This is the week that the GOP truly became the party of Trump
Silly me. I thought a party became someone’s party when it NOMINATES HIM AND ELECTS HIM PRESIDENT.
I guess Republicans got a pass for 12 months to figure their shit out.
This was the week when the Republican Party finally went all in with President Trump. What once seemed unlikely is now reality. The Republican establishment — there are a few dissenting voices, of course — has succumbed to the power of the presidency, and this president in particular.
Let me ask this, at the end of this first paragraph. What precisely was the Republican “establishment” (meaning who, but let’s do that later) doing prior to This Magical Week? I mean, all they were doing was voting in lockstep with everything Trump wanted. Was that somehow not succumbing to the power of the presidency?
For shit’s sake, this Congress approved Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, and girlfriend is — let’s put this nicely, I’m sure she’s lovely — a pretty hideous dumbass. If that wasn’t succumbing to the power of the presidency …
There was the enthusiasm Republicans in the House chamber displayed when Trump delivered his State of the Union address Tuesday. There was the all-in-the-family chitchat when a conversational and relaxed Trump spoke at the Republican retreat in West Virginia on Thursday.
THERE WAS A WHOLE PRIMARY TRUMP WON AND A CONVENTION HE HELD AND AN ELECTION HE WON, TOO.
Dating back to the 2016 campaign, Trump presided over a divided, even hostile, Republican establishment. Ryan’s awkward relationship with Trump during the presidential campaign came to symbolize the plight of a party captured in a hostile takeover by a candidate operating outside the boundaries.
Ryan did not have an “awkward” relationship with Trump. Ryan had an opportunistic relationship with Trump that has largely benefitted Ryan and the donors he courts.
The party did not have a “plight.” They had a choice. They made one. Trump spent his entire primary campaign shit-talking the other GOP nominees. It was the only pleasant thing about his campaign. He clowned on them nonstop. Self-interest is not some kind of moral quandry.
This is well-compensated, widely read political analysis without which we are told Democracy Dies in Darkness and the author does not seem to understand that his job is to see through the bullshit maneuvering, not describe it like it’s the weather.
For those in the leadership, there seemed to be no good place to land.
On the side of America, one imagines, was a pretty solid spot, but the party picked the intersection of fascist and Juggalo and hasn’t moved an inch.
The turnaround in the relationship came from two directions.
The first was pressure from the outside. Party leaders began to recognize that rank-and-file Republicans wanted the GOP to be the party of Trump rather than for leaders to keep their distance from the president.
Since 1968 this has been true. Sixty-five million people tried to warn you.
The other major turning point came from the inside, with the passage of the tax cut in late December. Finally, the president had a big legislative achievement, thanks to congressional Republicans. The victory party Trump staged at the White House became an extravagant love fest. The president heaped praise on all the members of Congress who engineered the bill’s passage. In turn, they lavishly praised the beaming president.
So they’re a bunch of transactional pricks with no values beyond enriching themselves. That’s what you’re telling us? You’re gonna get to that soon, right?
The Nunes memo moves the relationship to a different place. Its release puts much of the Republican leadership fully behind the president in his efforts to discredit the Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and possibly remove more officials at the top of the FBI.
IT’S ALMOST LIKE THEY’RE MOTIVATED BY SOMETHING OTHER THAN HONESTY, INTEGRITY AND RESPECT FOR AMERICAN DEMOCRACY. I mean oh, my God, this is a party that impeached Bill Clinton over an employee beejer, a party that smeared the legacy and lives of multiple war heroes, a party that fully embraced stealing a Supreme Court seat from a sitting president because that president was black. A party that enshrined a culture of lawless surveillance and illegal war that will be handed down to every executive from George W. Bush until the end of fucking time.
And we’re just now noting that they’re kind of not in favor of the whole “check and balance” thing?
The fact that the memo’s release came with the imprimatur of the House speaker and many other leading Republicans only adds weight to what has become a Trump-led effort to muddy the eventual conclusions of the investigation. With public opinion among Republicans likely to follow, Mueller’s goal to deliver a report that will be seen as legitimate has become materially more difficult.
Mueller’s goal is not to deliver a report that is seen as legitimate. Mueller’s goal is to follow the law. If the report is not “seen as” legitimate, that has absolutely no bearing on anything but that the GOP is a death cult bent on disavowing anything that makes them feel icky no matter how real it is. Mueller, I’m sure, thanks God every night his job is just to jail lawbreakers and not to convince Republicans of reality.
Now, a political “analyst” might want to take a different position.
Still, GOP dissenters remain among a distinct minority, largely the handful of Republican elected officials who long ago broke from the president, along with the “Never Trump” cadre loyal to the old GOP but estranged from the party of Trump.
For the Republican Party, this has been an extraordinary transformation in a remarkably short time.