Old and busted: Make America Great Again! New hotness, Minnesota Democrat-style: Make America British Again! Richard Painter, a former Bush administration ethics officer turned Democratic Senate candidate in Minnesota, has made opposition to Donald Trump his singular focus of his campaign. Painter’s so disgusted by Trump, and by the lack of socialized everything, that he wondered on Twitter why we’d bothered with independence from the United Kingdom at all.
Deeeeeeeeep thoughts, man:
What was the point of the Revolution if subjects of the British Crown get single payer health care and university education at a fraction of what it costs us and we are stuck with a President guilty of treason, bribery and other crimes, and a Congress unwilling to get rid of him?
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) May 16, 2018
A quick perusal of Painter’s Twitter feed indicates that Trump-doom is a consistent theme for the DFL hopeful, even if this goes farther into the weeds than most. His previous tweets in this series argues that not only should Democrats discuss impeachment as part of their 2018 electoral argument, they should positively embrace it — and include Mike Pence in it as well. “With few exceptions,” Painter intoned earlier, “the party label shows who supports Trump-Pence. But,” he adds, “the party label doesn’t show who is willing to do what is necessary to get rid of them.”
And yet, in the same thread, Painter laments the decision to seek out independence in 1776 based on the results in 2018. Does he think that monarchies are more responsive to radical changes and voter dissatisfaction? My history may be a little rusty, but the colonies didn’t have any recourse to impeachment when it came to King George III, nor did the king have a term limit and regular elections. In fact, the colonies didn’t have representation at all in Parliament, a point which came up once or twice in the issue of independence.
Trump will be gone after eight years, maximum. Guess how long George III remained “in office”? Nearly sixty years.
To answer Painter’s extremely silly and hyperbolic question, the point of independence was self-governance. The reason why we have been resistant to government-run medicine and other forms of socialism is that same respect for self-governance. Painter may not like that outcome, but it’s quite understandable in context, and the virtue of self-governance rises above any policy outcomes or election choices. We live with our choices, but they are our choices. The fact that this has to be explained to a candidate for high office in the United States of America is nothing short of stunning.
No one expects all candidates for Congress to support the current administration; otherwise we wouldn’t need elections at all. But is it too much to ask that they support American independence?
Finally, let’s recall that Democrats are trying to run away from the impeachment question for very good reasons. Trump isn’t nearly as unpopular as they predicted, and thus far the Russia-collusion investigation hasn’t produced any evidence of criminal activity by Trump or in his campaign. The economy has picked up, and Trump’s foreign policy appears to have advanced American interests in some areas. If they turn the midterms into a referendum on impeachment, they’re likely to lose their best opportunity in a decade to take control of the House. And yet Painter not only wants to set up that referendum in Minnesota — where Trump came within two points of Hillary Clinton — but punish other Democrats who refuse to play along. Looks like it’ll be a fun primary here in Minnesota.