Letter to the Editor: Herrera Beutler's Decision Was Courageous, Particularly in Threatening Environment


This is in response to a previous letter to the editor critical of Jaime Herrera Beuter (JHB) for her vote to impeach Donald Trump. 

I have been a moderate Republican for a very long time (interpret that as a compassionate conservative). While I have reservations about impeaching Mr. Trump, I fully support Jaime Herrera Beutler’s decision to impeach. Trump’s word “peacefully” was completely lost in other incendiary rhetoric. 

He had the power to personally appeal to the crowd or immediately send troops as he eventually did when he sent secret police to Portland. He should have been ready to do that since his government knew what could happen. At the very least, it was gross dereliction of duty. Calling his actions and inaction an impeachable offence is not beyond the pale but completely reasonable. Perhaps impeachment will find reasons for his inaction. 

Referring to supposed Democratic or Republican action or inaction at other not-so-peaceful demonstrations is just smoke and mirrors, and it leads us into a long argumentative rabbit hole. You criticized JHB for not criticizing “phony” charges of impeachment or the “phony” Russian collusion charges. It is completely reasonable to believe these charges were not phony. Yet, JHB did vote against impeachment like every other Republican. You complained about the lousy $600. That is entirely on the Republican leadership, not JHB. You criticized support of money for foreign governments and museums, except that museums did get funding just like other businesses. I did not see that in the CARES Act or in the latest COVID relief bill. I suspect you are conflating COVID relief with other bills. Regardless, I would suggest you know little of the negotiations that must go on to pass any bill. That is way above her pay grade, so to speak. 

Most importantly, your portrayal of Mr. Trump as a promise keeper is only partially true. In some important cases, he did keep his promise to appoint conservative judges, to make more money available to veterans health care, use U.S. steel for infrastructure, defund Planned Parenthood, reverse Cuba policy, renegotiate NAFTA, cancel TPP, withdraw from climate accords, ask countries to pay more for joint defense, and several others. In all, he completely kept 24% of his promises and broke 52%. The reasons for the broken promises vary from overpromising to obstruction by his own party to disinterest. The value of his actions, of course, is also debatable, but many of them I do support at least to some extent. 

I have been increasingly disturbed by the actions of my party and its supporters, particularly the push toward mandatory uniform thinking and accompanying punishment for violations. I am reminded of lemmings calling into the sea. I am encouraged by the fact that the writer of the previous letter to the editor did not resort to demeaning or threatening language. I support her right to express her opinion. I applaud JHB for making her own decision and following her conscience despite the risk. It was very courageous, particularly in this threatening environment. She has also worked hard to communicate with her constituents and to help our state. I will vote for her. 


Michael LeClair