Don't Feel Sorry for Mitch
Last night's Trump rally in Phoenix was a rambling, fumbling clown show on stage where the sitting president openly praised a convicted criminal (Joe Arpaio) and defended his own racist, disastrous response to white supremacist violence.
And, the titular head of the Republican party spent a crapload of time attacking Republicans. He berated the Senate Republicans especially for failing to take away health care coverage and protections from the American people, yapped about eliminating the filibuster, and directly attacked the junior Republican senator from the state he was speaking in, Jeff Flake (R-AZ). Flake came in Trump's crossfire because he dared trace the modern day GOP's heinous failure on race to the birther movement, of which Trump was a willing part.
In the mean time, news reports are digging into the cold relationship between the occupant of the White House and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (whose wife, incidentally, serves as Trump's Transportation Secretary). Trump is mad that McConnell failed to get the votes in the senate for health care repeal, and he's madder that McConnell has not "protected" him from being investigated in the Senate for colluding with Russia to win the 2016 election. Rachel Maddow noted last night that if true, this would represent criminal obstruction of justice.
It's worth remembering, however, that there would be no Donald Trump in the White House without Mitch McConnell's - and the entire national Republican party's - actions. It was none other than McConnell who, early in the Obama presidency, outlined that he and he party had the singular mission of making Obama a one-term president. That, at a time when our country was reeling from great peril. At at time when it was most important to pull together and revive the American economy and society, they chose to become the party of 'no' for no reason other than to gain electoral advantage.
Because of that mission, Republicans encouraged and made common cause with the racist birther movement that questioned the very citizenship of the nation's first black president. Republicans shot down a report by the Department of Homeland Security under President Obama about the growing threat of domestic terrorism from white supremacists. Republicans courted and welcomed the support of the country's most prominent birther in the 2012 elections: one Donald J. Trump.
All because they wanted to make Barack Obama a one-term president. That didn't work. But the nurtured forces of racism and hatred within the Republican party had already begun to take over. In 2016, they weren't happy to just be courted; they wanted one of their own to be their party's standardbearer. And why not? They were already the party's standard.
And so it was Donald Trump.
Too busy fighting to keep a Democratic president from succeeding for the American people and another Democrat from being elected president, the Republicans forgot to take care of their own house. In their zeal to keep Obama from getting more done, they broke the legislative process. While they were sharpening their knives for Hillary Clinton, they could not imagine it could cut them, too.
So McConnell is now feuding with Trump, his own creation. Because, the news tells us, in demanding absolute loyalty to himself, Trump is putting the Republicans' control of Washington - and their ability govern (ha, ha) - in jeopardy.
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