November 29, 2016


Senate Republicans can save the country -- and their party -- from Trump (Ezra Klein, Nov 28, 2016, Vox)

Let's start with some simple math. Republicans are expected to hold 52 Senate seats in the 115th Congress. Of those 52 Republicans, 12 -- Susan Collins, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Ben Sasse, Mike Lee, Rob Portman, Pat Toomey, Jeff Flake, Dean Heller, Lisa Murkowski, Cory Gardner, and Dan Sullivan -- either refused to endorse Donald Trump or rescinded their endorsement and never clearly restored it during the campaign.

Of the 40 remaining Senate Republicans who did endorse Trump, more than a few have voiced doubts about the president-elect. Rand Paul called him a "delusional narcissist." Ted Cruz said he was "utterly amoral" and "a pathological liar." Marco Rubio warned that Trump was a "con artist" who was too "erratic" to control nuclear weapons. Lamar Alexander said Trump was "driving the presidential campaign to a new low." Though all these Republicans eventually backed Trump out of loyalty to party, no one believes they changed their minds about his basic fitness for office.

Plenty of other congressional Republicans stayed quiet -- or as quiet as possible -- on Trump. But it breaks no confidences to say that in conversations with both Republican politicians and staffers, the dominant emotions I've heard have been despair, fear, and bewilderment. Those emotions are now joined by the unexpected pleasure of victory -- but they are not gone.

This, then, is where Trump's presidency begins: with a closely divided Senate, a supermajority of senators who refused to back his candidacy, and a super-super-majority who harbor grave doubts about his fitness to serve. Assuming Democratic unity, it will only take three Republican defections on any given issue or nomination to create an anti-Trump majority in the chamber. 

...they took away his wiggle room on judges.

Posted by at November 29, 2016 6:23 AM


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