I had hoped when lying Donald was elected that the rapid degradation of the Republican Party would remain mostly a national issue. Fat chance. The pitiable ploy of the Oregon Senate minority to flee and hide like petulant teenagers who didn’t get their way rather than doing the primary job they were elected to do — vote on whether or not a bill becomes law — is simply the latest proof that the GOP rot is widespread and worsening.

My long-held respect for our local senator, Bill Hansell, evaporated after he glibly told the Associated Press Thursday he was hiding out somewhere “south of Oregon.” At least he didn’t threaten to shoot anyone, as one of his moronic colleagues hinted he was ready to do. What a proud day for the Oregon GOP, aligning itself with right-wing militias. (Next they’ll be siding with Russia over the American intelligence services.)

Sadly, we live in a time when Republicans and Democrats are so polarized that about the only time legislation is passed is when one “team” holds a solid majority. But our GOP state senators, like their D.C. role models, have shown they don’t think rules apply to them. Don’t like how a vote is going to turn out, then slink away and hide so a proper quorum for a vote can’t be achieved.

It sounds familiar, I’m afraid. Don’t want the president to have a chance to appoint a Supreme Court justice, then just ignore the process and don’t let it go to a vote. Don’t like how that last election went, then redraw the district into a convoluted shape that gathers the necessary voter base to insure you win. Don’t like people of color voting against you, then enact unnecessary voter access laws that disproportionately alienate those voters.

Welcome to 2019 and a GOP that didn’t have the backbone or integrity to avert being remolded into its leader’s image. The transformation is complete, all the way from Washington, D.C., to Salem, Oregon.

Hal McCune

Pendleton

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