“While we watch (Trump), we need to see Congress.
“I saw Senators go to the room the next day after all this, where the journalists said, what do you say, what do you say?
“They had nothing to say. They will not respond.
And then We are not just the president’s country. We have a congress. We have a high court. But most of all, we have the people of the United States, who vote, those who vote in it, and those who vote for it. “
Make no mistake about what Powell does here: He calls – and exits – Republican lawmakers for their total surrender to all of Trump’s whims. He tries to remind them that the founders of the state envisioned three equal parts of government – not a legislative branch that lived in fear of the executive and did everything it said.
This is what the Republican Party has done in Washington over the past three years. While Trump was not the choice of almost any of the major Republican leaders in Washington during the 2016 campaign, it became apparent in the aftermath of his career to nominate the Republican Party and the stunning victory over Hillary Clinton that he would force them to make a very clear choice: Are you with me or against me?
Trump’s political vision has not allowed the world any slight difference or differentiation. Either you agree with him – publicly, at least – 100% of the time or you are his enemy – and therefore, someone will try to destroy it. (And yes, this is an incredibly simplistic way of seeing politics and the world.)
So, very early on in Trump’s presidency, Republican leaders had to choose: Do you fully align with Trump (and get some of your main priorities like more conservative judges, tax cuts, etc.) or do you confirm your independence as a legislature and threaten a stressful relationship With the CEO can you put those priorities at risk?
Even amid these disturbing signs, very few Republicans are likely to respond to Powell’s call to defend themselves – and against the president.
In the wake of criticism of former Defense Secretary James Mattis to the president late last week, my mother was the word among Republicans in Congress, with some notable exceptions, such as Senator Lisa Murkowski (from Alaska) and Mitt Romney (from Utah).
“It is politically fashionable to blame Trump for everything – and I am not buying it,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina senator.
“I didn’t follow, I’m sorry,” said the senator from Louisiana Bill Cassidy.
This silence (or sand sticking) is what Trump bought with the policy proposals he pushed. The undeclared deal Republicans struck in Congress was that they would use Trump to gain long-sought conservative priorities in exchange for unlimited political loyalty to a man, even a few years before his decision to run for president in 2016, not even my Republicans had direct opposing views of those The Republican Foundation adopted just a few years ago, on a variety of issues from trade to deficits.
No one knew what the price of this silent loyalty would return in early 2017. As of today, it could lead to a Democratic president and a Democratic-controlled Congress in January 2021. Even then, Trump’s embrace and an unwillingness to make any criticism Real policies and data that go well beyond any traditional definition of “conservative” can hold back the Republican brand for much longer than a single election.
The question that every Republican will have to ask themselves, perhaps sooner rather than later, is: Was it worth it?