Republicans abandon values to back Trump (Eugene Robinson)

The duly elected president of this country has brought “a once-great political party” to “a state of derangement,” Robinson begins, as demonstrated by two of his supporters at a recent rally wearing shirts with this slogan: “I’d rather be a Russian than a Democrat.”

The writer goes on to tick off various ways in which the president has supposedly led the GOP astray. “Trump has blown a trillion-dollar hole in the budget” *** is imposing tariffs left and right, including on our closest allies *** hectors the independent Federal Reserve board and uses his Twitter feed to attack individual companies for political reasons *** gives the back of his hand to the post-war alliance of Western democracies while having nothing but praise for autocratic rules who abuse human rights, including Russia.

“Previous Republican presidents have complained about press coverage,” but Trump has gone further by calling the news media “the Enemy of the People.” That’s a phrase “blood-soaked totalitarian regimes have used to justify assassinations and purges.” He’s also called the media “very dangerous and sick.” Before long, “Trump’s unhinged rhetoric is going to get somebody killed.”

What’s really going on? Trump is “increasingly frantic about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation about Russian meddling in the 2016 election.” Just consider his tweet trying to rationalize his son’s participation in a meeting that was intended “to get dirt on Hillary Clinton
from emissaries of the Russian government.”

The president knows that if the Democrats win back the House, “he will face a lineup of committee chairmen, armed with subpoena power, who are determined to do their constitutional duty of holding the administration accountable.”
Query: why should the current administration be held accountable for Russian election meddling in 2016? So look for the president to spend a lot of time on the campaign trail this fall, desperately trying to stoke enough fear, resentment and anger among the GOP base to produce a big turnout and save the House majority.

If this message seems familiar, it should. The News Journal has published two previous columns along the same general lines, written, respectively, by former Senator Ted Kaufman and columnist Ruth Marcus. Following their example, Robinson ignores (1) positive accomplishments of the administration, (2) unwarranted “resistance” of the other side, and (3) personal attacks on Trump supporters, including violence in some cases, that make the president’s Tweets seem rather tame. Key issues for the mid-term elections, 8/6/18.
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