After this week's Senate hearings with former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, how can any Democrat in Congress continue to pledge to work with the crooked Trump on an issue dear to them?
That's been the party line from Rep. Mike Thompson, the "Blue Dog" Democrat who represents Napa and parts of Sonoma County (including Santa Rosa), and has explicitly promised that he'll work with Trump if the White House comes up with an infrastructure bill that would deal with the nation's horrible roads and bridges.
Trump's been pimping a possible $1 trillion build-out in the face of disapproval of such spending from the hard-right House Freedom Caucus. Democrats like Thompson have embraced the idea.
The upshot of the Senate hearing is that the picture is clear, and unsettlingly so, that Trump's inner circle had contacts with Russia during the campaign, and that his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was actively working against American interests, and getting paid for it, when he interacted with Russian officials and then lied to the vice president about it. Former director of national intelligence James Clapper reiterated his agency's findings that it was obvious the Russians really wanted Trump to win. And then there's James Comey...
We also learned from the hearing that Obama warned Trump against hiring Flynn two days after the election, but Trump did it anyway—and then blamed Obama for not properly vetting Flynn in the first place. Despite Trump's abject disrespect for Thompson's fellow Democrat Obama, and Trump's ongoing attempt to smear the former president at every available occasion, Thompson continues to hold out hope that he can work with Trump on an infrastructure plan.
He's consorting with a felony-level impeachable thug in doing so. Before the hearing this week, Trump tweeted some aggressive hostility about Sally Yates that a CNN panel correctly identified as an attempt to intimidate a witness, which can be construed as a federal crime.
But since everyone's become so inured to Trump's rolling display of vulgar impunity to norms of decency or the law—Hey, fix a few potholes and we'll be cool? I don't think so.
It's time for Thompson to ditch the "I'll work with him even as I disagree with . . ." posture, even if it costs the congressman votes among that portion of his constituency that supported Trump and keeps sending the conservative Blue Dog back to Washington.
Tom Gogola is the news editor of the 'Bohemian.'
Open Mic is a weekly feature in the 'Bohemian.' We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write email@example.com.