Southerners have traditionally valued Honor and courage as inestimable virtues — crucial to their ideal of manhood, So you have to wonder why so many southern politicians have acted so cravenly with so little regard for reputation and the duties of their office. Senators are required to take the following oath:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
But when it comes to action many ignore their constitutional mandate in favor of cheap political expedience and a coward’s desire not to suffer the hardships of standing up for their manhood.
Lindsey Graham may have said the words but he did so without conviction. Instead, In his estimation, he believes “I have an obligation to help my president and I will.” Graham’s obligation is not to the President — it is to his oath and his office. There is no reason why Graham can’t work with Trump to enact a Republican agenda. But if Graham doesn’t stay honest to his commitment to maintaining the checks and balances of government then his honor is forfeit.
Graham’s obsequiousness to Trump adds to his dishonor. Trump didn’t just emasculate Graham in the presidential campaign, he gave out Lindsey’s cell phone number. It was a gratuitous and intentionally demeaning abasement — a symbolic scalping if you will.
Rand Paul is another puff of wind. The proponent of limited government has thrown his lot in with a man who thinks that the government serves mainly as a tool to punish his political enemies. Paul tried playing hard to get — but that insincere stance was quickly shed as he panted his fidelity to Trump.
His latest insanity was to suggest hooking the White House staff to lie detectors to figure out who was the Deep Throat redux responsible for the reveal-all N.Y. Times op-ed. It is an odd sort of libertarianism that supports the tools of paranoid tyranny.
Marco Rubio, who started the whole ‘small hands’ meme has sunk into sputtering obscurity. His latest outrage was provoked by the absence of a flag in a movie. And what of his erstwhile opposition to Trump? It has melted like ice cream on a hot sidewalk.
But the number one — undisputed — ingratiating groveler is Ted Cruz. During the campaign he said this of Trump:
“a sniveling coward”
“a pathological liar. He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth”
”a narcissist at a level I don’t think this country’s ever seen”
”a bully. … Bullies come from a deep, yawning cavern of insecurity.”
In return, Trump not only insulted Ted’s wife Heidi with a doctored picture presenting an unfavorable contrast to Melania. He also implied that Ted’s Dad was involved in the Kennedy assassination. It was so nakedly vicious that Cruz initially declined to offer Trump his endorsement.
“I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father,”
But his principled stand disappeared as he quickly and cynically favored his political career over the bonds of family. He could have saved face with a tepid, pro-forma, announcement which would have been universally understood as the least he could do. But he gave away his cojones cheaply and made phone calls for the man who stole his honor.
And in an irony worthy of a Greek drama he may lose his career anyway as he faces an unexpectedly tough reelection against Beto O’Rourke.
You cannot find a single southern politician who has made the least move toward upholding his duty. And in fairness, there is little more spine among the geographical rest of the lot.
There is one man who has shown some grit and stood up to Trump’s incoherent and ill-spelled Twitter rants. It is, surprisingly, Jeff Sessions – the first Senator to pledge his troth to the belligerent bully. Beauregard may look like an elf. He may espouse some hateful, harmful, anti-family, unChristian policies. But give him his due, he has stood alone in not bowing down to lick his master’s hand.
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