Rep. Rooney warns his party-Will they listen?

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Yesterday, on CNN’s State of the Union show, Florida Representative Francis Rooney told host Jake Tapper that he was troubled by President Trump’s actions concerning the quid pro quo issue and Ukraine. So much so that he could not rule out voting to impeach the president if the evidence warranted. Rooney also fired a warning shot to his fellow Republicans concerning the future of his party.

I have a few thoughts about the Congressman’s remarks from yesterday. First, as for his concern with possibly impeaching Trump, I welcome any Republican who speaks out when they think this president has gone too far. Sadly, we haven’t had enough of them willing to do so. However, when someone does, we should commend them.

But, we shouldn’t be ready to award the man a medal for profiles in courage either. Much like former Senators Jeff Flake and Bob Corker, Rooney has announced that he would not be running for a third term. Flake and Corker both took the same route after making several statements critical of Trump. We don’t know what’s in Rooney’s heart of hearts, but the timing certainly raises questions.

At this point, though, we should welcome Rooney’s take, regardless of his future intentions. We all know where Democrats stand. We need more pushback from Rooney’s party, however, and not just from those who plan on retiring.

The thing is, what Rooney said about his party stood out even more than his take on the president’s problems. When Tapper asked him if he was concerned about the direction of the Republican Party, he said yes. While he still believes in traditionally conservative ideals, especially as it relates to the economy, he breaks with the extreme positions of his party on issues like the environment and gun violence.

Rooney is well aware of the demographic shift going on in the country, and the need for his party to start reaching out to younger voters, as well as individuals living in the suburbs. Being the party of rural, older white voters isn’t enough. He was less than enthusiastic when Tapper asked him if he still considered himself a Republican.

Congressman Rooney is spot-on. Unfortunately, the Republican Party is going in the opposite direction. Led by the recalcitrant Mitch McConnell, the party is standing in the way of any meaningful legislation that majorities of voters support across the entire country.

Bills to mitigate climate change, regulate guns, rid our politics of dark money and corruption, improve health care access and voting rights, sit–gathering dust on the Majority Leader’s desk. Instead of doing things the public wants, McConnell and his corporate masters would instead rather rely on voter suppression and radical gerrymandering to win elections.

Mr. Rooney recognizes the dangers that lie ahead for his party if they don’t begin to change their ways. After Obama won in 2008, the party supposedly conducted an autopsy as to why they were defeated so handily. There was the talk of moderation and more outreach to a younger demographic—for a minute. In the end, nothing of the sort occurred. Instead, what we got was the status quo and rigging the system to their benefit.

The key to any change for the Republican Party will be when moderates like Rep. Rooney begin to drown out the ideologues. For now, it’s not happening. Maybe the horrors of Donald Trump’s presidency will inspire a massive restructuring and direction for the party. Or, perhaps they double down again. I’m betting on the latter.

19 comments

  1. This is an excellent post, my friend. While I am pleased to see some republican members of Congress speak against some of Trump’s more atrocious actions and rhetoric, I have reservations. A few bits of food for thought. Are the ones like Rooney, Flake, and Corker suddenly finding a conscience? Are they speaking out because they remember what that oath they took means, and they are ashamed that they and their fellow GOP congressmen (and women) have largely sold out We the People? Or, are there other reasons? And, why is it that the only ones speaking out, for the most part, are the ones who no longer have a horse in this race, the ones who have decided to hang up their seats? Which brings me to my next ponderable. If they have found their conscience … if they truly understand the threat to this nation, in fact to the globe, that Trump poses, then … why leave now? They are in a position such that, with their new-found consciences, they could do so much good … why are they ducking out when their voices are so desperately needed? And, as an aside, what happened to Justin Amash? He spoke out against Trump, even left the republican party and said he would support an impeachment investigation, but then when the House voted to condemn Trump’s actions in pulling troops out of Syria and leaving our allies to likely die or be forced into exile, Amash voted only “present”, in other words he passed on an opportunity to stand for what is right. There are, in my mind, a lot of questions begging for answers. Anyway, great post and I shall re-blog this morning!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jill for the re-blog, and the kind words..as always!!
      I agree with you. I’m always skeptical of these guys. The only one I think would follow through and vote for impeachment might be Romney, due to what we discussed in an earlier thread-the guy wants to be president. So, ambition might keep him in the game. He’s got other motives, obviously.
      Most of them though, are cowards. They’re scared of Trump. Pure and simple. We’ve discussed that before too. It’s not the 174k and free parking. It’s something much more. Being drunk with power, wined and dined by lobbyists…you name it. They protect their seats like it’s their last breath on earth. It’s disgusting if you ask me. I’ve never been a proponent of term limits, but damn it…maybe I need to change my tune on that?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah … I hear that Romney isn’t even considering throwing his hat in the ring next year, but … that could change in a heartbeat if he thought he stood a chance. I don’t credit any of the lot with any abundance of values or conscience. They ARE scared of Trump, and I don’t get it. If they vote to convict him, and they remove him from office … he can no longer do them harm, right? Seems to me that it is in their best interest to do just that! Sigh. What am I missing?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Maybe he has opposition research on most of them? You know…damaging photos or other bad stuff. Hell, I don’t know. I’m searching for something, because I’m like you Jill…I don’t get it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    There have been bits ‘n pieces of evidence in recent days that indicate the republicans in Congress may be getting a bit tired of Trump’s antics, a bit tired of trying to defend that which has no legitimate defense. Our friend Jeff delves into the latest and offers us some food for thought on this topic. Thanks Jeff!

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  3. I am looking in these gift horses’ mouths, and all I see is spittle. Their voices are not strong, but whimpering. Maybe they want to speak up, but have forgotten how. Or maybe they are trying to look good before leaving public life, so they might be remembered kindly. I don’t know. I don’t trust them.
    Take them with a grain of cyanide.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed rawgod. These guys do not inspire much do they? With this Rooney guy though, I’m at least more interested in him talking about his party, and where they need to go. Not as much for him speaking out about Trump. His party is so beholden to special interest big money, they’ve become blinded with $$$$$. It’s got to stop. But I just don’t know if they have the ability to do anything about it. I’m thinking that train has left the station, and it’s not coming back.

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      1. The best way is to derail that train, and separate all its cars from one another. Then you need to build a new train, with new cars and new rails. Its engine would have to be built on new philosophies, and new ways of doing business. I have no idea what that might look like, but it would need to be forward-looking, not backward-looking. The past has been tried, and failed. It lies in the garbage heap of humanity. Leave it in the past. It has no value to the present, or the future. If we have a future!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think a viable third party in America might be one way to go. But, both of our two parties have rigged the system so much in their favor, it’s next to impossible to gain a foothold. Until that happens, I fear we’ll be dealing with more of the same.
        And don’t get me wrong, I am a Democrat. I have no problem saying that because overall, they have the platform I believe in most. But they’ve disappointed me on more than a few occasions. I’d look elsewhere if I thought a new party would move the country forward. I’m not holding my breath though. It’s tough to penetrate a system that’s been in place for roughly 170 years!!

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      3. In Canada, beyond the big two, most parties started from the grassroots on up. They might not be winning yet federally, but they are still there. The big two might stomp on them, but they haven’t squished them yet. Even the Communist Party got votes yesterday. They aren’t dead yet.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I would agree with you, and I have heard rumours of such parties starting for the past 50 years, but they never come to fruition. Are they crushed (bullied) before they even start, or can they not get funding, or what? Or are they just rumours with no basis in fact. I would sure love to see a legitimate party try.

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      5. Both of what you said: bullied AND funding. Barriers in each of the states as well. It’s the whole political apparatus-Republicans and Democrats. Oh sure, you’ll have a few independents here in there win statewide, but it’s few and far in between. It’s a BIG problem. Unfortunately, you’re not going to see it change anytime soon. This would clearly be a long-term endeavor.

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      6. Yes, it would have to be. Unfortunately people want immediate gratification, especially Americans/Europeans/etc.
        They don’t live in the long term. Russians do. So do the Chinese. They have more chance of succeeding.

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  4. Jeff, Jill, we need to make people more aware that it is not just Democrats who have concerns. Trump paints all criticism as illegitimate and coming from people who just don’t like him such as Dems and the media. This is why he condemned the news side of Fox when they are critical.

    Right now, he is lumping all dissent on Romney. It is more than Romney and people need to know this. The challenge is his followers follow him, being told that the news people are lying. Someone needs to study how an untruthful man convinced so many that everyone else is lying. This may explain Trump’s fascination with “Mein Kampf.” Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Keith, Romney has a real chance here to stand above it all. I’ve talked with Jill before about Romney’s ambition to be POTUS. I know it still burns in his stomach. He wants it. Hell, I don’t care. If he can help persuade his colleagues to wake up? I’m all for it. And if he gets credit and respect, good for him. I have my own issues with Romney as a politician, but overall I still think he’s a decent guy. I hope he’s willing to go the extra mile on this. We need him to!!

      Like

    2. You summed it up well, Keith … The challenge is his followers follow him, being told that the news people are lying.

      I’ve seen this first-hand on one of those “followers” blog. It’s truly mind-blowing how he has brainwashed these people! And I don’t use that term lightly.

      Liked by 1 person

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