Wednesday, December 27, 2017

They're Down With Trump

Don't be fooled by headline writers, America.

The article written by Dan Friedman of Mother Jones, published five days ago, was given the headline "Republicans Quietly Warn Trump: Don't Fire Mueller." Beneath the headline appears "It wouldn't be a  good idea."

That is evidently a quote from Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, one of five GOP senators who thought dismissing Robert Mueller, highly-decorated Vietnam War veteran, FBI director under Bush 43, and lifelong Republican, would not be wise.

And that's about as far as they would go.  None suggested any consequences if the President did in fact sack the Special Counsel and one of the five, Pat Roberts of  Kansas, cautioned "I see an awful lot of questions about how this (investigation) is being conducted.”

Another was Luther Strange who, having been defeated in the GOP primary in Alabama, soon will be a private citizen.  Evidently, Mother Jones couldn't get even Arizona's Jeff Flake and Tennessee's Bob Corker, lame ducks generally willing to criticize Trump before voting to advance his agenda and enhance his ego, to wring their hands in faux concern.

Five out of 52 (senators) isn't bad, though, compared to the one of 239 Republicans in the House sufficiently bold to suggest that firing an investigator appointed by a Republican Assistant Attorney General in a Republican administration might be displeasing.

If there now are only six GOP members of Congress willing to go on record against dismissal of Mueller, there is little hope there would be more than ineffectual criticism if President Grump were to make the move. At one time, there were even six or seven Republican senators who had stated they were either against, or had grave reservations about, the Corporate Tax Scam of 2017.

They all came around, voting for the legislation. So did 24 of the 31 GOP Representatives who belong to the House Climate Solutions Caucus, though as Think Progress explains 

Along with opening a portion of ANWR to drilling, the tax bill retained deductions of so-called intangible drilling costs and preserves a measure that lets oil and gas producers reduce taxable income to reflect the depreciation of reserves. The intangible drilling provision is viewed as “the Holy Grail” of exploration and production tax breaks because it allows companies to deduct most of the costs of drilling new wells in the United States.

No doubt some Republicans had a reservation or two but voted for the tax bill because there is nothing that unites Republicans more than shoving money upwards.  However, many were intimidated by Donald Trump, now presiding over the party of snowflakes.  If the President were to have Robert Mueller fired, he would challenge his fellow Republicans to choose sides: him vs. the Democrats, or the "liberal media," or the "deep state"-  whatever it would take. The threat of a nasty tweet from the White House or of a primary challenge supported by Trump would loom over their heads.

The President has alternatives to sacking Mueller, such as continuing to demean and undermine the Special Counsel's probe or firing Rod Rosenstein. Still, if Trump were to eliminate Mueller, fierce condemnation from Democrats would be met with little support from the GOP.

Notwithstanding what we hear or read from gullible members of the media or in headlines, congressional Republicans now have joined the base in being inextricably linked to Donald Trump. The GOP is Donald Trump; Donald Trump is the GOP. If it's within their power- as it will be until at least until the 116th Congress is sworn in- they will not let him go down.

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