by D.J. McGuire
The title of this post comes – literally, word for word, from a lament of mine on Facebook as I gauge the reaction from Republicans to the Trump revelations.
For those unaware, I was active in the Republican Party for over 25 years: in College Republicans, as a campaign volunteer, as a precinct captain, and a party leader in a local district. I even ran for local office as a Republican nominee in 2009. So I know the game.
What I cannot understand is how few, if any, of my former party are willing to criticize Trump – at all.
One doesn’t have to insist that Trump’s immediate declassification of intelligence last week in a meeting with the Russian was illegal (it wasn’t) to lament the damage done to American interests and to America’s allies (which was considerable). One doesn’t have to insist that obstruction of justice is an open and shut case regarding Trump going Elsa on the Flynn probe to state, and loudly, that Trump shouldn’t engage in any lobbying of an FBI Director to back off an investigation of a presidential appointee.
Yet here we are, with Senate Republicans from Mitch McConnell on down asking for less “drama” – as if Trump is doing nothing more than building material for the next Taylor Swift album (NBC News). House Republicans are essentially going to ground (Washington Post), with Paul Ryan taking refuge in anti-anti-Trumpism (Washington Post).
Even former Republican officeholders like Pete Hoekstra (on Sky News) downplayed the Flynn news with such fervor that he actually claimed lawyers “have looked at” Comey’s memo – which still hasn’t been released (after being pressed, he climbed down a bit, saying lawyers looked at “what was said”).
Is it really so hard to criticize a president with the (R) next to their name? A majority of House Republicans opposed TARP in 2008 – when George Bush the Younger was demanding it. An open revolt in the party over the possibility of Harriet Myers landing on the Supreme Court led Bush to nominate Samuel Alito instead.
But Donald Trump can effectively remove any restrictions on intelligence sharing with Vladimir Putin and pressure the FBI to give his appointee a pass…
…and everybody in the party not named John McCain is OK with that?
Lest we forget, Donald Trump became the presumed Republican nominee for president only 378 days ago (with John Kasich’s withdrawal). I left the Republican Party that day, and for that reason. Not even I could imagine how quickly the rot would spread.
D.J. McGuire is the conservative Democrat on More Perfect Union podcast – and sometimes feels like he is the lone conservative Democrat in the country.