GOP Still Failing Trump “Termination” Test
Contrary to a Politico headline, the GOP response to Trump's anti-constitution talk continues to underwhelm.
The prior two posts that go along with this one:
So, this morning I noted a potentially encouraging headline from Politico: Senate Republicans turn on Trump over suspend-the-Constitution talk. However, the content of the article was less than impressive. Indeed, the notion that any of what is quoted could be characterized as “turn[ing]” on Trump is, well, laughable.
We start with someone who is retiring and already has a record of occasionally criticizing Trump, although not in any way that really mattered. And all he is quoted as saying is basically casting vague doubts on Trump’s future:
“I just think, in the end, he will not end up running because [of] the polling,” said retiring Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio). “The trend line is not positive.”
This is weak tea, at best and it just sounds like the kind of things that GOPers said before Trump was nominated, i.e., passively wishing that Trump would go away.
We get the same thing from Senator Cornyn of Texas:
“I’m at a loss for words. We need to move on,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), an adviser to McConnell, said of the constitutional-suspension posts from the former president. Cornyn added that the prospect of Trump winning the nomination is “increasingly less likely, given statements like that.”
Again, there is that indirect hope that Trump will just finally go away. And may I note it shouldn’t be hard to condemn the notion that portions of the Constitution ought to be terminated so that the loser of the election be installed in office.
Well, at least John Thune had some strong words, right? Well, no.
While few Republicans spoke out publicly before returning to Washington on Monday, Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said “of course I disagree with that” when asked about Trump’s comments. The No. 2 Senate Republican would not say whether he’d support Trump if the former president wins the GOP nomination in 2024 and said he’s “just not going to go there at this point — that’s a long way off.”
But Thune did predict Trump’s remarks would fuel the ambitions of Republicans who’d want to take on the former president in a 2024 primary: “It’s just one of those intuitively obvious things, whether a candidate for office has sort of a bedrock principle, ‘are you going to support the Constitution?’” Thune said. “For him, it’s not all that unusual. But it will be the grist and plenty of fodder for those that are looking to get into that race.”
What is striking to me is that the pattern is what we saw before Trump was elected. They all know he is dangerous and unqualified. They all want him to go away, but they are so afraid of jeopardizing their political careers that they don’t have the courage to speak the truth. So, instead, like in 2016, they are going to hedge, hem, and haw until they find themselves with him as the nominee in charge of their party yet again. There is also that shrugging off of any responsibility or leadership because, you know, Trump gonna Trump.
The article also has more retirees, and still with largely bland statements:
“The facts of the election in 2022 are just indisputable. The ultra, pro-Trump, handpicked by Trump, based on loyalty to Trump? Those candidates wildly underperformed,” said retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who voted to convict the former president in his second impeachment trial. “It’s pretty clear that he’s become a toxic force and that’s going to diminish his influence a lot.”
“I’d like Republicans to win elections again, unlike the way this guy has made sure my party could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in 2018 and in 2020 and again in 2022,” said Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who is leaving Congress next month to become president of the University of Florida.
The strongest statement quoted in the piece was from Lisa Murkowski: “suggesting the termination of the Constitution is not only a betrayal of our oath of office, it’s an affront to our Republic.” But, of course, Murkowski was willing to vote to convict Trump in his 2021 impeachment trial, so hardly some new anti-Trump turn.
In general, what strikes me here is how this all fits the pattern of GOP behavior we have seen since 2015: mostly hedged cowardice with retiring politicians being a tad more forthright and only a handful on the fringe of the party being willing to be truly direct about Trump’s unacceptable behavior.
I’m inclined to think that the response reflects that Republicans only object to Trump, not to anti-Constitutional actions/policies that will assist them in holding power in the government.
Given that from the Republican standpoint, there will be no good end to this story, they might as well go for broke and say loud and clear what they really think of Trump.
Trotsky died with a sharp instrument in his brain for thinking he could do better than Stalin.
Today’s GQP lacks that example as an excuse.
Do you s’pose they don’t actually — you know — disagree? Huh?
How would we know if they… silly thought… think he might be able DO it?
My local semi-pro newspaper leans pretty heavy right, understandable given their audience. But none the less they get constant complaints that they’re part of the demoncrat, deep state, fake news. For national news they run AP stories and every month or two get a letter complaining AP are socialists. Yesterday they ran an AP story headlined “Trump rebuked for call to suspend Constitution over election” leading with,
I need to write them a letter complaining about it.
The Trump Org. has been found guilty on ALL COUNTS of tax fraud.
That was quick.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
Oh, this is most certainly true. The Republican Party is the party of the Jim Crow South and has been for decades. They do not, can not, believe in the rule of law because that’s not how Jim Crow works. What is truly frightening though is that a good percentage don’t feel the need to pretend any more at all. And most of the rest only put the barest hint of lipstick on that pig.
Ten years ago I thought that the fight over the Confederate statues represented real progress across the political spectrum because the pro-statue people were no longer mourning the loss of slavery, or justifyig the message sent by the statues by the need to keep the dark folk down, but rather were retconning history. Lee was a saint of a man who was sincerely against slavery. Secession was only about states rights, not slavery. The Confederate troops were defending their homes from invaders, not slavery. It was a tacit admission that the Confederate cause was wrong, that it couldn’t be held up in a clear and truthful light and survive inspection. But now I’m not so sure. More and more Republicans seem perfectly fine cozying up to the most vile racists possible, without hiding the fact. And the rest are perfectly fine in getting that White Supremacy cred by association.
The spinelessness is congenital, they’re doing the same thing with Kari Lake.
Oh and add Moscow Mitch to those providing a milquetoast response; “would have a very hard time being sworn in as president of the United States.”
Erik Loomis does LGM Film Club posts. A few days ago he happened to take on Charlie Chaplin’s The General. Chaplin was a good guy and as a piece of craft the movie is apparently pretty good. (I’ve never seen it except for a few odd scenes.) But it’s also a reminder from the 20s of the Lost Cause revisionist history deeply accepted at the time. The Lost Cause was all about Lee being a great man, states’ rights, defending hearth and home, maybe a little tariff rejection thrown in. Very racist, but not defending slavery. We haven’t really progressed all that much.
Read the Declaration of Secession of South Carolina. The only states’ right they were interested in was the “right” to own slaves.
@JohnMc: For what it’s worth, I don’t think they disagree; they’re simply tired of the messenger and want to take over the “face of MAGA” job.
@gVOR08: ” few days ago he happened to take on Charlie Chaplin’s The General. ”
Buster Keaton, not Charlie Chaplin.
They need an easier test, as ridiculous as it sounds.
Like the one Benito got when Cheeto Sr. paid off his chemistry teacher.
The teacher decided if an average student got ten questions, someone so rich should get two. And if average students had to score no less than 70% to pass, someone so lazy and privileged should require 50%
Question one was: what color is methylene blue?
Benito answered “Orange,” which was wrong.
Question two: Can you explain how to precipitate silver nitrate?
Benito answered “Hell, NO!!” which was completely true and a correct answer..
Makes one wonder what is in it for Politico to give Republicans more credit for courage than they deserve.
Should be mentioned in every thread about confederacy and defending slavery:
1] Cornerstone speech by the VP of the confederacy Alex Stephens — “its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man”
2] Confederate states didn’t actually think of states rights as things each state could do. When confederate states speak of states rights, they mean things they get to do AND that nobody else gets to complain about/impede. The immediate cause of secession was Northern states exercising their states’ rights in refusing to support Southern requests to return slaves that had fled north.