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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah joined Congress in 2018 as a figure who many hoped would challenge President Donald Trump and hold him to account as a powerful and independent force from within the GOP. For the most part, those hopes were quickly dashed.

But as Trump’s Ukraine scandal has ballooned and reinvigorated the impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives, Romney has shown signs of that once hoped for independent and principled nature that many had long stopped looking for in the Republican Party. On Sept. 22, when revelations about Trump’s pressure on Ukraine were emerging, Romney tweeted one of the most significant warnings from with GOP ranks: “If the President asked or pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme. Critical for the facts to come out.”

He has largely been silent since, leading to some criticism from liberal-leaning commentators, but on Friday afternoon — after the revelation of damning State Department texts related to the Ukraine matter and Trump’s open invitation for China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday — Romney came out even more forcefully:

This is the strongest pushback we’ve seen from the Republican yet on Trump’s actions — and it’s coming from the Senate, where Trump desperately needs to hang on to GOP votes if he’s to stay in office. GOP Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, too, issued criticism of Trump’s China remarks, the Omaha World-Herald reported:

“Hold up: Americans don’t look to Chinese commies for the truth,” Sasse said in a written statement to The World-Herald. “If the Biden kid broke laws by selling his name to Beijing, that’s a matter for American courts, not communist tyrants running torture camps.”

But for now, most of the GOP is staying silent or openly complicit on Trump’s brazen violations. It’s not clear if Romney and Sasse are signs of more dissent to come or mere outliers from the overall trend.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Doug Mastriano

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Doug Mastriano is a QAnon conspiracy theorist and January 6 insurrectionist who this week won the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania governor. Mastriano is also anti-Muslim: He previously shared an image with the words, “Stop Islam” and a post claiming that “the American People have a right to be fearful of the prospect of a large number of muslims being elected to congress, specifically if they practice Sharia law.”

In addition to running for governor, Mastriano is a Pennsylvania state senator, a right-wing commentator, and a frequent guest in right-wing media. He regularly pushes lies about the 2020 election being stolen from former President Donald Trump.

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