There is no question more relevant in the first month of Donald Trump’s Presidency than, “Why are all the GOP Pols refusing to criticize Trump for doing things which are causing Ronald Reagan to turn in his grave”? It is absolutely astonishing. Even within the last few days enough has happened to launch a half dozen Congressional Investigations and an Impeachment proceeding.
Michael Flynn, Trump’s National Security Advisor, it turns out was making promises to the Russians before Trump took office on the issue of sanctions imposed by President Obama in retaliation for Russian interference in the election. At its best, Flynn’s actions was illegal meddling in foreign affairs by a private citizen. At its worst, Flynn is a Russian Spy compromising our government and is guilty of Treason. When Flynn’s name was brought up to Trump he said he was unaware of anything to do with Flynn being an issue. HUH?? What happened to the Patriotic saber rattling, commie hating, paranoid Republicans? They aren’t talking.
Then consider the peculiar case of North Korea and its ballistic missle test. Trump was on his second golfing weekend with Japan’s Prime Minister. During dinner at the full dining room of his Florida Club, aids come to tell Trump that North Korea has had a successful test of a long range missile. Instead of adjourning dinner for a more appropriate location, they had a meeting about possible nuclear war in the middle of a busy dining hall if full public view. And in something no spy novelist could invent, people were actually taking selfies with the military attaché who is assigned to Trump for the explicit purpose of having the nuclear codes known as the “football” immediately available. Unless its singing out the nuclear codes at a karaoke bar, I can’t imagine a more serious breach of security protocol. Were Republicans outraged? Were they changing “lock him up, lock him up”. Nope. Just the sounds of crickets.
Why do Republicans not care about those things they used to care about? Two Words. “Political Power”. Nothing more nothing less. Remember six months before the election when all of the mainstream media was full of serious though pieces predicting the end of the Republican Party? Underlying those writings was the hypothesis that the Nationalistic (Trump) element of the GOP could not exist with the Chamber of Commerce (Ryan) Republicans and the Tea Party Republicans (Cruz). Nothing has changed except because of a confluence of factors Trump won the election and the Republican Party won. And what have they done since the election legislatively?
NOTHING! They have yet to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Turns out, the ACA is now popular with 30 million voters who have coverage as a result, State Governors, including Republicans, who get funds from the ACA for their states, and a majority of voters now. They have no replacement plan and are now saying it may be 2018 (after the midterm elections) before they do anything about it. They haven’t set forth a new tax plan. Problem is that the deficit hawks aren’t going to agree to reducing taxes until they can figure out where to make cuts in the budget over anything but military spending. That’s hard to do. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are still popular programs and toying with them will still cause retirees and their defendants to react. But they have power. Political Power.
What is political power. I explain it this way. You are a teenage boy of 16. You have your first really hot date. Your crazy uncle lends you his Corvette for the occasion. You take your date and park by a romantic lake. You reach over and put your hand on her knee and say “This car will do 180 miles per hour.” She says “wow, lets do it!” And the boy begins sweating though his acne covered face. Yes the car will do 180, but he’s never done it and he’s terrified. What does he do? Does he risk being arrested or wrecking his uncle’s car or killing both of them to impress her or does he make an excuse and try to keep her estrogen level up for another day?
So far the Republicans have opted for door number 3, the excuses. “all those protesters are paid”, “we would have won New Hampshire except for the 3000 democrats from Massachusetts who were illegally bused “, and “that Yemen raid was already approved by President Obama and so we can’t be blamed for its failure”. Right. As all of us who were once 16 year old boys know; the lying option only gets you some knee and a closed mouth kiss good night.