Posted by: Bruce Allen | March 18, 2019

It’s the Hypocrisy, Stupid!

© Bruce Allen

Dear Mr. BruAl–

Why does it seem you’re always mad at Republicans about something? Aren’t both of the major political parties pretty much the same?

Red State Rodney

Dear Rodney–

Of all the infuriating things about Trump’s Republican apologists on Capitol Hill, and there are scores of these things, the single most dangerous is the artificial reality created when they refuse to acknowledge their own hypocrisy. By allowing Il Douche to get away with so many things for which they would have sent Barack Obama to the guillotine, and then not copping to it–“Damned Dems do it, too.”–guys like the execrable Lindsey Graham in effect order us to believe untruth. This is not how democracy is supposed to work.

As we watch the steady unraveling of the Trump administration, the turnover, the confusion, the lack of policy direction, the lying from Sarah Sanders’ podium, the hypocrisy of congressional Republicans amounts to co-dependency with a president who is over his head, unhinged, and un-briefable. The Republican party, in other words, is in denial of what appears to be a lemming-like following of Trump as he leads those foolish enough to throw in with him over a career wrecking, possibly criminal cliff. History shows it–people who have trusted and helped Trump over the years have been routinely tossed aside upon becoming inconvenient. With promises to keep and no interpersonal concerns beyond his own immediate needs (read: pathological narcissism), this is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

Once the indictments start flowing from the SDNY, addressed to Don Jr., Jared, Miller, Hicks, Norma?, Weisselberg, Deutsche Bank and several Russian billionaires, life is going to deteriorate, again, for Trump and those around him. Trump may end up pardoning, or trying to pardon, Manafort or Flynn but he can’t pardon everyone and survive politically. Even the most dedicated, most fact-impervious, most ill-informed Trump supporters out in West Virginia and Arkansas would start to smell a rat. And there are numerous state prosecutions gearing up for which no presidential pardon is allowed. Most of those are being filed in blue states. Go figure.

Congressional Republicans are, indeed, caught between a rock and a hard place. They can support Trump and his Reich, or they can dissent and be assured of well-funded primary challenges from the right. This is the 21st century equivalent of the old “silver or lead” incentive used to recruit employees into the South American drug cartels. Support Trump and we’ll pay you. Oppose us and we’ll kill your career. You choose. And if it seems unfair that honorable men such as Mitch McConnell and Marco Rubio would have to make such choices, they’ve been playing along all the while and knew what they were getting into. In the case of most Capitol Hill politicians, the salutation, ” The Honorable,” is badly mis-placed.

It feels like we’re in the eye of the storm. The initial Mueller and Michael Cohen chapters have taken place and people are going to jail. That there is a second set being prepared by the SDNY cannot be doubted, and when the subpoenas and warrants go out, things will get worse for Trump. The economy looks poised for a recession next year. North Korea is going nowhere. The Wall is going nowhere. The stock market is going nowhere. No policy initiatives emanating from the White House; too much time spent tweeting and not governing. Political calculations galore; strategic and economic calculations on the back of cocktail napkins.

I, for one, am ready for the back wall of the storm. Republicans need to pay a stiff price in 2020. This presidency is an outrage.

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