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Today's fool's errand: betting on the four "moderate Republicans." (The Kavanaugh hearing anyone?)

It’s probably unfair to castigate the four so-called moderate Republicans who seem as though they might lean toward voting with the Democrats on the possibility of witnesses and documents, or even conviction. I’m referring now to Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.

The unfairness of criticizing them comes about because it exonerates the other 49 who have no intention of crossing over from the rutted Trumpian path. And yet, if these four know better and don't act, aren't they in fact worse offenders than the lockstep party comrades who would never even entertain a thought of contradicting their overseer?

Can any one of these four honestly say, somewhere down the road when Trump has finished turning the republic into a monarchy, "I thought at the time he was good for America"? or "I considered the choices and Trump seemed like the best way to go."? These four know what an awful leader he is, and how he has turned Congress's role as a coequal branch of government into a farce. And these four must realize that the longer their diminished role continues, the better the case for a government by executive fiat.

The uninformed from both parties like to say that such a thing would never happen, and yet it's happening before their eyes. The president makes policy by tweet, and Congress tries to follow along and keep up. And with the third branch of government safely ensconced on Trump's "team," who is going to say no? Let's not forget that some of Trump's worst ideas about the environment, immigration, abortion, travel bans, taxes, and health care have not come to fruition only because there has been some wisdom exercised by legislators from both parties. With that guardrail gone, who will prevent a wall between America and Canada, or an end to all free health care, or a proscription against renewable energy? Who will prevent the random use and abuse of DDT, or random arrests of anti-government protesters or journalists, or the teaching of party-politics, party-religion, party-science in schools and universities? When laws are eventually enacted by tweet, will the four moderate Republicans still think Trump was the way to go?

Maybe it is unfair to select four out of 53 and heap all the scorn on them, but if they know—and they know better—and don't act, then they deserve it. And if they or any of their colleagues place their own reelection chances above the good of the country or the Constitution they swore to uphold, then it doesn't matter what happens in the impeachment—Congress, bought and paid for, feckless and timid, has already become a needless appendage, one which any self-respecting autocrat can eliminate with a tweet.

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