Challenging the Bully

While there have been plenty of voices from the left resisting the inner workings of the Trump administration and calling out wrongdoing as it happens, the right has been conspicuously quiet—except for U.S. Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. Their principled stance in seeking the truth and standing against party loyalists is why they are our Revolutionists of the Week.

McCain was recently on State of the Union on CNN discussing Trump’s groundless wiretapping allegations against former President Barack Obama. He wasn’t about to let the sitting president off easy. “All [Trump] has to do is pick up the phone, call the director of the CIA, director of national intelligence and say, ‘OK, what happened?’” McCain told host Jake Tapper.

Investigating Trump’s ties with Russia is also very much on McCain’s mind. "There's a lot of aspects of this whole relationship with Russia and (Russian President) Vladimir Putin that requires further scrutiny, and so far, I don't think the American people have gotten all the answers," McCain said. "In fact, I think there's a lot more shoes to drop from this centipede."

Sen. Lindsey Graham has also been keen on getting to the truth. He told CNN that he’s growing more concerned about what is beginning to be known as “Russia-gate.”

“If there's not a criminal investigation of the Trump ties to Russia, I think the country needs to know it. Congress needs to know it, and [FBI Director James Comey] has never promised to answer that question," Graham said. 

The two senators have been in accord before. On January 29, when Trump issued the now infamous ban on travelers from seven countries, they jointly issued a statement that read in part:

“Our government has a responsibility to defend our borders, but we must do so in a way that makes us safer and upholds all that is decent and exceptional about our nation.” It went on to point out that the hasty executive order was done with little to no consultation with the departments of State, Defense, Justice or Homeland Security. In addition to harming people who we should be helping, it could have unintended consequences.

“Our most important allies in the fight against ISIL are the vast majority of Muslims who reject its apocalyptic ideology of hatred. This executive order sends a signal, intended or not, that America does not want Muslims coming into our country. That is why we fear this executive order may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security,” they wrote.

The author J.K. Rowling once observed in one of her novels that it takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to those you think of as friends. I applaud McCain and Graham for modeling revolutionist spirit from the other side of the aisle and hope more of their Republican colleagues find the strength to join them. Nothing less than democracy is at stake.

Andrew Faas is the author of From Bully to Bull’s-Eye: Move Your Organization Out of the Line of Fire,

Photo credit: The Daily Beast