StreetTalk – R.A.T.S


By Greg B. Macabenta 

If you’ve heard about rats abandoning a sinking ship, let me tell you about these R.A.T.S.

In the face of the sinking administration of President Donald Trump, the silence of the leaders of the Republican Party has been deafening. The country has been anxiously waiting for them to speak out and acknowledge the victory of former Vice-President Joe Biden as President-elect and Senator Kamala Harris as Vice-President-elect. Instead, by their silence,  they have virtually abetted Trump’s refusal to concede, based on  unproven and unsupported allegations of fraud. In fact, some of them have actually encouraged Trump’s attempt to overturn the results of the election.

The results of the election are clear, both in terms of the popular vote and the electoral vote, but Trump still insists that he won, but that he was cheated, bigtime. Of course, after all the noises, Trump and his lawyers have failed to produce any credible.evidence of electoral fraud. In fact, in the battleground states like Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania whose results Trump tried to overturn in his favor, Republican election officials have confirmed having witnessed a clean and honest election.

So, why have the Republican leaders been embarrassingly silent and have avoided making any statements to the media, acknowledging Biden’s victory and the defeat of Trump?

Observers believe that these people have obviously been thinking of their political future. After all, in spite of losing by almost 6 million votes and failing to gain the requisite 270 electoral votes, Trump still managed to garner over 7 million votes – the second largest in US election history. Furthermore, his vaunted voter base has continued to believe that he was cheated, that he has actually won and that he can overturn the results of the election with the help of a compliant Supreme Court.

Trump has highly motivated followers who have been undeterred by anything that he has said or done wrong. And they have vowed to take to the streets if Biden is confirmed and sworn into office.

Republican leaders are caught in a bind. If they abandon the sinking ship, like the proverbial rats, they would also be sinking their own political careers. Fearing a backlash from Trump loyalists, they have decided that silence is the better part of valor. They are simply being pragmatic.

Add to that, the early January run-off senatorial race in Georgia between two Republican incumbents and their Democratic challengers, on which the balance of power in the US Senate hangs, and one can understand their pragmatism – even if some call it cowardice.

They obviously haven’t heard of the statement of President Manuel Luis Quezon: “My loyalty to my party ends where  my loyalty to  my country begins.” In fact, it is not even loyalty to their party but loyalty to their personal interests.

They realize that even in defeat, Trump has considerable influence over his voter base. These supporters could make life miserable for any Republican who publicly criticizes Trump.

In effect, they are R.A.T.S. – Republicans Afraid of Trump’s Supporters.

Unlike the usual rats who scamper to desert the sinking ship, these R.A.T.S. have no choice but to cower in the ship’s hold, desperately hoping that Trump will somehow manage to keep his administration afloat   – or, at least, hoping to keep their own political careers from sinking.

To their chagrin, this week, Washington Post journalist, Carl Bernstein (who, together with fellow reporter Bob Woodward, was instrumental in scuttling the presidency of President Richard Nixon), revealed the names of 21 Republican senators who had expressed disgust over Trump’s refusal to concede. Except for a handful, most of them had refused  to publicly admit criticising Trump or to even ask Trump to see reason for the sake of the country.

That makes them R.A.T.T.S – Republicans Absolutely Terrorized by Trump Surrogates.

Understandably, these R.A.T.T..S. have vehemently denied Bernstein’s revelations. Trump, who is notoriously vindictive, now knows who have double-crosed him. Trump will not forget that.

Of course, there are Republicans whose integrity and self-respect are more important to them than their political interests. Former Republcan presidential standard bearer, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, has been very vocal in his criticism of Trump.

Others have begun to emerge from their hiding places and have begun to speak out. Even former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a die-hard Trump supporter, has finally spoken out and has asked Trump to concede.

Trump himself has grudgingly begun to show signs of letting his ship sink, even while he continues his bluster. In his most recent tweet, he acknowledged having allowed the General Services Administration to reach out to the Biden camp and begin the formal transition process, yet he also claimed that he still expects to “prevail” and overturn Biden’s victory.

The days of Trump are numbered – although he probably believes he has one last card up his sleeve. The US Supreme Court. He seems to believe that his three appointees will favor him, throw out millions of  votes for Biden and hand him a second term.

I believe Trump will be in for a disappointment. The nation’s most eminent jurists will follow the law, abide  by the Constitution and Rule Against Trump.

Or R.A.T.

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