Trump is morally and intellectually incapable of being president. He has also exploited his office for personal gain, obstructed justice, and colluded with a hostile foreign power. Everyone who doesn’t get their news from Fox has basically known this for a while, although Wolff helps focus our minds on the subject.
.. Republicans in Congress are dealing with this national nightmare: rather than distancing themselves from Trump, they’re doubling down on their support and, in particular, on their efforts to cover for his defects and crimes.
Remember when Paul Ryan was the Serious, Honest Conservative?
.. Now he’s backing Devin Nunes in his efforts to help the Trump coverup.
.. Republicans have become the Grand Obstruction Party. Why?
The answer, I think, is that the cynical bargain that has been the basis of Republican strategy since Reagan has now turned into a moral trap
.. The cynical bargain I’m talking about, of course, was the decision to exploit racism to advance a right-wing economic agenda.
.. For more than a generation, the Republican establishment was able to keep this bait-and-switch under control: racism was deployed to win elections, then was muted afterwards, partly to preserve plausible deniability, partly to focus on the real priority of enriching the one percent.
.. But with Trump they lost control: the base wanted someone who was blatantly racist and wouldn’t pretend to be anything else.
.. just about everyone in the Republican establishment decided that they could work with that.
.. were willing to overlook it as long as they could push their usual agenda.
.. They guessed, correctly, that this wouldn’t be a problem: Trump didn’t even hesitate about abandoning all his campaign promises and going all in for cutting taxes on the rich while slashing benefits for the poor.
.. some speculated that this would be a temporary alliance – that establishment Republicans would use Trump to get what they wanted, then turn on him. But it’s now clear that won’t happen.
.. Republicans, far from cutting him loose, are tying themselves even more closely to his fate. Why?
.. Trump’s very awfulness means that if he falls, the whole party will fall with him.
.. Republicans could conceivably distance themselves from a president who turned out to be a bad manager, or even one who turned out to have engaged in small-time corruption. But when the corruption is big time, and it’s combined with obstruction of justice and collaboration with Putin, nobody will notice which Republicans were a bit less involved, a bit less obsequious, than others.
.. now have the Republican party as a whole fully complicit in Trump’s crimes
.. expecting the GOP to exercise any oversight or constrain Trump in any way is just foolish at this point. Massive electoral defeat – massive enough to overwhelm gerrymandering and other structural advantages of the right – is the only way out.