The Silence of the Republican Lambs on Ronny Jackson, the Roaring Economy, and More
What a week for President Trump! We have North and South Korea making peace, with the North promising to give up its nukes – something unimaginable for past administrations, those filled with diplomatic wizards like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry. This announcement is on the heels of a successful state visit by French president Emmanuel Macron and Mike Pompeo's confirmation as secretary of state.
The economy is humming along with record low unemployment, particularly benefiting blacks and Hispanics, in a way that Democrat policies never allowed for. Rap superstar Kanye West, much to the dismay of the left, came out of the liberal closet and proclaimed himself a Trumpster. Left-wing MSNBC hack Joy Reid, after the discovery of her past Twitter musings, can't decide if she was a homophobe years ago when it wasn't one of the third rails of liberal politics, allowing the left another opportunity to eat one of its own, or else make silly excuses for her homophobia.
All is not wine and roses, however. The president's nominee for Veterans Administration secretary, Dr. Ronny Jackson, was hounded into withdrawing his nomination through rumors and unsubstantiated allegations, in a similar fashion to how Clarence Thomas and Robert Bork were treated when nominated for the Supreme Court, and just as Harry Reid tried to smear candidate Mitt Romney with lies about Romney not paying his taxes.
If Dr. Jackson was a drunken pill-pusher, as Senator Jon Tester claimed, why did George W. Bush and Barack Hussein Obama both use Dr. Jackson as their personal physician – not only for themselves, but also for their wives? Allegations are easy to make. Just look at the Russian collusion stories, to this day without proof or verification. In the short time frame between Dr. Jackson's nomination and confirmation hearings, it's quite difficult to prove that something didn't happen, particularly when it appears that the president is the only Republican defending his nominee against allegations promoted by the Democrats and the media.
Why aren't the past presidents who used Dr. Jackson as their personal physician coming to his defense? The silence of Bush and Obama speaks volumes, as they throw their personal physician to the wolves rather than lift a finger to support the current president.
Where are the Republicans? Why aren't they defending their president's nominee with as much vigor as the media and the Democrats are using in their attacks?
Make no mistake: if President Obama nominated his personal physician to serve as V.A. secretary and some Republican senator made salacious allegations, the Democrats would circle the wagons around their president's nominee and fight tooth and nail against the accusations. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, Rep. Adam Schiff, Mad Maxine Waters, and many others would be apoplectic at one of their nominees being unjustly attacked and maligned. CNN would be having panel discussions over Republicans being "doctor-phobic."
Where were the Republicans this week? Instead of fighting back, they were wallflowers at the high school dance, fidgeting nervously, afraid to make eye contact with any of the other girls or boys.
But is that what's really going on?
Wallflowers don't get elected to Congress. Campaigns are challenging, with myriad media interviews, town hall meetings, and debates. The shy and timid never make it out of the starting gate, much less get elected and, for most members of Congress, re-elected, again and again.
Instead, this can only be deliberate, the silence of the Republican lambs, behavior that could easily lead them to a midterm slaughter if a fed up Republican base stays home on election day. Dr. Ronny Jackson's nomination is only one of many lost opportunities for Republicans to show unity with the president and fight back.
Where is the outrage over the bogus Russian collusion story? This is a fantasy created and perpetuated by Democrats and their media co-conspirators, dividing the country and creating such mistrust of elections and the Constitution that America may never recover and unify. Sure, a few members of Congress are pushing back – Reps. Devin Nunes, Matt Gaetz, Mark Meadows, and a handful of others – but the rest of the Republicans are nothing but wallflowers, giving credence to the collusion narrative via their silence.
How many Republicans are celebrating and touting the roaring economy? Or an unprecedented olive branch of peace offered by North Korea? The only Republican commenting is on-again, off-again Senator Lindsey Graham, praising President Trump's diplomatic efforts to get Little Rocket Man to cross his southern border and join the civilized world, ending a more than half-century cold war between North Korea and the free world.
Instead, senators are far more animated and excited trying to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from Trump than protecting Trump from Mueller and those on a jihad to remove him from office. It almost seems as if most Republicans secretly hope Mueller and his team come up with something that can be construed as a high crime or a misdemeanor, enough to cripple Trump's presidency through impeachment, or, better yet, removing him from office, either via a Senate vote or resignation.
Are most Republican members of Congress simply embarrassed over Trump, over his style and demeanor? Or do they resent their so-called conservative message being delivered by a loudmouth from Queens, someone from the wrong side of the tracks, not one of their own?
Republicans should be delighted with Trump's success and popularity, celebrating his economy, judicial picks, regulatory rollbacks, and foreign policy achievements. Yet they are wallflowers, hiding in the shadows, picking their noses, afraid to join the party, their party.
The question is, why? What do they hope to accomplish by their silence? A once-in-a-generation opportunity to advance a conservative agenda is being squandered.
The midterms are a few months away. Will Republicans run with Trump or against him? Any guesses as to which option has the higher probability of getting them re-elected? Will Republicans engage and dance or stand in the corner as wallflowers? If they play this wrong, it may be their last dance.
Brian C. Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.