Monday, June 12, 2017

Will Republicans ever stop defending Donald Trump?


USA | Bruce Bartlett

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Donald Trump’s presidency is the apparent loyalty he still inspires among those who voted for him and the Republican rank-and-file generally. That was true before former FBI director James Comey's stunning testimony to Congress under oath last week and, equally stunning, it's largely still true now.

It is obvious that the normal methods used in the past to control presidents — exposes and shaming in the media, congressional investigations, being the constant butt of jokes by late-night comedians and so on — do not work with Trump. He has an amazing capacity not only to simply ignore criticism but also to continue to inspire rigid political loyalty among his entire party. The number of prominent Republicans willing to criticize Trump publicly is infinitesimally small. Those few Republican members of Congress who voice concerns about Trump, such as John McCain or Lindsey Graham, don’t follow through with action, and they continue to vote in lockstep for every Trump initiative and nominee.

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