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"But I don't want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny: Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry and Smear.

"I doubt if the Republican Party could, simply because I don't believe the American people will uphold any political party that puts political exploitation above national interest." — Sen. Margaret Chase Smith. "Declaration of Conscience" speech. Feb. 9, 1950.

"We're better than this!" — Elijah E. Cummings. Chairman, House Oversight Committee. Feb. 27, 2019, at the conclusion of that day's Michael Cohen testimony.

It all started with Nixon. He's the originator of the Republican political party's long dismal descent into its current residence at the depths of the cesspool. He named his goons the "plumbers" unit. A certain symmetry in that.

Republicans have been riding the "four horsemen of calumny" since.

Major impetus provided along the way by Reagan/Bush (Lee Atwater), Dubya (Cheney), and now Trump & Co.

The Republican party paid no attention whatsoever to Sen. Smith.

Are we now gonna pay any attention to Rep. Cummings? Is he right? Are we really "better than this"? It's our choice.

I'm sure glad I live on the "left coast."

Bill Halsey

Albany (March 2)

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