Greg Sargent (Washington Post/Plum Line) asks (and answers) Will Republicans ever rein in Trump? Only when this happens.
It bears repeating that the near-total GOP abdication of oversight is sorely testing our system on multiple fronts. Republicans are doing nothing to try to compel Trump to release his tax returns or otherwise be transparent about his business holdings, even as he advances a tax plan that could deliver him and his family an enormous windfall, and even as we do not even know how his other policies will impact those holdings. Nor are Republicans condemning Trump’s use of the nation’s diplomatic business to promote Mar-a-Lago and steer cash into his own pockets. On Russia, it’s perfectly plausible … that Republicans will try use the special counsel as an excuse to dial back meaningful oversight.
Bottom line: There are no indications that Republicans are willing to compromise hopes of passing their agenda by treating Trump as the threat to our democracy that he truly represents. As James Fallows points out, it remains unclear whether Republicans will ever act “as if larger principles are at stake.” It appears they will do this only if the public backlash — fueled, perhaps, by Trump’s own further descent into unhinged authoritarianism — is severe enough to force them to.
The GOPlins really don’t care about Trump’s use of the Presidency for self-enrichment. Said GOPlins are getting what they wanted from their deal with the devil. As long as they get theirs, they will do nothing to counter the “unhinged authoritarianism” that is doing real damage to the nation.
As Tom Friedman wrote the other day, counting on a few good men and women to step up does not seem productive. We need millions to be politically active and to vote against Trump’s GOP lackeys.