President Trump has located the enemy, locked and loaded and fired. He has directed his latest jihad against his fellow Republicans. Well, to be precise, against Republican office holders who were Republicans before he decided to use the Grand Old Party as a vehicle for his adventure into the Presidency.
It is certainly not unusual for Presidents to attack their political opponents, usually, however, as a group (liberals, Democrats, Republicans, Nervous Nellies – that was LBJ – Members of the Right Wing Conspiracy – that was Bill & Hillary Clinton – etc.). My favorite of all time was FDR firing back at Republicans who had accused him of sending a U S Destroyer war ship back to the Aleutian Islands to pick up his little dog Fala.
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FDR used a witty rejoined to skewer his attackers, President Trump knows only how to swing a sledgehammer. And who is he hammering?
These five Republican Senators:
John McCain, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee
Bob Corker, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee
Lindsay Graham, Chairman of Subcommittees of the Appropriations and Armed Services Committees
Jeff Flake, the Junior Senator from Arizona who has written a now best selling book, accusing President Trump of betraying the Republican Party’s principles.
And (drum roll)
Mitch McConnell, the Majority Leader of the Senate.
Clearly, except for Flake who is truly not on the team when it comes to support for Donald J Trump , and perhaps Corker who has now publicly questioned his fitness to hold the office of President, these other, senior senators of his own party, are people he needs on his team if he has any chance of passing any of the major legislation he says he wants. Particularly the Majority Leader.
Apparently President Trump thinks he can bully and demand obedience from these members of the Senate just as he has somehow gotten along in his adult life following the wicked advice of one, Roy Cohn (Senator Joseph McCarthy’s aide in searching for Communists in the U S Government). Cohn’s tactics were described in an article in the Electrical Workers Union magazine as “insult; manipulate the media; never back down; never apologize or admit you were wrong; and when you have nothing to attack with, make stuff up.”
I bring President Trump “first word;” it doesn’t work that way with members of the United States Senate (or a whole bunch of other people you now encounter (eh, Angela Merkel?).
If you were smart, sir (oxymoron, I know), you would woo these Senators. Call them up, invite them down, tell them how much you have always admired them, consult them, ask their advice (take it or not, ask for it most earnestly). enquire what you can do for them in their states, and so forth, and so on. You know the old saying, “Honey works better than vinegar.” You don’t, okay let’s move on.
Take the example of Senator McCain, a true hero to most Americans (certainly to me), shot down and imprisoned by the North Vietnamese). You said last year “He’s not a war hero…He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured” which didn’t get you off to a great start with him. You were never captured because you never served.
Perhaps you were trying to make amends when, after McCain’s diagnoses of Cancer and he had the choice of staying in Arizona for immediate treatment or returning to Washington for the critical vote to repeal Obamacare, you said: “We hope John McCain gets better very soon. Because we miss him. He is a crusty voice in Washington.” So far, so good. But then you added: “Plus, we need his vote.” Oh vey, can you not just be decent for once?
Then, in the early morning hours of the vote, McCain strode into the Chamber, approached the recording Clerk, raised his hand in the fist that Roman Emperors used to indicate whether the defeated gladiator should be allowed to live or be put to death, and MCCain thrust his thumb down! And the Obamacare repeal failed by one vote.
I don’t know the reason(s) McCain voted the way he did but forgive me if my mind went to the old saying “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”
No, trying to get your way in a Congress controlled by Republicans by attacking Republicans will just “get you the gate.”
And, President Trump, if you keep it up, if you continue to follow your late friend Roy Cohn’s playbook, it will also get you Impeached and removed from office.
Come to think of it, sir, please do keep it up!