May 20, 2019

Actor Jeff Daniels, who is playing Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, had some things to say about the cowardice of the Republican party. And the racism.

During a discussion of TKAM, Daniels brought up the point in the story "where Atticus talks about a mob acts on emotion absent facts, absent respect -- absent contemplation and mostly absent responsibility."

"What they get is anonymity. A conscience can be exhausting," he continued before repeating the punch line: "A mob is a place where people go to take a break from their conscience."

Daniels and Nicolle Wallace both agreed that it's a startling moment, a moment where the audience viscerally reacts.

"That's what I see at Trump's rallies, the lies spewing at people, I have to believe in something, he said he'd bring my manufacturing job back, she didn't, and I'm all in," Daniels said.

"But at the end of the day, aside from I don't want to pay taxes, it's race. It's race," he observed. "This is about -- this is about the Republican party -- or a wing of it going this is our last chance to save the party. If we don't, it's the end of the Republican party."

He added, "The only way they can do that was to tap the race button and say go ahead, it's okay. And he did, and they did. That was the only card they had left to play and they played it and they aren't going to go quietly."

Warming up, he went off on the GOP. "That's why you look at the cowardice of the 15 or so Republicans in the Senate who are quiet. I'm not talking about Jeff Flake or Bob Corker. That's not courage, that's making sure you have a job somewhere after politics."

"Courage is standing up and being a true patriot like we had back in 1776. Who are the heroes going to be?" he asked.

"Is it going to be the Pentagon Papers guy? Who's the guy going, 'Here, Washington Post, here's the unredacted Mueller report.' I'm waiting for that guy."

"We're all waiting for that guy," Wallace affirmed. Boy howdy, aren't we all. Are there no patriots out there willing to take the risk?

"We need people like that," Daniels agreed. "To look at Congress with their politics, if I do this, I can't do that. You are all worthless to me right now. I need people to stand up and be heroic because democracy is at stake."

Me too. We all do. On that same topic, reporter Bob Costa tweeted about a House Republican who was unhappy with Justin Amash and said other colleagues were too. I had some words for that particular intellectually dishonest, power-hungry, anti-American jerk.

It is time for courage to take precedence over politics.

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