In the opinion piece, which starts “Dear Senate colleagues,” the distinguished former lawmakers sent a stern warning to current and future members of the Senate.
They said that the United States is “entering a dangerous period,” and that it is time for members of Congress to defend America’s democracy and place national interests ahead of political ideologies.
“We are on the eve of the conclusion of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation and the House’s commencement of investigations of the president and his administration,” the op-ed said.
“The likely convergence of these two events will occur at a time when simmering regional conflicts and global power confrontations continue to threaten our security, economy and geopolitical stability.”
The former senators then added:
“It is a time, like other critical junctures in our history, when our nation must engage at every level with strategic precision and the hand of both the president and the Senate. We are at an inflection point in which the foundational principles of our democracy and our national security interests are at stake, and the rule of law and the ability of our institutions to function freely and independently must be upheld.”
The group of former senators included 32 Democrats, 10 Republicans and two independents. They stressed that is is time to put aside party differences in order to effectively deal with the challenges facing the United States. They said that during the time they served in Congress, “we were allies and at other times opponents, but never enemies.”
They then pointed out the historical role of the upper chamber of Congress:
“At other critical moments in our history, when constitutional crises have threatened our foundations, it has been the Senate that has stood in defense of our democracy. Today is once again such a time.”
There was no reference to President Donald Trump by name in the letter. But it was obvious that their concerns have much to do with the climate in Washington that has been created since Trump was inaugurated.
The tone of the letter was also reminiscent of the anonymous letter published by The New York Times in September. That op-ed said that there is a “quiet resistance” within Trump’s executive branch which was working to “frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”
These former senators took a meaningful step in writing this letter to current members of the U.S. Senate, which is under Republican control. Their advice is powerful and important, and it should be heeded.
At a time such as this, when the President of the United States appears to have broken several laws and even conspired with foreign enemies, it is incredibly important that the U.S. Senate do its job to protect the country. It is time for Mitch McConnell and other GOP members of the Senate to put aside ideology and party loyalty and, for once, to do the right thing for all Americans.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.