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Well ... they're doing it again. Sometimes I'm reminded of Sen. Margaret Chase Smith's 1950 speech: "Declaration of Conscience" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_of_Conscience). A good read.

Oh, how far they have come from those days of "principled conservatism." The trajectory of the Republican Party to the gutter (Richard Nixon and the "plumbers unit"), then to the sewer (Ronald Reagan and Lee Atwater, Southern strategy, racism, monumental debt, then George W. Bush, with Dick Cheney and lies, wars, breathtakingly more debt and now into the septic tank with Donald Trump. A huge decades long story here - way too big for a letter to the editor.

And now? It's only been just a few months ago since prominent Republican senators/Representatives were strongly asserting that any collusion with a foreign government (especially Russia) to influence domestic elections would be illegal, impeachable, and a treasonous betrayal of our country and our Constitution.

My, my: how things have changed. Now, suddenly, they're all falling in line behind that contemptible lout residing in our White House. Republicans always fall in line - and their "principles" fall by the wayside.

The one single theme through all of this has been consistently placing party above country.

I gotta wonder how Sen. Smith would react to the malodorous mess her political party has become.

Bill Halsey

Albany (Oct. 3)

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