The conservative columnist has been souring on Donald Trump for some time but Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds seems to have sent him over the edge and he excoriates Republicans in Congress for enabling his behavior.
Donald Trump, an ongoing eruption of self-refuting statements (“I’m a very stable genius” with “a very good brain”), is adding self-impeachment to his repertoire. Spiraling downward in a tightening gyre, his increasingly unhinged public performances (including the one with Finland’s dumbfounded president looking on) are as alarming as they are embarrassing. His decision regarding Syria and the Kurds was made so flippantly that it has stirred faint flickers of thinking among Congress’s vegetative Republicans.
Hence Republicans acquired a durable advantage concerning the core presidential responsibility, national security. Durable but not indestructible, if Democrats will take the nation’s security as seriously as Trump injures it casually.
Trump’s gross and comprehensive incompetence now increasingly impinges upon the core presidential responsibility. This should, but will not, cause congressional Republicans to value their own and their institution’s dignity and exercise its powers more vigorously than they profess fealty to Trump.
The canine loyalty of Senate Republicans will keep Trump in office. But until he complies with House committee subpoenas, the House must not limply hope federal judges will enforce their oversight powers. Instead, the House should wield its fundamental power, that of the purse, to impose excruciating costs on executive branch noncompliance. This can be done.
In 13 months, all congressional Republicans who have not defended Congress by exercising “the constitutional rights of the place” should be defeated. If congressional Republicans continue their genuflections at Trump’s altar, the appropriate 2020 outcome will be a Republican thrashing so severe — losing the House, the Senate and the electoral votes of, say, Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina and even Texas — that even this party of slow-learning careerists might notice the hazards of tethering their careers to a downward-spiraling scofflaw.
Polls indicate that Trump is still largely holding on to his base and they will wrap themselves around him even more tightly the more he is attacked, which is typical behavior of cult members who so strongly identifies with its Dear Leader. But it must surely concern those advisors around him who are not as unhinged that they are steadily losing people who have long been Republican stalwarts, especially those in the mainstream media. There is a limit to how much damage control Fox News and other highly supportive right wing media outlets can do.
According to Seth Meyers, even Fox News is finding it hard to be as supportive as they might like.