DonkeyHotey / Flickr mcconnell ryan trump caricature...
DonkeyHotey / Flickr

It seems to slowly be dawning on Republicans that Donald Trump does not give a flying damn about them or their party, and would just as happily hurt them as help them in the 2018 midterms if it pleased him to do so.

Trump, who fashions himself a deal maker and who often cares more about personal chemistry than political ideology, has grown increasingly frustrated with Republicans and has told advisers he believes he can work with Democrats on issues like tax reform and infrastructure. […]

[Republican officials] are coming to terms with the fact that Trump may not be a reliable campaigner — and some are freshly questioning whether he is even a Republican and is committed to helping the party, the officials said.

Mind you, Republicans have shredded both their party’s previous ideological stances and any ethical norm you can name in their efforts to defend Trump, whether it be to allow him to use the presidency as a profit center for his businesses or the discovery that his campaign was, in the best-case scenario, a willing patsy for a foreign power seeking to undermine American democracy. They had little issue with his obvious incompetence, his temper, his gleeful immorality, his sexism, his racism, or his inability to comprehend even basic details of the policies he was supposed to be championing—but when that same Trump smugly sided with Democrats during a meeting, suddenly the party leaders are all a-twitch about whether or not this fellow is asset or liability.

Only, Trump went rogue. White House officials apologized to congressional leaders after the meeting, according to a GOP source on Capitol Hill. But the damage was done.

“It doesn’t help our leadership to try to hold us Republicans together on anything when they know the president will chop them off at the knees,” said a House Republican lawmaker allied with Ryan. “Trump has got to start caring more about his colleagues over here.”

This brings up a new, fascinating possible endgame. We have all wondered what it would take for Republicans to finally impeach this obvious grifter and crook, or for some future iteration of the ever-changing White House staff to finally write a letter politely informing the requisite lawmakers that the sitting president is out of his gourd and not able to competently staff a government, much less run it.

But if the lunatic started praising and working with Democrats? Republican lawmakers would fall over one another in their attempts to be the first ones to demand impeachment hearings. Suddenly, the administration’s use of private emails to do government business would be the thing that could not stand; suddenly, we would hear that Donald Trump cashing checks from foreign and domestic favor-seekers at his hotel or his golf club had been an insult to the Constitution all along. The Republican House and Senate would not rest—nay, would not so much as turn off the lights in the evenings—until they had gotten a full accounting of Russian election meddling on Donald’s behalf, and would demand further investigations and hearings after that, and three more rounds after those, or four, or seven.

Fox News would soon proclaim that Donald Trump had been a Democrat all along. Footage of the Republican National Convention would be purged from the archives; his every new utterance would be presented with the small notation (D) in the chyron.

Indeed, there are possibilities here! It has been plain for some time that the Republican Party’s only motivating force is the collection of party power for the sake of party power; if we cannot convince them that Trump is an inherent danger to the republic due to his incompetence, his corruption, or his rank bigotries than the only thing left is to convince Republicans that he is willing to, shudder, cooperate with Democrats. Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Reince Priebus, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Trey Gowdy, Devin Nunes and the whole heaping rest of them would find their outrage-o-meters in two days flat, if we could make that accusation stick.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.



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