Our Opinion Not sour grapes: An official investigation is warranted

Prior to Tuesday's release of a virtually unverifiable report of activities conducted by the president-elect during a trip to Russia, every Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives had called for Congress to set up an independent and bipartisan commission to probe Russia's interference in the US presidential election.

However, as Jeff Stein, writing for Vox, noted, "The problem is that not a single congressional Republican has supported their effort, basically ensuring it won't succeed." Amazingly, House Speaker Paul Ryan has rejected calls for the bipartisan commission, "saying that Russian election-related interference doesn't warrant the broader inquiry." And don't expect the Senate to take up an investigation, noted Stein, "where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants any congressional investigation into Russia to be conducted through an existing committee ..."

Yes, we have heard all the criticism on social media about the "snowflakes" who need to "get over it" because "he won" and "she lost." We have heard the comments that people asking for an investigation are just "whining," that their complaints are nothing more than "sour grapes." We have also heard the suggestion that it is time for critics of the president-elect to stop voicing their misgivings and start pulling together as a team to "Make America Great Again."

But, we humbly suggest you consider if the tables were turned, if the candidate from the Democratic Party had won the Electoral College, how the right might respond? Can you imagine, if just for a minute, if the Russians and Vladimir Putin were accused of leaking damaging information about Hillary Clinton's rival? Information that swayed the election in her favor? Would the right go silently in the night other than issuing calls to unify under the new president? And could you imagine if we learned that the director of the FBI testified before Congress one week before election day about an ongoing investigation about the president-elect's alleged activities in that hotel room, but waited until after the election of Clinton to reveal the FBI was reviewing Anthony Weiner's laptop computer for emails that didn't belong there?

But that did not happen. This did. Allegations of Russian interference in our electoral process. Allegations that "news" websites were established by Russia and other shady characters to purposefully disseminate half-truths, distortions and outright lies. Allegations that social media was invaded by paid trolls to post inflammatory but unverifiable claims against Clinton.

Now, we know that supporters of the president-elect contend we who are dismayed by his coming inauguration are pitching hissy fits, that our criticisms are uncalled for and are simply vile. Many people have asked us to give the president-elect a chance to prove his mettle, but every time he does something, says something, tweets something, it reaffirms our belief he is totally unqualified for the job.

While Americans have fundamental differences on religion, politics and solutions to move our country forward, we also have wonderful hearts, and are compassionate and loving. At their core, we are good people despite our differences, but we can't say the same thing for the president-elect and many of his cabinet appointments. We hope we are wrong in this assessment, but they haven't given us any cause to think otherwise. Until they do prove otherwise, we will continue to pitch a hissy fit and call him on his braggadocio, his misogyny, his appeals to intolerance and nationalism, and his irresponsible tweets and comments.

If you characterize that criticism as hissy fits, well, all right. But we won't stop until he proves — or Congress conducts a thorough investigation acquitting him of these serious allegations — he is respectful of his position and he is competent to handle all its responsibilities.


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