Opinion

Opinion

Editorial: N.C. needs conscience in Congress, not Trump cult followers

Posted May 17, 2019 5:00 a.m. EDT

CBC Editorial: Friday, May 17, 2019; Editorial #8422
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company


In the United States loyalty to a president isn’t blind.

You might not know that by the way leaders of North Carolina’s congressional delegation act these days.

Is there anything that our senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr -- along with some others in the delegation – wouldn’t do because our current president wants it?

President Donald Trump’s administration – with its demand for loyalty and obedience – has turned leaders of the congressional delegation into cult followers – akin to 21st century “Moonies.”

This behavior is not helping them, North Carolina or the nation. They should be ashamed.

Richard Burr spent years blocking the judicial nominations of two highly qualified African American women – Patricia Timmons-Goodson and Jennifer May-Parker – to fill the judicial vacancy in the eastern District of North Carolina (the longest vacancy in the nation). Burr termed the nominations from President Barack Obama, “brazenly political.”

Yet Burr, along with Tillis, have provided critical votes to rubber-stamp lifetime appointments for Trump’s judicial nominees who have been rated as “not qualified” by the American Bar Association. These now-judges do adhere to Donald Trump’s political agenda.

The fealty demanded by Trump is absolute. As unassailably pro-Trump as Burr has been, when his Senate Intelligence Committee recently subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr. to testify, it set off a hail storm of recrimination that included angry rebukes from Tillis, Rep. Mark Meadows who represents a district in the far western part of the state and Meadows’ chief of staff Wayne King. Meadows leads the ultra pro Trump Freedom caucus in the U.S. House.

When it comes to choosing loyalty to Trump over duty to the Constitution or constituents, the leaders of our congressional delegation pick Trump. There’s no more vivid reminder than Tillis’ 180-degree turnaround – initially saying in a highly publicized Washington Post column that he’d stand by the Senate as a matter of principle on separation of powers. Then he dramatically capitulated and voted to back Trump’s challenge to the Senate’s authority.

Today we have a president who seems unable to tell the truth to Congress, and who lies daily to the American people.

Republicans in the North Carolina delegation sit quietly as Trump lies about his China tariffs, saying that China is sending billions of dollars to the United States. American importers and consumers know that is not true. We pay those billions.

This is not about politics. This is about whether the leaders of our congressional delegation have moral values that require support for the truth and expect the president to comply.

If the leaders of North Carolina’s congressional delegation are so mesmerized by Donald Trump that they will not speak to the truth of what the president says, they don’t need to be taking up space in our Capitol.

By 2020 we expect most voters will see the light – and will not send Trump cult members to Washington. They will send representatives with the morals and courage to stand for the truth.

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