In a brutally blunt column for the New York Times, conservative Bret Stephens called out the 41 Republican senators who rolled over and voted to support President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration money grab to fund his border wall.
According to Stephens. they are the “41 cowards.”
“Less than a quarter of the G.O.P. caucus was prepared to block a national-emergency declaration most of them know violates the separation of powers, tramples on their legislative prerogatives, makes a mockery of long-held conservative principles, and establishes a political precedent they will come to regret bitterly and soon,” he began.
Stephens then took on two particular senators who had voiced their opposition — only to turn tail and vote for the president when called upon to take a stand.
“But special mentions must be made of Nebraska’s Ben Sasse and North Carolina’s Thom Tillis,” he charged. “Both of them previously opposed the emergency declaration. Both are up for renomination and re-election next year. And both found ways to vote something other than their consciences.”
Cutting to the chase, Stephens wrote, “It’s remarkable how quickly principles become liquid when a Senate seat is at stake. Remarkable, also, how completely the G.O.P. is now defined by self-abasement.”Tilles and Sasse were not the only “cowards” to be on the receiving end of the conservative columnist’s wrath.
“Trump suggests Ted Cruz’s wife is ugly. The senator from Texas bends the knee<” he wrote. ” Trump reads out Lindsey Graham’s cell number at a campaign event. The senator from South Carolina bends the knee. Jeff Sessions? Paul Ryan? Formerly anti-Trump pundits? The entire conservative movement now looks like an immense prostration ceremony. Only it’s in the service of something the novices know at some level is dangerous and unholy.”
Then he pronounced sentence on the current Republican Party.
“Now the majority of Republicans in the Senate have surrendered to the idea that a president can spend taxpayer money from a partisan whim in express defiance of Congress<” he accused. “It’s one more capitulation to Trumpism in a list that now includes the abandoned beliefs that international alliances make us safer, free trade makes us richer, immigration makes us stronger, a free press makes us freer, human rights make us better, and tyrants should be confronted, not coddled. The Republican Party is burying the legacy of Ronald Reagan in ways Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders could only dream of.”
You can read the whole scathing piece here.