Editorials rightfully blast Mark Meadows, call on Tillis to do his duty

Be sure to check out a pair of excellent new editorials that have appeared in Raleigh’s News & Observer this week.

In “As chief of staff, Meadows enables a rogue president,” the N&O properly points out that while President Trump continues to plumb new depths with his serial corruption and criminality, people like former North Carolina congressman (and current White House chief of staff) Mark Meadows bear significant responsibility for the outrageous and unprecedented behavior of this delusional man as he nears the end of his chaotic and destructive term in office.

After noting that one hears Meadows voice at the outset of the recording of Trump’s beyond-the-pale phone conversation with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger that took place this past weekend, the editorial puts it this way:

“It’s fitting that Meadows opens this attempt to undermine democracy that may have broken the law. As outrageous as the president’s behavior has been on this and so much else, the fault lies also with his enablers, be they supine Republicans in Congress or sycophants in the White House.

Meadows has been both, and he now richly deserves to have his complicity made clear. The chief of staff doesn’t say much in the hour-long call, which included the president, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, two other Georgia officials and lawyers for Trump. But Meadows’ reticence is the point.”

The editorial goes on to note that Meadows active participation in this latest outrage should come as little surprise given his mostly dreadful record in public office:

“As political careers go, Meadows’ hasn’t been long, but it has been deeply damaging.

….The New York Times reported that it was Meadows who persuaded Trump last summer not to issue a national mask mandate. Trump’s pollster said a majority of Trump supporters approved of wearing a mask and, according the Times, Trump’s top adviser, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, urged him to wear a mask and encourage all Americans to do so. Meadows, however, opposed Trump trying to require masks. He warned: “The base will revolt.” Trump agreed. How many lives have been lost as a result?

Meadows also helped block prompt approval of a second wave of coronavirus economic relief. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had success getting bipartisan support for the first package, the CARES Act, but once Meadows joined the negotiating team, negotiations bogged down. How much economic pain could have been avoided had Meadows been more positive and flexible?”

Meanwhile, in “Thom Tillis faces a final Trump test. Will he betray North Carolina?” the authors rightfully demand that North Carolina’s junior senator follow the lead of his colleague Richard Burr, by refusing to go along with Trump’s mad scheme to prevent certification of the Electoral College results when the matter comes before Congress. Here’s the conclusion:

“Now Tillis faces a final test on President Trump. The senator’s slowness to defend the Constitution against Wednesday’s effort is damning in itself. If he joins Republicans who question without proof the results of the presidential race, he will further poison the trust Americans have that their votes are counted fairly. He will set a precedent that such votes may be declared illegitimate in the future — that any party with control of Congress can invent reasons why an election is invalid, then act on those falsehoods. He will be saying — quite simply and not merely symbolically — that he and other members of Congress can take from Americans the power to pick their president.

That’s what more than 100 Republican members of Congress are doing Wednesday. They’re rejecting what voters told them, what election officials certified, and what judges have affirmed. We condemn any North Carolina official, Republican or Democrat, who joins such an effort, and we urge Sen. Tillis to finally and forcefully do what’s right for the people he says he serves.”

Amen.

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