Goddard to the 'law and order' party: denounce lawlessness

By BERRY CRAIG

AFT Local 1360

Otherwise mild-mannered Graves County substitute teacher Charlotte Goddard has tossed down the gauntlet to Republican lawmakers in Frankfort.

"You call yourselves the 'law-and-order' party," challenged the mom of two. "Come out and join the Democrats in denouncing the pro-Trump mob that attacked the Capitol and in denouncing Trump's role in inciting the violence."

Click here to hear the word "fight" said more than 100 times by Trump, his son and other Trump toadies in a series of 1930s Munich beer hall-style rants that helped fire up the rioters to storm the Capitol.

Goddard is a Democrat. A KEA and NAACP member, she earned the Kentucky State AFL-CIO endorsement when she unsuccessfully ran against Trump-tilting, union-busting Republican state Rep. Richard Heath. 

"But condemning the attack and the president for egging it on should be non-partisan," she said. "You'd think every American would agree that the president and the rioters were wrong." 

Maybe so. But 51 percent of Republicans nationwide think the president is "not at all" blameworthy for the violent pro-Trump assault on the Capitol that left five people dead, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer. That's according to a PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released Friday. Goddard suspects the percentage would be higher in Kentucky GOP ranks.  

In Kentucky, Trump won more than 62 percent of the vote in 2016 and last November. Both times, he carried 118 of 120 counties--all but Jefferson (Louisville) and Fayette (Lexington). He upped his Graves County margin from 76.4 to 77.6 percent.

As in Frankfort, Washington GOP lawmakers seem disinclined to jump Trump's sinking ship. "Three days after a mob attack on the U.S. Capitol carried out in President Trump’s name, Republican leaders had yet to outline plans to hold anyone accountable or to alter a platform and priorities lashed to the outgoing Republican president," Anne Gearan, Josh Dawsey and Mike DeBonis wrote in Saturday's Washington Post.

So far, only a handful of Republican legislators--notably Rep. Adam Kinzinger and Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Pat Toomey--have publicly and forthrightly said Trump needs to go. 

It took a while, but in 1974, a slew of Republican lawmakers finally got fed up with President Richard Nixon's crimes, or they resigned themselves that he was toast. After they turned up the heat on Nixon, who was facing almost certain impeachment and removal, he quit and went home.

The Democratic House may impeach Trump again. But removal is still virtually mission impossible in the Senate, where it takes a two-thirds vote to can a president. 

Meanwhile, back in Frankfort, impeachment is also on some of the most feverish of Trumpian Republican minds. Gov. Andy Beshear is the object of their disaffection.

House Republicans are getting up a committee to ponder sacking Beshear for daring issue emergency regulations to slow the spread of COVID-19. Never mind that Beshear's aim was to save lives. Forget that the state Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the gov is on rock-solid constitutional ground.

Anyway, Goddard would welcome a Bluegrass State Republican statement along the lines of one issued by Colmon Elridge, Kentucky Democratic Party chair. (She's not betting one is on the way.)

“We join those of good conscience across the nation in sending our prayers for the safety of First Responders, Capitol Police, and members of Congress and their staff who, in showing up to carry out one of the most important duties of Congress, the certification of electors, have had their lives unnecessarily put in danger by an anarchist mob hellbent on tearing down the fabric of our democracy to save the ego of one man," Elridge said.

"There is no excuse for this display of violence and this lack of respect for our nation. All leaders, regardless of party, should not only denounce these actions but reaffirm that in the United States of America, we do not storm capitols with weapons when election results don’t turn out how we want them to. 

"For 243 years our nation has held the peaceful transition of power as a north star of our republic. In this dark hour, we cannot abandon our ideals. As Americans, we share a collective responsibility to reject terrorism, whether it is foreign or domestic. Today is a day that domestic terrorists have sought to hold our nation hostage, and we will not bend."

Few Republicans anywhere seem ready to bend off the Trump True Path. 

At any rate, Goddard isn't surprised that some of the most ardent Trumpers have turned against a trio of his sycophants on steroids--Vice President Mike Pence and Sens. Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham. Trump's false claims of election fraud were too much for McConnell, Graham and most Senate Republicans. So they voted to sustain the electoral vote tally that made Joe Biden president. (Kentucky Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Somerset, voted with most House Republicans to thwart the count.) 

Afterwards, some angry Trump Blackshirt/Brownshirts  swarmed and cursed Graham at Reagan National Airport. Pence was constitutionally powerless to overturn the vote, but some of the MAGA-hatted domestic terrorists chanted "Hang Mike Pence!" as they rampaged through the Capitol.  

Nonetheless, Goddard isn't ready to nominate Pence, McConnell and Graham for a sequel to Profiles in Courage.  "They and the rest of the Republicans created this monster. It's their monster, and now it would just as soon eat Pence, McConnell and Graham as Democrats."