Opinion Is there no crime Trump could commit that would lose him GOP support?

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
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By Catherine Rampell
Columnist |
August 16, 2022 at 7:00 a.m. EDT

At this point, no straw — no lead pipe, even — could break the camel’s back. Republicans have demonstrated that Donald Trump could commit any transgression or crime and they would still defend it.
Put another way: Trump conducted his Fifth Avenue test, and Republicans have failed.
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Once upon a time, I (naively) believed that many Republican politicians might someday dump Trump. For two key reasons: A) They seemed to find him revolting; and B) he was a major political liability. Instead, as time wore on, their tolerance for both moral revulsion and political liability grew.
Boasting about grabbing non-consenting women by their genitals? At first a little iffy, then excused as a harmless locker-room talk. Much the same with his embrace of neo-Nazis after Charlottesville and of his instructions to the right-wing extremist Proud Boys to “stand by.” Also overlooked? His affair with a porn star, hush-money payments to silence said porn star and a subsequent apparent campaign finance violation.
Government-sponsored child abuse — of thousands of asylum-seeking kids abruptly separated from their parents — became acceptable to the “family values” party too.
Catherine Rampell: Families like this one were torn apart at the border. The U.S. still hasn’t made things right.
Using the power of the state to punish private companies that disagreed with him? Whatever; forget all those “free market” commitments. Extorting a crucial foreign ally, or governors overseeing a crisis, for personal political gain? Meh. Same with the piles of money given to Trump by corporate lobbyists and foreign governments through his private businesses while he occupied the White House.


And of course: Even encouraging a coup attempt, during which Trump apparently endorsed his followers’ threats to execute other Republicans, was somehow within bounds.
So perhaps it should not be surprising that when Trump was found last week to have absconded with classified documents, erstwhile national security hawks still rushed to defend him. Republicans who once claimed to “back the blue” now smear federal law enforcement and fundraise off calls to “DEFUND THE FBI.”
And when Trump was implicated in possible violations of the Espionage Act, at least one GOP official responded by recommending repeal of the Espionage Act. It’s a new spin on an old Nixonian saw: When the president does it, it’s not illegal — or at least it won’t be for much longer.
It can be hard to understand why Republican politicians would so profoundly, repeatedly, abase themselves before Trump, particularly when he never returns the favor. Perhaps they’re just in awe of his political intuition. It must have taken a lot of foresight, after all, for Trump to declassify documents that the FBI would later plant at his house!
Or perhaps they admire his work ethic, compelled as he was to “bring home [his] work” and hang on to it long after it ceased to be his work. That’s just the kind of industrious man Trump is.
Max Boot: Republicans went crazy over the Trump search. Now they look idiotic.
In truth, the problem is this: There are political consequences for not standing by Trump, as Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and most of the other House Republicans who voted to impeach him post-coup have learned. But there are zero consequences for supporting him. That is true no matter how vile, corrupt or outright unlawful his actions turn out to be — and no matter how much his increasingly horrific conduct conflicts with the values those other politicians claim to espouse.
Republican officials are now casting about for some excuse that might exonerate Trump before they even know the extent of what he may have done. Perhaps, they now argue, the documents seized in a lawful search of Mar-a-Lago aren’t that big of a deal and shouldn’t have been marked classified at all. “These are materials that are 2 years old,” Rep. Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio) said Sunday on CNN, adding: “I’d be very surprised if he has actual documents that rise to the level of an immediate national security threat.”
If he and his Republican colleagues genuinely believe the classified documents Trump squirreled away are no biggie, they could prove it by pledging to read their contents into the congressional record. If these lawmakers don’t think this is a wise idea, and worry that making such documents public might jeopardize national security, then perhaps they should object to those documents being stored at Trump’s not-exactly-locked-down beach house, too.
On the other hand, perhaps it’s best not to call their bluff. Republicans might well be willing to publicize U.S. nuclear secrets if they believed doing so would get their leader out of a jam.
Trump will always choose himself over his country’s interests; and because his Republican toadies cannot help but stick by him, that means they will always preference his interests over America’s, too.

 

lucas80

HR King
Gold Member
Jan 30, 2008
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Opinion or proven fact?
The GOP is a cult. It's no longer a functioning party. Everything can be explained away, or just given a shoulder shrug.
 
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Kinnick.At.Night

HR Legend
Jun 27, 2018
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Opinion or proven fact?
The GOP is a cult. It's no longer a functioning party. Everything can be explained away, or just given a shoulder shrug.

I think the GOP has become so full of hatred for the left, that you’re probably right. Their guy, no matter what, is better than the left’s guy. And they’ll vote for him no matter what. There’s a similar sentiment across the aisle.