Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) talks to reporters during a break in opening arguments in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, on charges of inciting the deadly attack on the US Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, February 10, 2021. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) talks to reporters during a break in opening arguments in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, on charges of inciting the deadly attack on the US Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, February 10, 2021. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Republicans Are Now the Party of Lawlessness and Disorder

There really is no debating that Trump incited a deadly insurrection riot, no more so than we might debate that the earth is round. And the pending vote to convict or acquit will make clear exactly what the GOP has become.

Christopher D. Cook

If it was not clear before, the Senate impeachment trial has laid bare and unmasked Republican Party leaders as a group of political cowards who talk tough yet support lawlessness, anti-constitutional mayhem, and anarchy. 

The barren naked truth, revealed starkly by this trial, is that the Republican Party has no interest in "law and order" or the Constitution. If that sounds inflammatory or defamatory, consider this: when was the last time the Republican Party leadership accepted even the slightest responsibility or accountability for anything they've done? 

Now comes Trump's impeachment trial, the most extreme and blatant example of Republican lawlessness, mayhem and anarchy—and even with mountains of objective, incontrovertible, inarguable evidence of Trumps impeachable incitement of violent deadly insurrection riots, even now, with every excuse to convict Trump and not a single reason other than political cowardice and calculation not to, the Republican Party still, stunningly if predictably, refuses to apply its relentless mantra of "law and order" to its own. 

"The barren naked truth, revealed starkly by this trial, is that the Republican Party has no interest in 'law and order' or the Constitution."

Make no mistake: when it comes to policing black and Brown people, poor folks, leftists, and protests they disagree with, Trump and Republicans vociferously embrace "law and order" epansions of Patriot Act-style security state and police state crackdowns. The party's Nixonian enthrallment with policing and military might remain stridently intact.

But when that law and order carries consequences for their words and actions, suddenly the Republicans have no accountability, no responsibility, no toughness, no courage to stand by their actions and take the consequences.

When it comes to law and order for polluters, for corrupt or bankrupt corporations, or for routine and repeat violators of workplace safety laws, the Republicans are not just quiet about enforcing rules—they consistently undermine and erode that enforcement through budget and staff cuts and regulatory rollback.

Over the past four years, Trump and the Republicans gutted law and order for big business—dramatically underfunding and rolling back vital (and, back in the days of Nixon, bipartisan) protections for workers and our environment. There is no denying the Republican's avowed, active interest in lawlessness and disorder when it comes to the environment, the planet, and workers—they state it right in their policies. Less enforcement, less regulation. Less law and order for toxic polluters; less accountability or responsibility for oil and coal companies wrecking our planet and future; less regulation—less "law and order"—for food safety, corporate accountability, enforcement of civil rights, voting rights, fair housing, and so much more. As everyone knows, laws don't mean anything without enforcement. Republicans love law enforcement when it comes to cops and soldiers, but nothing else. 

"The Republican Party (save for a handful of brave leaders, who likely risk both electoral and death threats) has shown us they simply do not care about law and order when it comes to their own deadly deeds."  The impeachment trial was the Republicans' chance at partial redemption, some semblance of courage and integrity. The facts and evidence are objectively incontrovertible. There really is no debating that Trump incited a deadly insurrection riot, no more so than we might debate that the earth is round. Yet even now, when presented with the inarguable facts of how Trump's lies and incitements led directly to the deadly January 6 insurrection riots, even now, the Republican Party (save for a handful of brave leaders, who likely risk both electoral and death threats) has shown us they simply do not care about law and order when it comes to their own deadly deeds. 

If nothing more comes of the impeachment trial, let these truths at least spread far and wide: Trump lied and incited deadly riots; the Republican Party leadership aided and abetted; and when faced with opportunities to own these profoundly grievous acts—to accept responsibility and accountability—they ducked, blinked, and failed. If nothing else comes of this debacle, let us never again hear the words "law and order," or "Constitutional originalism" from Republican Party leaders' lips. With their cowardly calculating decision to reject the conviction of Trump, they have forfeited this terrain, perhaps in perpetuity. No great loss there, except to the future of their own lost party.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
Christopher D. Cook

Christopher D. Cook

Christopher D. Cook is an award-winning journalist and author of "Diet for a Dead Planet: Big Business and the Coming Food Crisis" (2006). Cook has written for Common Dreams, Harper's, The Economist, Mother Jones, The Christian Science Monitor, and elsewhere. See more of his work at www.christopherdcook.com.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

Pointing to 'Recently Obtained Evidence,' Jan. 6 Panel Calls Surprise Tuesday Hearing

The announcement came less than a week after the House panel delayed new hearings until next month, citing a "deluge" of fresh evidence.

Common Dreams staff ·


Looming US Supreme Court Climate Decision Could 'Doom' Hope for Livable Future

"The immediate issue is the limits of the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gases," said one scientist. "The broader issue is the ability of federal agencies to regulate anything at all."

Jessica Corbett ·


Supreme Court Takes 'Wrecking Ball' to Separation of Church and State With Prayer Ruling

After decades of affirming that prayers led by school officials are unconstitutional, said Justice Sonia Sotomayor, "the court now charts a different path."

Julia Conley ·


Louisiana Judge Blocks State's Post-Roe Abortion Ban

"Abortion care will resume in the state and a hearing has been set for July 8th," said the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Jake Johnson ·


Progressives Launch 'Four More' Campaign to Demand Supreme Court Expansion

"In a true democracy, power rests with the people," one campaigner asserted. "And the only way to take our power back is to take back the court."

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo