Trumpcare is tearing the GOP apart
Well, Trump has accomplished one thing, anyway: Congressional Republicans and Democrats have achieved a rare degree of bipartisan agreement—on the need to investigate Trump!
It is almost unprecedented for Adam Schiff and Devin Nunes to appear side-by-side, and in complete unanimity. The occasion was yesterday’s press conference concerning the House Select Intelligence Committee’s progress in investigating the various Trump scandals, including his fake tweets that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.
The Committee’s conservative Republican chair, Nunes: “There is no evidence that President Obama tapped Trump Tower. If you take the [Trump] tweets literally, the President is wrong.”
The Committee’s ranking Democrat, Schiff: “It deeply concerns me that the President would make such a statement with no basis. You can’t level an accusation of this type without retracting it or explaining just why it was done.”
Meanwhile, across Capitol Hill, comes this vapid statement from the White House: “We remain confident the President will be vindicated in this claim.” As he was with “Obama was born in Kenya” and “Five million illegals voted for Hillary.”
The man just can’t help himself.
We are down the rabbit hole, friends. The question concerning this President always has been, When will his supporters turn against him? He currently has two main pillars of support: Congressional Republicans, in both the Senate and the House, and the ordinary people who voted for him. These two groups don’t necessarily march in lockstep; I always felt that Trump’s voters would be the last to turn on him, for several reasons: (a) they’re low-information voters anyway, who don’t know what’s happening, and (b) they have so much invested in Trump’s success, emotionally-speaking, that it will be very difficult for them to admit they made a terrible mistake.
So it will have to be Congressional Republicans that take him on, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing, with this dramatic team effort in which Nunes was aware of the powerful symbolism of standing next to Schiff. Nunes is from a solidly red district in California’s Central Valley; unlike his Republican colleague, Darrell Issa, Nunes won re-election last Fall by a huge majority, nearly 64% of the vote against the Democrat. Politically, Issa has to pretend to be cozying up to independents; Nunes doesn’t, which is why what he did, in fundamentally coming out and calling Trump a liar, is so breathtaking.
For conservative Republicans, the election of Trump, and his aberrant behavior, presents them with a Hobson’s Choice: they can accept his lies, his immorality, his fundamental indecency as a human being, in exchange for getting some tea party things done; OR they can uphold the “Christian” values they, themselves, profess to believe in, every one of which is negated by this flawed President. It’s either-or, not both: They cannot stand by their man and at the same time look their children in the eye, or themselves in the mirror, and pretend to be proud of their leader. Conservative, tea party Republicans are the most partisan group of extremists I’ve seen in my lifetime; but even they are starting to realize they’re going to have to do something courageous that extends far beyond partisan politics: Be a patriot and start thinking about America before party.