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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

 

WASHINGTON — If you listen, you can hear it coming closer.

The rumble of resistance to President Trump is rising faster than a river this summer. It’s not the Democratic minority in Congress. What’s new, at the seven-month stretch, is Republican rebellion growing within the government. Even the rock-ribbed Republican House approved a Russian sanctions bill Trump unwillingly signed.

Anxious thoughts on the Senate side of the Capitol dome shadow Republicans. What have we wrought? Can we govern going forward? Tell us how this president ends.

The sea change is, they don’t fear Trump’s power anymore. Now they’re running scared of his plummeting unpopularity.

Some hope rests on the new White House chief of staff, John Kelly, to bring military order as an ex-Marine general. However, Kelly’s a dark pessimist with no political touch: today’s dream, tomorrow’s nightmare.

As homeland security secretary, Kelly declared lawmakers should change laws or “shut up,” Boston Globe columnist Michael Cohen noted.

With crisp stage timing, Senator Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican, is making media rounds for a new book denouncing Trump, “Conscience of a Conservative.” (He took the title from a famed Arizona conservative, the late Barry Goldwater.)

Flake, 54, is the first senator to speak out strongly, painting the president as an unclothed emperor. American democracy is fragile and destabilized, he says, thanks to Trump.

Flake will likely oppose the radical new Trump immigration bill, a mean piece of work. At a White House briefing, CNN correspondent Jim Acosta challenged its English-speaking provision as violating the Statue of Liberty poem’s open spirit. He was right. We’re a nation of immigrants. Ask the pilgrims.

The loss of the Obamacare “skinny” repeal by one vote — despite antics by Vice President Mike Pence on the Senate floor — was a major legislative loss. It was a midnight knell for the president. Three out of 52 Republicans voted against it.

Too bad Flake was not one of them.

Ironically, the senior Arizona Republican, Senator John McCain, voted his conscience to save Obamacare, named for the man who defeated him for president in 2008.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks softly. He took losing the “skinny” health care repeal like a sport. But he distanced himself from Trump days later. “The president doesn’t understand we don’t have 50 votes,” he said after the bill went down, 51-49.

For the shrewd Kentuckian, that signaled he was not going to let Trump tell him how to do his job.

Even the military, which Trump constantly brags about, is defying the flamboyant commander in chief. Trump’s tweet to ban transgender members of the armed services crashed on landing, not the way the Pentagon rolls.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, “Fightin’ Joe,” is not enforcing any such ban. A speck of good sense.

Substance is setting Trump back. But so is his famously rude style. The latest gem: The White House is a “real dump.”

Is nothing sacred? That’s no way to win friends here, where we take a certain pride in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, good enough for elegant Thomas Jefferson. Many senators hope to live there someday.

In a small significant step, the Drug Enforcement Agency took a brave stand against Trump’s speech to New York police officers, hissing as he told them, “Don’t be too nice” in handling suspects under arrest.

Acting DEA head Chuck Rosenberg, who was a counselor to former Attorney General John Ashcroft and chief of staff to former FBI director James Comey, publicly contradicted Trump’s words, as condoning violence in law enforcement. He’s a respected voice in Washington’s establishment.

Most politicians are warm and likable. Both parties are confounded by a president who might be Dale Carnegie’s evil twin. Few like Trump, which hurts him more than he knows — or cares. His rage toward Attorney General Jefferson Sessions breaks the code of loyalty to men who endorsed you first.

Washingtonians like to think we’re unshakable. But the blue sailor language of Trump’s short-lived communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, shocked us more than the Russian investigation.

Then it stiffened the rising tide of resistance.

To find out more about Jamie Stiehm and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit creators.com.

 

 

4 Responses to Republican Discontent With Trump Rising Like A River

  1. What’s really shameful is that the rubes in Congress are finally waking up to what Donald has always been—an unsavory, unprincipled grandiloquent blowhard. And they all could have seen this coming, but that was never really a possibility because of the mental destruction wrought when drowning in a sea of partisan politics. Not just ordinary partisanship, but an extremely toxic and bitter partisanship which incapacitates the ability to be reasonable and to have foresight.
    Even Flake, who is the first to boldly point out the moral failure of the GOP, has yet to fully divorce himself from his addiction to being branded as having a particular partisan designation along with a rigid impression on how to conduct one’s self in the capacity of a public servant. As we can see by his hesitancy regarding how to carry out the task of repealing, or not, the poison pill put forward by the House and the Senate.

  2. Trump was elected on the republican ticket but is not and never has been a real republican. He ran as an outsider and still is. He has no party and none want him at this point. One of his biggest mistakes has been trying to be a republican president instead of an American President. He ran on the idea of change but doesn’t have a plan on how to make any of those changes. You can’t lead if you don’t know where you are going. Had he on day one laid out a detailed plan on a true healthcare reform he could have had it passed by now, had he presented congress with a detailed tax reform package he could have had it passed but he didn’t do his homework and give not just no direction but conflicting ones. America needs a man with a plan right now or we are in for another three years of going no where and thing just getting worse. If things don’t change Trump will have done more to weaken the presidency and the country then any president in history.

  3. What we really need is an “Et Tu Brute” moment.
    Flake did NOT provide that as his actions belied his vote, same for Graham. McCain’s thumbs down I think was to have staged the presence for it, voting to have the vote in the first place. But it was not the defining moment either, when Caesar realized his reign had officially ended.
    It is simply NOT enough that most all Democrats are against him, he made that stance way too easy.
    It is NOT enough that his polls rankings are dropping almost daily.
    It was NOT enough when he appointed all the anti-department heads their positions and the enabling Congress and Senate approved them. Despite the facts that they are all screwing over this country and its people by pulling all proper safety, educational and environmental regulations and wanting to take us energy-wise back to the 1800s.
    it also was NOT enough when the tweeter-in-chief fired people, did diplomacy and issued orders over Twitter.
    And what is most sickening is that his tactics, no matter if they were facilitated by Bannon, Brietbart News, InfoWars, The Drudge Report nor the Russians, have brought out the worst parts of the American people. The far right fringe groups that were tolerated but not really main stream. The same group’s ideations now supported in part IN the White House.
    I fear we may have to wait until November 2018 to see the dagger thrust. To see the Congress and Senate flipped. To see the tables really turned against him.
    But that will happen if and only IF the Democrats get their heads out of their donkeys and take it away. Fight back, even with nasty tactics. The same ones used by the GOP the last 6 years.
    Go into the gerrymandered districts and wrestle them away from the GOP.

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