The level to which Republicans will sink to defend Donald Trump on anything and, literally, everything has no bottom. There is no cutoff point beyond which now thoroughly-corrupted lawmakers will abandon him; he could sacrifice Mitch McConnell’s family to Satan on the steps of the Capitol and senators like Lankford and Cotton would applaud madly at his boldness and explain that this is indeed What Middle America Wanted.
Sen. Tom Cotton went pretty damn low on Face The Nation when asked about Trump’s dismissal of soldiers being flown back to the United States for medical treatment after suffering TBIs, or traumatic brain injuries, in the Iranian strikes responding to Trump’s targeted assassination of a top Iranian military leader. Trump said “they had headaches,” and “but it is not very serious.”
That seemingly glib dismissal of brain injuries as “headaches” caused anger among numerous veteran’s groups, who have demanded Trump apologize. To Sen. Cotton, though, Trump is still-and-always in the right. “He’s not dismissing their injuries, he’s describing their injuries,” he told Face the Nation.
NEW: @SenTomCotton defends @realdonaldtrump 's comments about soldiers impacted by the Iran strike, says Trump wasn't "dismissing" traumatic brain injuries by calling them "headaches" pic.twitter.com/HH8daFhsIv
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) January 26, 2020
The Veterans of Foreign Wars, for example, disagrees. “TBI is known to cause depression, memory loss, severe headaches, dizziness & fatigue—all injuries that come w/ both short- and long-term effects” said VFW National Commander William Schmitz in a statement.
Cotton had thoughts about impeachment as well. Asked about the release of a new recording in which Rudy Giuliani, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman got a Trump instruction to “take her out” after the trio falsely claimed that anti-corruption U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was “badmouthing” him, Cotton’s only take away from the extended recording was that “badmouthing” sounded like “a pretty sound reason to move an ambassador.” That Trump was getting that advice from Rudy Giuliani and two now-indicted foreign agents, he claimed, was not a problem. See the bar getting lower? Do you think a similar tape coming out featuring, say, any Democrat that Tom Cotton could name would be similarly uninteresting to Tom Cotton?
So there you go. That’s the kind of person the Republican base puts in the Senate these days.
As for Sen. James ‘Young Lindsey’ Lankford, he has been throwing himself in front of whatever cameras he can find to defend Trump, during the trial. He made forays onto multiple networks to hail Our Dear Glorious Tweeting Leader; it’s not clear what administration job he’s angling for, as Trump already has more shoe-shiners than the Trump family has shoes. On MSNBC he got slapped around for lying repeatedly to the viewing audience. On CNN he pivoted to defending Dear Leader’s tweet-grouse complaining that impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff “has not paid the price, yet,” for challenging Dear Leader.
"I don't think it's a death threat. I don't think he's encouraging a death threat" — here's @SenatorLankford on CNN defending Trump tweeting that Schiff "has not paid the price" pic.twitter.com/ZdXFptCZVS
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 26, 2020
If you need a measure of just how intensively the Lankfords of Republicanism are willing to grovel, this might be a good one: Well I don’t personally interpret Dear Leader’s latest remarks as an actual “death threat” against a sitting congressman, so everything remains fine. All Hail Twitterburp.
The standards of the presidency have fallen very far, in the last three years, and Sen. Lankford would like you to buckle in because, at least according to him, the new lower bound is openly calling for the death of his opponents. Is he there yet? No? Then all praise Dear Leader, who will be vindicated after we vote to conceal all remaining evidence. And if Dear Leader does cross that last line, Sen. James Lankford will defend him still.