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Tom Durkin: It can happen here

By Tom Durkin | Columnist

Some of my closest friends are Republicans. Or were. They haven’t switched parties. They have joined me in the growing ranks of no party preference.

A few diehards who I’m calling Real Republicans are hanging in, hoping they can snatch back the Grand Old Party from the jaws of deceit.

Good luck with that.


Trump has hijacked the Republican Party, co-opting all but party intransigents like Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.).

Cheney and Kinzinger took an oath of office, and like Real Republican patriots, they are keeping their sacred oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Patriotism over party. This is what integrity looks like.


Cassidy Hutchinson is what courage looks like. A trusted aide in Trump’s inner circle and under tremendous pressure not to testify, she did the right thing.

Her country called on her to tell the truth to the Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, and she proved herself a worthy patriot.

This young woman had not only been in the room, she had been taking notes. She was the smoking gun. Her testimony blasted a hole in the Trump stonewall.

She confirmed Trump orchestrated the Jan. 6 sedition. Had the Secret Service not refused to comply, he would have marched to the Capitol with armed men.

Pundits are calling Hutchinson’s testimony the “John Dean moment,” referring to Nixon’s Watergate hearings. Dean’s testimony inspired political cartoonist Gary Trudeau to declare Attorney General Mitchell, and thus President Nixon, “Guilty, guilty, guilty!”


Still clinging to The Big Lie, Trump and his acolytes are doing their damnedest to discredit Hutchinson and the committee.

They point out the Jan. 6 Committee hearings are not a court of law. While the committee is methodically building a massive case against Trump, the committee is not hearing Trump’s side.

Fair enough. Trump deserves his day in court.

Maybe that’s what he’s counting on.

If Trump is ever held to account for his high crimes and misdemeanors, any conviction is surely going to end up before the Supreme Court and … uh oh.


Quite literally, The Big Lie trumps the truth. The truth is irrelevant to Trump and his minions. The “truth” is whatever gets them what they want.

The Trumplican Party has abandoned truth in its lust for power. Packing the Supreme Court, gerrymandering, voter suppression, election worker intimidation, rigging the Electoral College, and outright denial of the truth are now acceptable campaign tactics for winning by cheating.


“All politics is local,” and national politics are playing out here. It’s well documented that the Trump-Republican strategy is to place partisan candidates into nonpartisan elections offices.

Locally, that partisan candidate was Jason Tedder. He might protest he was registered no-party-preference, but it’s not like he was fooling anybody.

The first tell, for me, was when he ducked the question about fraud in the 2020 election at a clerk-recorder/registrar-of-voter candidates forum.

In the weeks before the election, he evaded or ignored questions from the press. Only when directly asked, did he piously tell The Union that he had nothing to do with the evil hit piece on this opponent Natalie Adona.

By not forcefully and honorably repudiating the mailer, he let people assume he supported it. His tacit endorsement of that mailer cost him votes.

Speaking of honor, Tedder never conceded, much less congratulated, Adona on her win. I guess petty officers in the Navy don’t have to be gentlemen.

The final tell that Tedder has a partisan agenda was when he played his Trump card: a sore-loser attempt to get political operative Randy Economy to call for a recount he couldn’t possibly win or afford. What’s that all about? And why does he need a sleazy political operative and Trump supporter from Southern California to do it for him?

“It’s about chipping away at confidence and chipping away at the reality of safe and secure elections. … That’s what this is all about,” said Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold in a Washington Post interview last Nov. 29.

She was quoted in an article titled “Trump allies work to place supporters in key election posts across the country, spurring fears about future vote challenges.”


I used to believe it couldn’t possibly happen here, not in the America I’ve pledged allegiance to all my life. Not in the America my parents fought for in World War II. Not in the America my son fought to defend in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Jan. 6, 2021, shattered my illusions. It can happen here.

All I can say is that I am profoundly grateful to my local Real Republican and ex-Republican friends and neighbors who joined the rest of us in so resoundingly voting to say to Tedder and his cohorts: No, we’re not letting it happen here.

Tom Durkin is a freelance writer, editor, and photo/videographer in Nevada County and a member of The Union Editorial Board. He may be contacted at tjdurkin3@gmail.com or http://www.tomdurkin-media.net.


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