In early August, CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer wrote
Many Republican legislators have been reluctant to tackle the Russia problem, while only a handful of Republicans actually voted "no" on the health care bill despite all the fireworks about the revolt of the moderate three in the Senate. A surprising number of House Republicans outside the Freedom Caucus voted in support of an extraordinarily conservative bill. As Jennifer Senior wrote in her New York Times review of Sen. Flake's new book: "But Flake has also cast most of his votes in favor of Trump's policies."
Almost no Republicans have objected to the extreme measures that President Trump has been pursuing through executive action, such as rolling back regulations to curb climate change or ramping up border security.
There was little pushback when the President responded to his week of crisis by supporting legislation to severely cut down on immigration and "joked" about wanting more police brutality, all of which were meant to be part of what amounted to "Don't Worry, I'm a Conservative Republican Week."
Two months later, and it's more of the same. Politico reports
House Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday downplayed the ongoing feud between President Donald Trump and GOP Sen. Bob Corker, advising the two men to talk through their differences but also joking that he’s been there, too.
The Wisconsin Republican, known for his no-drama approach to Trump, quipped that “I’ve had my share too” when asked about the Corker-Trump spat. Trump often hit Ryan last year for initially refusing to endorse his candidacy and then later refusing to campaign with him following Trump's “Access Hollywood” scandal.
No. President Obama was "no drama Obama." The Speaker of the House is "Donald, may I kiss your ass Ryan."
Ryan is a member of the House of Representatives, almost required by law to chide Senators. But the other chamber is bringing to itself no glory as yesterday we learned
The standoff has Senate Republicans forced to choose between a senior senator and the president of their own party. And it's exacerbating the perception of Republican dysfunction at a time that the party's agenda is stalled on Capitol Hill and a slate of outsiders is threatening primaries against GOP incumbents.
The Corker-Trump tussle has been playing out for months, but it ratcheted up after Corker announced his retirement two weeks ago.
Trump “needs to stop. But I wish Bob would stop too. Just stop,” said Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) in an interview Tuesday. "We’ve got so many other things that we need to be focusing on right now. We need to look ahead, not reflect on anything that’s been done or said in the past.”
Suggesting an equivalence between President Trump and Senator Corker- or between Donald Trump and almost anyone not actively associated with organized crime- is an example of moral equivalence, which conservatives of an earlier generation would decry. However, the GOP, Senator Ernst contends, should "be focusing on right now" and must "look ahead."
So here is something for Joni Ernst to focuse on now- the war the President is coaxing Kim Jong Un to begin. She can look ahead, even, to the hundreds of thousands of Korean lives which probably would be lost.
But she won't, will she? GOP senators, willing to sell their country out for tax cuts for the wealthy under the banner "tax reform," are ethically bankrupt. Bob Corker is no profile in courage, yet is beginning to look like a fortress of bravery compared to his colleagues.