The possible constitutional crises that always looks one reckless moment away under President Trump, constituted only a distant worry in congressional Republicans’ minds. Until now. The Washington Post reports that Trump’s order to fire Mueller surely causes some discomfort front and center in Republican thoughts.
Yes, occasional worry can be expected when you bet your political integrity upon a man who relentlessly claims his civic purity, always seems compelled to fire anyone assigned to just double check those pious assurances :
Up until this point, Republicans had given Trump the benefit of the doubt that he wouldn’t launch a constitutional crisis. From their perspective, why take action and cause a confrontation with the president (and jeopardize their agenda) if they don’t absolutely have to?
Yes, why indeed? Especially when the alternative looks much more scrumptious. Much better to go on Fox and wail about the horrific unfairness these inquiring snowflakes impose upon such an obviously great man. No danger in upsetting the ever-Trump base, which matters to a shameless degree.
Yeah, but now what? Even in the newly Great Again America, the president just can’t go around firing the cops legally assigned to his beat. One would think that our constitutional framework compels Congress to act, take the matter out of Trump’s hands, correct? No, not correct. Republicans have a back-up plan to withstand looking irredeemably corrupt if called upon to pass a law keeping Mueller in place.
The Post says look for Republicans to focus on their limitations while the President laughs off even the idea of legal limitation. The Republicans will avoid the responsibility to place restraints upon Trump by furrowing their brow about the constitutionality of enacting such a law in the first place. Never mind the implication of that very reluctance, that if Congress cannot prevent a president from removing a special investigator, than who can? And thus why ever appoint one in the first place? Never mind the existential, note that Congress passes many laws which will surely receive constitutional scrutiny from the Supreme Court, open constitutional questions don’t stop Congress from taking their best shot, if the motivation is there.
To say that Republicans have no motivation to place limitations upon the budding dictator that is Trump is to smash through any constraints upon understatement. Expect to see a great deal of humble Republican palms up, apologetic, wishing they had a role to play in ensuring a full and fair investigation of the President. The shamelessness takes one’s breath away. It is also exceedingly dangerous. No budding dictator would allow laws to constrain him.