Today, the House of Representatives voted unanimously in support of a resolution brought by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) to condemn the assault by Turkish “security personnel” on peaceful protesters. This was purely symbolic since the resolution does not have the force of law.
McClatchy reports: “Royce of California, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, called the violence an “act of suppression on American soil” and an affront to the First Amendment rights of U.S. citizens. Yet the conduct of Erdogan’s armed bodyguards has gone largely unchallenged, said Royce, who sponsored the resolution.”
Last month, on Tayyip Erdogan’s orders his “guards” injured nine people who were exercising their first Amendment right to protest Erdogan’s warm reception by Donald Trump. Incidentally, Trump had words of praise for Turkey’s dictator.
Our “president’s” response to this affront to our constitution was shameful and hardly the “strong leadership” the alpha-male Donald often promised to be during the campaign.
Again, according to McClatchy:
“Although the State Department continues to investigate the matter, the Trump administration released two members of Erdogan’s detail after holding them briefly following the clash. The guards returned to Turkey with Erdogan.”
There is reason to applaud the fact that for a brief moment, Republicans in the House of Representatives took a symbolic step to defend the right to protest under the first amendment of our Constitution. They joined with Democrats to rightfully condemn the violence and the disrespect inherent in Erdogan’s order that his “guards” attack people protesting on American soil.
This comes on a day, when I was wondering if anyone in the Republican Party understood that the freedoms enshrined in our constitution are what makes America great. Those freedoms can be cause for discomfort if you’re the President, or a member of Congress but we still defend them.
This is the same day the Republican Majority on the Senate Intelligence committee did all they could to manipulate events and words to avoid the big Russia elephant in the room. Senator Burr put his Archie Bunker mask on to silence Senator Kamala Harris for her effective questioning as Democrats worked to ascertain if Donald Trump asked today’s witnesses, Dan Coates and Mike Rogers, to shut down the Russia investigation. I was wondering if Republicans thought our sovereignty just isn’t worth defending.
As Sarah Jones reported, a few hours after the story about Eric Trump stealing from kids with cancer to enrich the Trump family broke, Eric Trump said Democrats aren’t people. That statement sent chills down my spine bringing back memories of similar sentiments expressed by people responsible for genocide in Rwanda and earlier in Hitler’s Germany.
The combination of these events, along with Trump’s public praise for brutal dictators and his attacks on our allies, have cast doubt on if we’re still in America. Trump’s lack of leadership on this incident reaffirmed his love for dictators and his disrespect for the America envisioned by the Founding Fathers.
For a brief moment, House Republicans joined with House Democrats to unanimously condemn the brutal assault of peaceful protestors at the hands of Erdogan’s “guards.” It was standing up for our values, albeit symbolically. A baby step by Republicans who have placed more emphasis on loyalty to Donald Trump than to America. But it was still a step to stand up for our sovereignty.
In simple terms, if you come to America, you follow our rules and that means you don’t get to order your thugs to brutalize people on American soil for any reason, let alone for exercising their right to protest under our constitution. Of course, notably absent was Donald Trump’s well established ability to go alpha male against those he believes don’t respect our values, who don’t respect us as Americans.
For a brief moment, it felt almost like governance as we knew it. This vote proves that Republicans can stand up for America when they choose to even if it’s purely symbolic. This vote also confirms our worst suspicions about the Republican Party. The other simple truth is they aren’t even willing to take a symbolic step to condemn Russia’s disrespect for our values, our Constitution and our sovereignty.