed during his election campaign, he has poured more pollution into it thereby increasing the magnitude of the so-called swamp. If indeed so bad as the president declared in his campaign and in his daily Twitter assaults on anyone who disagrees with him, he has certainly gone about the “cleanup” in a strange way.
Trump has demonstrated no respect for differences, no appreciation of the Constitution, no rising to the honor of holding the most important job on the planet. In short, there is no wondering about his character as we might elevate Sessions to a higher level than we expected. As if this isn’t bad enough, where is the Congress?
Apparently, the Congress is putting party before country. I emphasize that if the campaign was all so above board and in keeping with our constitutional principles, any investigation should be welcomed to prove innocence. It appears that the only majority party members willing to challenge the administration are those not running for reelection. I would remind the others that it does no good to be there if you don’t do the right thing. The right role for Congress is not necessarily following the party line regardless of circumstances but to be the check and balance of the executive branch.
No need to wonder what to do. If ever there was a time for political action it is now with an election that could return this nation to its dream of a haven for all. Saying I don’t like politics is no excuse for not participating. Many have fought to preserve this democracy that has not reached perfection but is still the best hope for all humankind. We must not fail. Every single vote matters. November 2018 is our opportunity to make a difference.
Ruth Gadebusch, a former naval officer, served as a trustee of the Fresno Unified School District and a Gov. George Deukmejian appointee to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. She is an emeritus member of the Board of the Center for Civic Education.