Opinion: The GOP’s circular firing squad commences

(AP)

Back in our time of innocence, when Donald Trump was just a harmless New York B-list celebrity worth a few chuckles, his penchant for picking epic personal feuds found a target in another New York-based B-list celebrity, a comedian by the name of Rosie O’Donnell.

Well, I’m beginning to think O’Donnell has been replaced in that role by McConnell, as in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. After launching a Twitter attack on McConnell Wednesday for failing to pass an Obamacare repeal bill, Trump was at it again Thursday, publicly condemning one of the most powerful leaders of his own party:

That’s pretty harsh, and it offers further evidence that with Trump, it’s not a question of whether he’ll turn on you, but when.

Yet as much as I hate to admit it, Trump does have a point. Back home in Kentucky on recess, McConnell has tried to excuse Republican failure to repeal and replace Obamacare by claiming that Trump had “excessive expectations” about how quickly Congress could act. That’s utter nonsense.

True, Trump knows nothing about government and has acted as if trying to learn is beneath him. But for seven long years — seven years — McConnell and the rest of the GOP establishment in Washington had promised to repeal and replace Obamacare, depicting it as the biggest threat to western civilization since the fall of the Soviet empire. They had ridden that promise to majorities in both the House and Senate.

Yet in all that time, they invested zero effort in crafting an actual plan to do so. They showed no interest in health care policy, no interest in the hard work required, and in the end their laziness and incompetence caught up with them, producing one of the biggest political embarrassments of the last 50 years.

That said, Trump has no room to talk. He too made repeal and replace a central theme of his presidential campaign. He too made exorbitant promises about how wonderful his replacement plan was going to be and about how easy it all would be once he brought his awesome powers of negotiation to bear. Yet when the time came to produce, he too had nothing. He put no effort into drafting a plan and little effort in trying to sell the Senate’s plan to a skeptical public, probably because he knew the bill was an atrocity and he didn’t want to be closely associated with it.

In the wake of that failure, what we’re now seeing is Trump trying to divorce himself from hapless Republican leaders, and Republican leaders trying to divorce themselves from a hapless president. This has the makings of something nasty. And while Trump’s feud with Rosie actually benefited both of them, giving them the publicity that both sought, this one doesn’t work like that.

With Robert Mueller breathing down his neck, Trump is going to need cover from a Republican Congress. With a restive conservative base livid at the failure to repeal Obamacare, congressional Republicans in turn need Trump on their side. But sooner or later this is what Trump does to his partners, both in business and now in politics.

As Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard put it, paraphrasing Churchill:

“In dealing with Trump, congressional Republicans were given the choice between war and dishonor. They chose dishonor and they now have war.”

 

Reader Comments 0

1918 comments
huyiki
huyiki

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skruorangeclown
skruorangeclown

Watch Trump blame Obama or Hillary for the violence in Virginia.

f22ev
f22ev

Well, our own former Representative Price from Georgia led the effort saying he had the PLAN!  Then he was selected as Health and Human Services leader, and PLOP.  His plan was worthless, as he is now. 

Peachs
Peachs

The American strategy for North Korea have been sanctions isolation and patience waiting for the end of this dictorical regime. I find myself doing this same thing with Donald Trump.

Peachs
Peachs

The NFL actually suspended a player for his conduct with his girlfriend. On the other hand we have a president who is a poor example of conduct. Mixed societal messages..

Peachs
Peachs

Why do we make a major issue out of a special senatorial race in Alabama? Since when was Alabama an indicator of national proportion?

Infinite Hope
Infinite Hope

Since the ones in Georgia and South Carolina failed?

Peachs
Peachs

Alabama is republican like Cuba this communist there is no real litmus test of the rest of the world or the country found in either of these isolated places.

RantNRave
RantNRave



Trump Approval Hits New Low Of 32% As Support From His Base Slips — IBD/TIPP Poll


"President Trump's approval rating dropped 5 percentage points in August to a new low of 32%, according to the latest IBD/TIPP Poll, with 59% saying they disapprove of the job he's doing as president.

Trump lost significant support across the board, but saw big declines among areas of core support, including Republicans, Midwesterners, middle-income families, white men and the high-school educated. The results come in the wake of the Senate's failure to repeal ObamaCare, upheavals in the White House staff, the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the election, and the daily beatings administered by the mainstream press.

Among Republicans, for example, Trump's approval rating fell from 83% in July to 71% in August. Trump's already low approval ratings remained relatively unchanged among Democrats (4%) and independents (30%)."

 http://www.investors.com/politics/trump-approval-hits-new-low-of-32-as-support-from-his-base-slips-ibdtipp-poll/

Peachs
Peachs

I have a grandson coming and suggested to my very conservative daughter and son in law to name it after a wonderful uncle we all love named Donald not thinking of the evil Donald that came to their mind. This year's baby crop has had the least babies named Donald since people kept up with this kind of stuff. The child will not be named Donald!

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@JeffreyEav


Here is what an esteemed political historian and analyst  recommended that the U. S. attempt in this stand off with North Korea.:


(1)  Work with China, with or with out sanctions (for leverage).

(2) End formally the Korean War in treaty signings.

(3) Pull out American soldiers from South Korea, and in another surrounding nation.

(4) Accept North Korea as a recognized nation throughout the world, and perhaps even give North Korea status in the United Nations.

(5) Keep dialogue going with China so that China, together with the U. S., can shape Kim Jung On's political trajectory which would work for the world's security/benefit.

skruorangeclown
skruorangeclown

@MaryElizabethSings @JeffreyEav

Excellent but:

6. Get North Korea to turn over all nuclear weapons and long range missiles to China.

7. To let diplomacy work put duct tape over Trump's mouth.


Why is US there?No other foreign troops in Korea.

td1234
td1234

"CANBERRA, Australia — Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says if North Korea directly launches an attack on the United States mainland or any of its overseas territories including Guam, Australia will immediately join the conflict.

“America stands by its allies, including Australia of course, and we stand by the United States,” Mr Turnbull told local radio station 3AW on Friday morning.

“So be very, very clear on that. If there’s an attack on the US, the ANZUS Treaty would be invoked and Australia would come to the aid of the United States, as America would come to our aid if we were attacked.”

The ANZUS Treaty binds the U.S., Australia and New Zealand together in a defense pact covering military matters in the Pacific Ocean region. It provides that an armed attack on any of the three parties would be dangerous to the others, and that each should act to meet the common threat."

OldJacketFan
OldJacketFan

@td1234 

Wow! You mean an ally that actually is going to live up to it's treaty commitments?????? Who knew? 

Peachs
Peachs

It would've been nice if Trump had lived up to our treaty to take that Australia's refugees that Obama had signed. Allies for the US just hold her nose and pray this Trump thing is over soon!

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

Fan:  He's doing just fine. We don't need any more politically correct talkers.”

Question – exactly what does that mean?  You like him because he curses a lot or you like him because he makes fun of women and people with disabilities?  Please explain.

Td:  “ We sent him there to reduce the size and scope of government not to be a part of it. “

Two questions for you:

1) How can he not be part of government, when he is at the top tier of government?  That’s like saying, “We sent Nick Saban to Alabama to be the head football coach, but NOT to actually do anything with the football team.”  << --  Doesn’t make much sense does it? 

2)How can he reduce the “size of government” and then turn around and add 3 jobs for his kids/in-laws; that are……….well, you know………..government jobs?Unpaid jobs sure…..but STILL government jobs!.”<< --Doesn’t make much sense does it?  

Fan4500
Fan4500

@DebbieDoRight D.C. for the most part is corrupt, too much money, too many pet projects added to Bills, too much lobbying. If we have to replace most of the Senator's and Congressman, then so be it. I'm tired of the status quo with Congress and the Executive Branch. Most of you here don't believe hillary or kerry were corrupt and terrible Sec. of State's but look at the "deals" they made, with the approval of our leader at the time.

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

I love how the conned consider Gorsuch a "Trump victory." You'd almost think that the reason Trump got to pull Gorsuch's name out of a hat had nothing to do with Scalia dying while Obama was President and then McConnell, in a sui generis act of utter contempt for the Constitution, the President of the USA, and the people of the USA, stealing the seat.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@Eye wonder 

If that's one of Trump's accomplishments, I guess I have an equal accomplishment every time I order dinner from a menu?

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@Eye wonder yep.  They have to grasp at anything to give Trump credit. 


Yeah, Trump chose another Scalia to replace Scalia. woo! that's a win!


okay, good for you. a stolen SCOTUS seat. history will not be kind. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

I guess I could ask again.

Why don't Democrats point out that virtually all the PPACA "imploding" going on is happening in Republican-controlled states?

Do they actually want to win? Do they feel they must keep this game sporting, it'd be bad etiquette to point out what happens when you put psychopaths in charge of government?

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@Visual_Cortex I guess they think it's so obvious, it doesn't need to be pointed out. 


Republicans are causing all the problems with the ACA because of their own policies of knocking the legs out from under the ACA. 


But evidently, as those legs are knocked out, ignorant conservatives just blame Obama. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@LogicalDude @Visual_Cortex

I guess I don't understand why Democrats ALLOW ignorant conservatives to "just blame Obama."

I guarandamntee you that 90% of Trump voters have no earthly clue of the disparity in GOP- vs Dem-controlled states, and the health of the marketplace.gov policies available therein.

So the GOP just gets to blame Obama, even after the guy is no longer in office, and the Dems just leave yet another goal untended.

God how they suck. They suck so bad sometimes I think we need to think up another word for suck.

Andy158
Andy158

@Visual_Cortex "Why don't Democrats point out that virtually all the PPACA "imploding" going on is happening in Republican-controlled states?"

I don't know. Because the Democrats are clueless, lack direction and have no true leader?

TBS
TBS

Democratic Party imo needs a lot of work in several areas but that's a discussion for another time.

But one area that Republicans consistently clean their clock is in the marketing game. Dems suck at it. Republicans do a much better job of getting their message out. By no means do I think it's an overall better message for the majority but damn if they aren't good at marketing their message.

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@Visual_Cortex @LogicalDude Well, just look at how well td and Fan take new information that goes against their talk radio mindset. 


IGNORED. 


So, how much effort should go to those who just do not want to hear anything? 

They sit there with their fingers in their ears going "NAH NAH NAH  I CAN'T HEAR YOU"


Hard to keep trying when met with that brick wall. 

~moonbat_betty~
~moonbat_betty~

@Visual_Cortex @LogicalDude

God how they suck. They suck so bad sometimes I think we need to think up another word for suck.


Yes, even if the Rs put single payer on the table, the Ds would probably still vote no because it's the R's plan.

Andy158
Andy158

@TBS They spread and relentlessly repeat approved talking points, including the right wing media. It's almost as if they're organized.

The Dems should try it for a change.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@LogicalDude @Visual_Cortex

So, how much effort should go to those who just do not want to hear anything? 

Fair point, and it speaks to how I mis-wrote earlier.

So who cares if 90% of trump voters are clueless about that little factoid I'd stumbled upon. 90% of HILLARY VOTERS are clueless about it too, I'd reckon.

So whose fault is that? Shouldn't this be a talking point brought up EVERY DAMN TIME some dillweed on the teevee asks a Dem about "imploding" PPACA marketplaces? Couldn't they make that effort at least?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Andy158 @Visual_Cortex

I'm not sure what you'd expect a "true leader" to be; the Republicans didn't really have one when they were out of power either.

As for clueless and lacking direction, I'm actually liking the policy proposals they've introduced in their "Better Deal". 

Of course the SCLM gave it about three minutes' worth of attention. Maybe.

Andy158
Andy158

@Visual_Cortex @Andy158 The name sucks and the press can't stop obsessing with Trump's tweets etc. long enough to cover anything substantive.