‘Example of the completeness with which Trump demands and gets loyalty from congressional Republicans…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Sen. Lamar Alexander, a moderate Tennessee Republican who says he will not run for re-election in 2020, has joined the GOP’s effort to defend President Trump from impeachment efforts after originally suggesting he might vote with the Democrats.
Alexander’s switch has caused an uproar among leftists who had hoped he’d side with them against Trump.
“He’s the only Republican I ever voted for,” Roy Neel, a Tennessean and longtime chief of staff to Al Gore, told the Daily Beast. “He was a good governor, a moderate governor. You could count on him doing the right thing for the state. He brought people together, he had good staff, and he reflected Tennessee then, a moderate, swing state. He was heir to Howard Baker’s legacy. Somewhere along the way he parked his integrity.”
Alexander was one of nine Republicans who refused to sign a Senate resolution condemning the Democrats’ formal impeachment inquiry.
He then changed his mind, capitulating to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Neel said.
“The resolution doesn’t mean anything,” Neel said. “It’s not going to change any minds.”
Alexander’s flip-flop is “a stark example of the completeness with which Trump demands and gets loyalty from congressional Republicans, and McConnell demands and gets rubber-stamp treatment from GOP senators,” said Peter Montgomery, a senior fellow at the left-wing advocacy group People for the American Way.
Montgomery said he suspects Alexander now supports Trump because “he doesn’t want to end his career hated by the Republicans.”
Only three Senate Republicans appear to remain open to the Democrats’ impeachment efforts: moderates Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski.
Congressional Republicans laid out their strategy to defend Trump in an 18-page memorandum that outlines four basic facts that poke holes in the Democrats’ case against the president.
“Stripping away the hyperbole and hysteria, these indisputable pieces of evidence show that there was no, ‘Treason, Bribery, or other high crimes and Misdemeanors,’ as required by the U.S. Constitution,” the memo states.