Republican leadership in Congress would like to believe there is monolithic support for all things conservative. They present their positions as though all Republican voters also think in a bloc and will vote the party ticket no matter what. Democrats would like to have such a uniform stance, but non-republican voters are anything but uniform in what they want to see become reality after this current reign of Trump-led party politics in every phase of governance. Labeling them non-R is far easier than trying to put a D-like label on each of the numerous factions now vying for position in the coming elections.
The conventional wisdom of party politics in this 21st century and the Trump Administration in particular is that every Republican Representative and Senators stands behind their President and will do nothing to alter his grip on their votes for the items he wants and against the items he doesn’t want. The fallacy of that thinking is much of their apparent support is fear of what will happen to their political careers and post-Congressional lives in consulting and lobbying if they do not toe the line.
He has not convinced all of the GOP Congress that he is right, his way is best, and resistance is futile. Many of the rank and file are hushed into silence and tacit approvals of his actions and policies. Such forced support is not unlike a milder version of executing Generals in North Korea for even as much as asking a question which gives the appearance of dissent. At some point the fear of dissent will be overshadowed by the damage which must be endured for not taking the stand.
Every week that Trump remains an unencumbered dictator he moves ever closer to stepping over some unseen line in the dirt. Eventually, he will step over it either accidently or on purpose. When he does all GOP members of Congress will have to face their constituents for the permissions they granted to the President. Their constituency is not merely the voters who voted for them in their last election but all the voters who voted for an adversary and everyone who was not motivated to vote at all. Those latter two groups are vast indeed and outnumber Republican voters typically 2 to 1.
“Political Pain” is a force which motivates many people to vote and vote a particular way. The past several decades the level of pain has been turned up incrementally and the constituents accommodated the new higher level of discomfort. The pain factor is not without its counterpart, Political Pleasure. With equal parts from each side of an Equals Sign it is easy to remain in a state of inaction. That is to say there must be some minimum level of more pain than pleasure in order to get the person to get out and cast their vote.
All of the individual affronts to the Constitution and the rule of Law which Trump has committed in and of themselves has not moved the Political-Meter needle too far of center. The nation listened for several weeks to the testimony and rebuttals in the House hearings on Impeachment. The Dem camp presented live testimony and real written documents accusing Trump of Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress. Woven in between testimony we heard the GOP camp essentially say “yeah, but that doesn’t rise to the level of High Crimes and Misdemeanors. Furthermore, What is a High Crime and Misdemeanor anyway?” The rebuttals were all attempts to soften the severity of the criminal acts so that voters would be disinclined to vote against Trump in Nov 2020.
GOP Senators who now must hold a trial and decide the fate of the impeached President must choose between blindly following Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s directives to acquit or risk the wrath of being “primaried”, Twitter-bashed and besmirched at now weekly campaign rallies. They must decide if supporting the President regardless of what he says and does is beneficial or detrimental to their careers. The President daily turns up the heat a bit more still they do not jump. Eventually the heat will cause the defection from that mythical monolithic support he appears to command.
The reality is Donald Trump has been a useful tool to a lot of people all of his life. He craves acceptance so mush he does anything to get even a sliver of it. He responds freely to flattery. He loves to be the one to throw candy to the crowd (well paper towels maybe.) He can be bought by paying off his financial boondoggles in exchange for a “future draft pick.” He muscles his way onto the stage just to be seen but has little to offer once he is front and center. When he is being particularly stressed by loss the absence of kudos, he manufactures a new crisis to solve with billions of taxpayer money.
There always is the straw that breaks the camel’s back and Trump will eventually place it there. He latest gambit for glory and recognition is the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani with a drone strike in Iraq. While there might be a valid reason for removing him from the chess board, doing it in such a controversial manner opens the US and its remaining allies to reprisals beyond imagination. The entire concept of disproportionate response creates a climate of anything goes with years of warfare and millions dead.
Even as some Republican politicians and Forever Trumpers cheer the death of one Iranian General, all the Centipede’s Shoes are yet to fall. The stock market climbed 330 points after the first of the year but then was undone 230 point the very next day by poorly considered military acts. Yes, it was our Generals and White House aides who thought up and planned this debacle, but it was also they who suggested it to the President who welcomed it for a mixture of personal reasons. A better man would have said no, come up with a better option. Undoubtedly someone suggested, “Mr. President, Sir, this will make you look strong and decisive.” He took the bait.
Now it is we the people who will pay the price for everything which flows from this criminal act. What was done IS a violation of the International Criminal Court, an institution the US previously pulled out of. We will have to endure the probable fuel price increases. Greater scrutiny at the borders. Iranian-Americans have already felt the horror of being Americans and being singled out for their heritage. There will be reprisals by Iran which will take a toll of lives. And if we actually do engage in a full scale conflict, soldiers will disabled or killed for yet another useless war.
The solid support Trump has relied upon up until now cannot long last in light of the current global affairs. Even Tucker Carlson, at the Fox Network has criticized HIS President. Cracks in the monolith are being seen and are propagating. There can be no going back as Trump’s support falters.