Sorry, No Lifeboats For Cowardly Republicans Fleeing Sinking S.S. Trump
Congressional Republicans are starting to distance themselves from Donald Trump, whose reelection prospects are delightfully grim. Some are even claiming they were vocal critics of the president all along, opposing his worst policies and impulses while failing in any measurable way to stop them.
"The debate is not going to be, 'Ben Sasse, why were you so mean to Donald Trump?'" Mr. Sasse said, according to audio obtained by The Washington Examiner and authenticated by The New York Times. "It's going to be, 'What the heck were any of us thinking, that selling a TV-obsessed, narcissistic individual to the American people was a good idea?'"
We all know what Republicans were thinking when they supported and defended Trump every step of the way. That's not a mystery. They were afraid of the president because he had a hold on the voters they need to win Republican primaries.
From the Washington Post:
"The United States now regularly sells out our allies under his leadership, the way he treats women, spends like a drunken sailor," Sasse continued. "The ways I criticize President Obama for that kind of spending; I've criticized President Trump for as well. He mocks evangelicals behind closed doors. His family has treated the presidency like a business opportunity. He's flirted with white supremacists."
This is all true, but it was also true 84 years ago this February when Sasse voted to acquit Trump for all the crimes during his sham impeachment trial. He even voted against calling witnesses. He rationalized abdicating his constitutional duty with some BS about “letting the voters render their verdict on Election Day." Pre-COVID-19, Republicans were hoping the “verdict" would be “Meh, the economy's fine. Let's give him four more years." Now, the bill is coming due and Trump's enablers will have to pay.
Laughably, Sasse's spokesman James Wegmann claimed the senator's closed-door remarks are no different from what he's "repeatedly said to the president directly in the Oval Office." That's a lie and Trump proved it when he ripped Sasse a new one on Twitter.
....practically nothing. Both Senators became totally unelectable, couldn’t come even close to winning their primar… https://t.co/Pe2cLujUci— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1602950433.0
Trump doesn't take criticism well, and even if he did, there's no evidence he's ever altered his behavior accordingly. Sasse must think we're really dumb.
Texas GOP Senator John Cornyn (donate to his opponent MJ Hegar here) told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he disagreed with the president on all sorts of things, ranging from "budget deficits and debt, tariffs and trade agreements and border security." But he did so privately like a coward and not publicly like someone who deserves respect or their Senate seat.
Cornyn initially described his relationship with Trump as "maybe like a lot of women who get married and think they're going to change their spouse, and that doesn't usually work out very well."
LOL! Chicks, huh? They're so unreasonable, expecting their menfolk to change and grow like mature adults.
Cornyn's a US senator. His relationship with the president of the United States is in no way comparable to a dysfunctional marriage. Trump isn't some asshole who forgets anniversaries and refuses to put the toilet down seat back down. He's an asshole with access to the nuclear codes.
Cornyn continued: "I think what we found is that we're not going to change President Trump. He is who he is. You either love him or hate him, and there's not much in between. What I tried to do is not get into public confrontations and fights with him because, as I've observed, those usually don't end too well."
Trump is an unstable malignant narcissist, whom Republicans are terrified to confront publicly. They wouldn't make these excuses for a Democratic president, even if they actually managed to achieve more through private discussions. It's not as if Republicans have anything to show from treating Trump like a spoiled rock star who's disconnected from reality. They aren't Trump whisperers. They're Trump stooges.
.@JohnCornyn publicly supported and voted for Donald Trump's plan to steal money from our troops to pay for his use… https://t.co/RNcfgIl9f1— MJ Hegar (@MJ Hegar)1603055335.0
Sasse, Cornyn, and the entire GOP own Trump. They can't defend their honor with a tap dance about conservative judges and low taxes. Any standard terrible Republican could've delivered that for them. What's most damning is Democrats offered Republicans an offramp this year. We've read the Constitution. We knew if Trump was removed from office, his replacement wasn't Nancy Pelosi. Republicans had the chance to ditch Trump for Mike Pence, who could've just as easily picked Amy Coney Barrett out of the Federalist Society Catalog. They didn't just refuse. They surrendered the last remnants of their political credibility to keep this monster in the White House. Denying Democrats a victory was too important to them.
Now they have to pay the price. Vote them all out, no exceptions.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."