As most Republican politicians abandon any pretense of adhering to their oaths of office to protect and defend the Constitution and continue to oppose the removal of Donald Trump from the presidency despite his now-proven crimes, a small number of individuals are demonstrating they still retain sufficient principles to follow their consciences rather than the diktats of the authoritarian leaning president.
A number of high profile “Never Trump” Republicans such as conservative columnist George Will, MSNBC host and former GOP congressman Joe Scarborough, and Michigan Congressman Justin Amash (I-MI) have already surrendered their party registration cards, but the defections are coming at the local level as well with the Republican precinct committeeman in Marion County, Indiana, Ed Adams, leaving the GOP last week with a scathing denunciation of his party’s total surrender to the whims of the erratic and criminal president.
“After watching the impeachment process transpire,” Adam wrote in his resignation letter, “it has become patently obvious that nothing remains of the party I knew and faithfully served. It has become the party of Donald Trump with cultish enthusiasm.”
Even those Republicans who remain in the party are abandoning their governmental positions at an unprecedented pace, with 22 GOP legislators in the House of Representatives declining to seek reelection this year.
Now the exodus from public service due to disgust with the actions of Donald Trump is extending to the armed forces as well, as news of the pending early retirement of Special Warfare Rear Adm. Collin Green from the NAVY has become public.
Rear Admiral Green is the Navy SEAL Commander who was caught up in the dispute with Trump over his controversial pardon of the rogue SEAL Special Warfare Operator Chief Eddie Gallagher.
Gallagher was tried on war crimes charges after his own SEAL teammates reported that he murdered an ISIS prisoner and unlawfully shot two civilians during operations in Iraq in 2017. While the was eventually acquitted of both those charges on a military court, he was convicted of bringing disorder or discredit to the armed forces after posing for a picture of himself holding a dead captive’s head by the hair, a conviction that resulted in a demotion in rank, one of the lightest possible punishments available.
Gallagher’s case became a cause celebre among right-wing activists who eventually convinced Donald Trump to not only pardon the violoence-prone SEAL but to strip the medals from the Navy prosecutors who oversaw his case.
After his pardon, Gallagher became a conservative media celebrity, appearing on Fox News without Naval permission and describing his superiors, including Rear Admiral Green, as “a bunch of morons” in social media posts.
The insubordination, prompted by the strong support of the president for the murderous SEAL, led to Green ordering Gallagher’s case to be reviewed by the Trident Review Board to determine whether he should be stripped of his Trident Pin, the SEALs’ distinctive emblem. Typically, any SEAL with a criminal conviction loses their Trident Pin.
Green’s actions — which followed Navy protocol — resulted in an angry tweet from Trump.
The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin. This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2019
The subsequent internal deliberations at the Pentagon led to the firing of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer by Defense Secretary Mark Esper after it was discovered that Spencer had gone around Esper’s back to try to negotiate a resolution directly with the White House.
All of this drama and the repudiation of the standards of conduct for service members that Trump endorsed over the standard Navy disciplinary procedures were apparently more than Rear Admiral Green wanted to continue to deal with as he announced this weekend that he would be leaving the service in September, a full year earlier than originally scheduled.
All of this demonstrates just one more way that Donald Trump is dismantling the norms of American society and reshaping them into his own brutish vision of how the world should work. All the more reason to fight to remove him from office as soon as possible.
Original reporting by Sky Palma at RawStory.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.