GOP Congress Uses Trump Tweets as Excuse for Its Own Ineptitude

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) meets with reporters following a GOP strategy session June 27, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

He was the best of Trumps. He was the worst of Trumps. He was….

Oh, forget it. The world needs another Dickens pastiche about as much as it needs another discussion of Donald Trump’s tweets.


Haven’t we known about the president’s outré social media habits for the better part of two years now (it seems like a century)? And what have we learned from this?

Well, nothing really. It has been a complete distraction, absolutely useless. Who cares what Donald Trump thinks of Joe Scarborough or the reverse? Or any similar battle — past, present, or future. At one point he was supposed to disdain Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz and now they’re all pals. Next week they’ll  be sniping again. It goes on.

Trump has his “Twitter eruptions” the way Bill Clinton had his “bimbo eruptions.” The media makes a big deal about them for, largely, commercial reasons, and, in Donald’s case, because they obviously just can’t stand him. They despise Trump far more than Clinton, even though both are, relatively, centrists. Go figure.

One of the more amusing aspects of the media/Democrat avidity to see Trump impeached is that he would be replaced by Mike Pence, a real conservative. That’s how much they dislike Trump. They’d probably even want to impeach him if Recep Erdogan were the vice president. (Hey, he’d undoubtedly lift the travel ban, even if he killed a few thousand Kurds into the bargain.)


Nevertheless, the media are the media. In a word — swine. And not really worth discussing anymore.

What is worth discussing is just why GOP senators and congressmen feel they have to comment on every Trumpism when, in reality, they don’t. Their job is to comment on — and hopefully, enact — Trump’s actual proposals or something more or less similar. And Trump makes that fairly easy for them because he gives them a rather wide berth on the specifics. He’s far from a dictator, although he is constantly accused of being one. Laudably, he just wants to get things done.

Nevertheless, when Donald makes one of those tweets, they (in the most recent case Paul Ryan, Ben Sasse, and Lindsey Graham) bend over backwards to disassociate themselves from the president (oh, the vapors… the vapors… ) when confronted by the press as if someone might think them the slightest bit vulgar — or, in their words, “undignified.”

In reality, it is Trump — no matter his vulgarities, if that’s what you want to call them — who is more justified in disassociating from them because it is they, not Trump, who have failed in their real work: passing the legislation Republican voters clearly intended them to pass.


Trump has been quite obviously working his butt off to get healthcare, tax reform, and infrastructure bills off the ground only to have faced a true “resistance” from a Republican Congress that clearly cannot get its act together.  They — the political professionals — are failing Trump, the political amateur. If that Congress doesn’t get at least some of this passed in time for 2018, the results are going to be ugly — and deservedly so.

So when the press confront Sasse, Graham, and others, demanding they comment on (really diss) Trump’s latest “inappropriate tweet,” they should not play along with the game, as they did. They should do something simple and well practiced by almost all politicians — refuse to comment and change the subject to something substantive.

This may seem like a trivial point but it’s not. It speaks to how you get legislation through. The Republican Party has enough problems bringing its various schools (moderates, social cons, libertarians, etc.) together. They don’t need dissension based on irrelevant Twitter wars that have nothing to do with anything even faintly serious.

By involving themselves in this nonsense, the Republicans senators and congressman are, unwittingly, dancing to the media’s tune. It’s a form of a cowardice, really. They aren’t in Congress to look good. They’re not even in Congress to get reelected (although that seems to be the only thing on their minds). They are in Congress for the benefit of the American people. If tweeting is a weakness  of Trump’s (and there’s reason, of course, to think that it isn’t), so what? Everyone has weaknesses. Move on and do your job — or you may never get another chance to do it.


(Yes, I realize they just passed Kate’s Law. And that’s good. But that’s easy-peasy compared to the real stuff.)



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