Trump tests GOP’s resolve to defend him at any cost
That Kansas’s most senior leaders are feigning complete disinterest in whether President Donald Trump dangled military favors in exchange for Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden is telling.
Mr. Trump has Republicans so intimidated that they dare not contradict him for fear of retribution.
Better to lie low and win.
Case in point: Sen. Jerry Moran’s non-answer when asked about Ukraine.
“We have enough problems in Washington, D.C., in working together to get things done,” the Senator told reporters last week in Topeka.
Sen. Pat Roberts is getting by with the catchall, “It’s been a crazy year.”
There are some Republicans, however, who are finding their spines.
Iowa Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst say the whistleblowers that notified Congress of the 30-minute phone call “should be protected.” Which isn’t all that bold, considering it’s the law. Indeed, what a sign of the times when we find cause to applaud the tiniest of steps toward holding our president accountable to the law.
Ohio’s Sen. Rob Portman said the president’s conduct with Ukraine is “not appropriate.”
Utah’s Sen. Mitt Romney calls the allegations of extortion “deeply troubling.”
And Texas Rep. Will Hurd said Mr. Trump’s suggestion that China also investigate Mr. Biden “is terrible. … We are in a tight and complex trade negotiation with China now, and so you are potentially giving them something to hold over your head.”
What makes Hurd the exception? He’s not running for reelection.
Funny how that coincides with him finding his conscience.
DURING THE 2016 campaign Mr. Trump boasted, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.”
So far, that is looking more and more likely.
In regards to the Ukraine affair, the president is deftly maneuvering the message from his preying on a lesser power to being the victim. The whistleblowers, Mr. Trump says, are spies who should be convicted of treason.
THE ONLY thing that can swing the pendulum is public opinion.
According to a recent USA Today poll, 30% of Mr. Trump’s supporters view his request of Ukraine to investigate Biden as an abuse of power.
Though that’s still far short of an outcry by his base, it’s a break in what heretofore has been unwavering support.
Not everyone is a Fifth Avenue Republican.
— Susan Lynn