Democracy is falling! Democracy is falling!
So runs the line of logic being promulgated by Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York in a Friday tweet that followed the Senate vote not to call additional witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
Ocasio-Cortez, who favored impeachment long before the president’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky that led to the House investigations against Trump, said the Republicans are now out to abolish democracy.
“The Senate’s abdication of responsibility to the rule of law represents a much deeper threat to our democracy, our institutions, and our republic,” she wrote.
“The GOP knows that its agenda is incompatible with democracy, so their larger project is to dismantle it.”
The Senate’s abdication of responsibility to the rule of law represents a much deeper threat to our democracy, our institutions, and our republic.
The GOP knows that its agenda is incompatible with democracy, so their larger project is to dismantle it. https://t.co/RxH4aiJsbx
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 1, 2020
Her tweet referenced one from Rolling Stone’s Jamil Smith, who said the GOP’s actions reflect its desire to freely manipulate elections and institute autocracy in America.
“They did this for a reason,” Smith tweeted. “Not necessarily to give Trump ultimate power, though Republicans are okay with that. It’s about the fact that he was caught manipulating an election, something that they too would like to continue doing without interruption.”
He continued that theme in his Rolling Stone article.
“We may be witnessing the end of the United States presidency as we know it,” Smith said. “It doesn’t come in large, destructive gestures, like the demolition of the White House. Instead, we most often see it arrive in the mild utterances of old men.”
He took issue with famed attorney Alan Dershowitz, who told the Senate last week, in defending Trump in his dealings with Ukraine, “If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.”
In Smith’s prose, that means that “the impeachment process is being perverted into a process to make Trump into a dictator.”
He went on to proclaim that Republicans are trying to wrest control of America away from minorities.
“Would presidents, convinced that it is in the public interest for their discriminatory policies to continue, promote voter suppression to keep black and Hispanic people away from the polls if they believe it would help them get elected?” Smith wrote. “Would they seek to cancel an election altogether?
“We consider these things hyperbolic, perhaps, but then look at what Dershowitz said on the Senate floor on Wednesday. That actually happened. This is actually happening.”
Smith equated support for Trump with racism.
“This is how reckless Republicans are with America, willing to give untold amounts of power to a man whom they still don’t fully understand in a frantic attempt to maintain their own grip on advantage in a country that has already elected a black president once and whose demographics are quickly turning against them,” he wrote.
Smith said the only goal of the GOP is supporting Trump so that white men can stay in power.
“The irony of it all is that Republicans, who have never made a real policy argument for black and Hispanic votes (and instead stigmatized and hindered them), are now stuck offering ridiculous reasoning to keep their charlatan, criminal president in office,” he wrote. “It pays to have a case to make, but when the agenda is furthering white patriarchy and oligarchy at the expense of our natural resources, voter suppression becomes a useful tool.”
Some called out Ocasio-Cortez for her views and retweet of Smith.
.@AOC thinks the @GOP is garbage and so are the police but #ANTIFA is all that’s good and holy in our country. She has fostered this behavior and people need to start calling her out for it.pic.twitter.com/79exUZ4AKS
— Kash Jackson (@KashJackson2018) February 1, 2020
You’re a socialist aren’t you, so what do you know about democracy?
— Leah E (@ldebert) February 1, 2020
Oh look, AOC is talking about power again.https://t.co/fdPI4WnQd9
— @JoMichigan (@JoMichigan1) February 1, 2020
Others, however, shared similar concerns about the coming election.
“Everyone keeps telling us to vote in November,” one Twitter user said. “What if there is no vote in November? If the president determines it isn’t in the national interest to vote in November, who holds him accountable?”
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