Friday, August 11, 2017

The GOP Will Never Dump Señor Trumpanzee-- But Will He Dump Them?


Active Shooter by Nancy Ohanian

Yesterday, the Washington Post reported on the little soap opera between Señor Trumpanzee and Miss McConnell: Trump steps up attacks on McConnell for failure on health-care reform, noting flatly that Señor Trumpanzee's "relationship with Congress has become more and more strained as he struggles to find legislative wins. Now he's going after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), a key leader in his own party." Trump's using his 17-day golfing vacation in his Bedminster dump to hurl insults at people he hates, from Kim Jung Un and Senator Richard Blumenthal to the hapless Kentucky turtle.
The sparring with McConnell was the latest sign of increasingly strained relations between Trump and Republicans in Congress, who have had few victories since January despite the GOP’s control of the White House and both the House and Senate.

Since the collapse of a health-care bill, Trump has belittled GOP senators as looking like “fools” and suggested they change the chamber’s rules to make it easier to pass bills.

The president’s attacks on a leader popular among Senate Republicans comes as lawmakers are poised to try to tackle other shared-- but challenging-- priorities in the fall, including a tax overhaul. They also are faced with trying to craft a budget and raise the nation’s debt ceiling.

“Discerning a particular strategy or goal from these tweets is hard,” said Doug Heye, a Republican consultant and former Capitol Hill staffer. “It just doesn’t help enact any part of his agenda, and it sends a further troubling sign to Capitol Hill Republicans already wary of the White House.”

Heye said that with Trump’s job approval numbers declining among the Republican base, “now is the time to build support within the party.”

McConnell, to this point, has been one of the most steadfast supporters of Trump’s agenda in Congress. In April, he orchestrated the confirmation of Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Neil M. Gorsuch, changing the Senate rules [for which he will one day rot in Hell] so that Democrats could not block the nomination. The Gorsuch confirmation remains Trump’s largest victory on Capitol Hill to date.

In his remarks Monday to the Rotary Club of Florence, Ky., McConnell said, “Our new president had of course not been in this line of work before.” He added: “I think he had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process.”

McConnell said people think Congress is underperforming partly because “artificial deadlines, unrelated to the reality of the complexity of legislating, may not have been fully understood.”

The New York Times first reported that Trump and McConnell spoke by phone Wednesday about those remarks, a conversation in which Trump also made clear he wants to continue to press for passage of a health-care bill.

Afterward, while on a 17-day working vacation at his private golf club in Bedminster, N.J., Trump took his first shot at McConnell on Twitter.

“Senator Mitch McConnell said I had ‘excessive expectations,’ but I don’t think so,” the president wrote. “After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?”

Earlier Wednesday, Dan Scavino Jr., the White House social media director, also went after McConnell on Twitter.

“More excuses,” wrote Scavino, an outspoken Trump loyalist. “@SenateMajLdr must have needed another 4 years-- in addition to the 7 years-- to repeal and replace Obamacare...”

Sean Hannity, a Fox News host often sympathetic to Trump, also weighed in following McConnell’s remarks, writing on Twitter: “@SenateMajLdr No Senator, YOU are a WEAK, SPINELESS leader who does not keep his word and you need to Retire!”

In another sign of frayed relations between Trump and Republican senators, one of the president’s largest political benefactors is providing a $300,000 contribution to a super PAC that aims to unseat Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz), who has been critical of the president.

Politico first reported that Robert Mercer, a hedge fund billionaire heavily involved in Trump’s political ascendancy, is making a donation to a group supporting former Arizona state senator Kelli Ward, who is challenging Flake in a Republican primary next year.

Flake has been on a book tour promoting Conscience of a Conservative, in which he argues that the GOP is in denial about the Trump presidency. Flake, who was critical of Trump during the campaign, describes him in his book as “a candidate who entertained them and offered oversimplified answers to complex issues.”

...Privately, senior GOP congressional aides across Capitol Hill have said it’s Trump and his team-- not McConnell-- who deserve the blame for the collapse of the GOP’s health-care plan. The aides gripe that Trump seriously damaged relationships with key Republican senators over the course of the months-long debacle.

Trump has singled out certain senators either via Twitter or by placing them next to him during staged White House meetings to make it look like he’s squeezing them-- a visual that often leads to awkward still photos of the senators’ facial reactions.

At one point this summer, Trump was flanked at a White House meeting by Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who both voted against the health-care measure. At the mid-July meeting, it was Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) seated next to Trump. The president called him out with cameras rolling for wavering on the health-care bill.

“Look, he wants to remain a senator, doesn’t he?” Trump said as Heller laughed uncomfortably.

Heller ultimately voted for the bill, but the exchange with Trump is a scene that Democratic aides have vowed will appear prominently in future campaign attack ads against the senator, who is the most vulnerable GOP incumbent facing reelection next year.

Trump’s long-standing feud with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) hasn’t helped the overall dynamic either. The senator voted against the health-care plan in a closely-watched late night vote-- even after Trump made a direct last-minute appeal by phone.

Leave it to Trumpanzee to start-- or exacerbate-- a civil war inside his own party! They deserve it for not standing up to him effectively before he captured their party's nomination. And no one deserves more blame that their flippity-floppy jellyfish of a Speaker, Paul Ryan, who, today, finds his own tenure in Congress under serious threat from a progressive iron worker and union activist Randy Bryce. This was from a survey conducted by PPP of registered voters in WI-01, Ryan's district.

Michael Warren, writing yesterday for the far right wing Daily Standard even went so far to ask when Señor Trumpanzee will be leaving the Republican Party altogether! "Trump," he wrote, "is inching closer to abandoning the Republican party, even as the GOP is in the middle of an effort to remake itself in Trump’s image."
I asked someone familiar with McConnell’s thinking how to interpret the senator’s relatively blunt assessment of Trump and the White House’s mistakes on Obamacare repeal. What this is likely about, I’m told, is setting the stage for tax reform-- on the Senate’s terms, processes, and guidelines, not the White House’s. After all, McConnell has a narrow majority to deal with. President Trump both failed to mount any kind of public campaign on behalf of Obamacare repeal and actively antagonized the on-the-margin senators McConnell needed to get on board. McConnell’s message to his president, knocked on his heels after a major legislative defeat, is “This time, we’ll do it my way.”

But Trump couldn’t care less about McConnell’s stand. That was apparent when White House social media director Dan Scavino tweeted from his private account Wednesday morning that McConnell was giving “more excuses” and that he “must have needed another 4 years-- in addition to the 7 years-- to repeal and replace Obamacare...” Trump himself echoed Scavino with a Wednesday afternoon tweet. “Senator Mitch McConnell said I had "excessive expectations," but I don't think so. After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?”

Trump has been building the case against his fellow Republicans for some time, but it came to a head late last month as Obamacare repeal began its path in the Senate. “Republicans in the Senate will NEVER win if they don’t go to a 51 vote majority NOW. They look like fools and are just wasting time,” he tweeted on July 29. “If the Senate Democrats ever got the chance, they would switch to a 51 majority vote in first minute. They are laughing at R’s. MAKE CHANGE!” Then, a few days later, he blamed the “all-time & very dangerous low” relations with Russia on Congress, “the same people that can’t even give us HCare!”

Trump’s short-term target was the filibuster and its most important defender, Mitch McConnell. But the beginnings of the broader argument against the GOP are all right there, in 140 characters at a time. Republicans are fools, they’re impotent, and everyone’s laughing at them.

There are outside voices already making Trump’s case. Sean Hannity called McConnell a “WEAK, SPINELESS leader who does not keep his word” and suggested the majority leader needs to retire. Lou Dobbs said McConnell “doesn’t give a damn about this president’s agenda” and called on Republicans to “ditch Mitch.”

Senate Republicans won’t “ditch Mitch” anytime soon, just as they won’t be bullied into supporting the agenda of a president with 30-something-percent approval ratings if it can’t find consensus. That’s because all of them had political careers long before Trump became a serious force within the party. They figure, with some reason, that they’ll have careers or legacies long after Trump has left the White House. But if Republicans have increasingly little incentive to tolerate Trump, he may make the same calculation about the GOP, the party’s conservative policy agenda, and the conservative movement as a whole.

All of this is complicated by the fact that the unelected party infrastructure is aligning itself more with Trump. The Republican National Committee chair, Ronna Romney McDaniel, has taken to chastising elected Republicans critical of Trump, such as Jeff Flake, by pointing to those GOP candidates who lost in 2016 after publicly distancing themselves from the presidential nominee. “There is a cautionary tale there because voters want you to support the president in his agenda,” McDaniel said this week. And McDaniel’s latest hire, as national spokesperson for the RNC? Former CNN contributor and reliably pro-Trump talking head Kayleigh McEnany.
Sr. Trumpanzee was up REALLY early this morning-- retweeting Fox & Friends

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At 5:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

interesting info here. the R apparatus, unelected, is aligning with the fuhrer.
And because of the failure of all the incredibly evil lege that the "conservatives" have attempted, it looks bad on the failure-in-chief. And when the failure-in-chief looks bad, he gets hysterical.

It's worth noting here that I cannot decide which side of this wooden nickel is worse. Congressional Rs have proposed the deaths of maybe millions of the least among us so that their rich friends and sponsors get richer. The drumpfsterfire just wants victories so that his massive ego is validated and does not care who/how many will die. He's a stupid little manbaby who believes horse shit and throws tantrums. And he's probably in the throes of dementia. And his sons and daughter and in-laws are probably worse. Certainly his staff *IS* worse.

And the veep is probably, deep down, the worst of the bunch.

However, if the veep who is one with the congressional Nazis, ends up in the oval, the entire party infrastructure will have to be replaced. And if all this comes to pass, it'll be worse than the worsest we currently have.

At 7:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trump will never dump the Republicans. He needs their mindless obedience, their blind loyalty - and their seething hatred. They will have to drop him, which will only happen when he becomes too much of a liability. This will only be when Trump gets us into a disastrous war which turns the American people against Republican governance. He'll be sacrificed to demonstrate to the ignorant and incompetent American voter that they have changed their ways.


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