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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 5/9/19

Why do the Repubs. Stick with Trump?"

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In the great musical "My Fair Lady," based on George Bernard Shaw's great adaption of a great Greek myth, "Pygmalion," the male lead, Prof. Henry Higgins (known in the East End of London --- where my paternal grandfather, Jacob Kyzor happens to have come from originally --- as 'Enry 'Iggins) has the first song. The lyrics include the following:

"Why can't the English teach their children how to speak?
This verbal class distinction, by now,
Should be antique.
[Addressing his friend, Pickering] If you spoke as she does, sir,
Instead of the way you do,
Why, you might be selling flowers, too! . . .

"An Englishman's way of speaking absolutely classifies him.
The moment he talks he makes some other Englishman despise him.
One common language I'm afraid we'll never get,
Oh, why can't the English learn to set a good example to people whose
English is painful to your ears? The Scots and the Irish leave you close to tears.
There even are places where English completely disappears.
In America, they haven't used it for years! . . .

"Why can't the English,
Why can't the English,
Learn to Speak?"

My Fair Lady Film Poster
My Fair Lady Film Poster
(Image by theglobalpanorama)
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And so, in our time, the question is being increasingly asked, by Democrats, by Democratic Socialists and Social Democrats (and there is a distinction there), by Greens, by ex-Republicans, and even by some who are still Republicans, "Why can't the Republicans, why can't the Republicans --- leave Trump behind?"

Indeed, there is in the White House the man who can rightfully claim the title of Greatest Con Man in history. For example, evidence has just been revealed that back in the 1980s, while being constantly bailed out by his father, he lost around $1 billion over a period of about ten years. Of course, during that period of monstrous losses, he had the gall to write a book about what a great businessman he was. But because he was successful in keeping his massive business failures secret, he was able to pass himself off as just the opposite. And then, years later, riding in part on the "great businessman" image he managed to build for himself, whether or not it was true, further becoming the best mobilizer of electoral racism in modern U.S. history, he manages to squeak into the Presidency.

But once in the White House, he goes from mis-step to outrage, serially, from his failure to recruit and hold top level appointees throughout the Federal government, to repeated and obviously violations of the emoluments clause, to his totally not-thought-through "Trade War" (which is really flinging around tariffs because a president can fling around tariffs, on his own, and Trump just loves to do the stuff of governmentthat he can do entirely on his own), to the outrageous "Charlottesville" response/commentary, to his increasingly disastrous policy for the Southern Border and dealing with the refugee crisis, to the "Muslim Ban," to a foreign policy which is consistent only in its lack of consistency, to, shall we say, sucking up to the Russians, with repeated very private phone conversations with Russian President Putin,--- well, you name it.

And then, of course, there is the Mueller Investigation and Report, about which I and many other commentators have commented endlessly (,, ).

Bob Mueller's dream wish to Santa at Christmastime (says the maker of the image):  We hope that's it.  But we will find out for sure only if Mueller testifies before Congress (and maybe not even then).
Bob Mueller's dream wish to Santa at Christmastime (says the maker of the image): We hope that's it. But we will find out for sure only if Mueller testifies before Congress (and maybe not even then).
(Image by wbillard)
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Bottom line on the Mueller Report (see the above references):

1. The Trumpites colluded with the Russians, that is engaged in "a secret agreement, especially for fraudulent or treacherous purposes" (Random House Dictionary of the English Language, 2nd Edition Unabridged) with the Russians to attempt to tilt the election in Trump's favor (not a crime). There were 251 documented contacts between Trump-people and Russians (click here) at various levels. But no c onspiracy to do so (which would be a crime) could be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

2. Trump engaged in numerous acts of obstruction of justice which, according to more than 800 present and former Federal prosecutors (from both parties) would have had him indicted, were he not the President. And now he is attempting to prevent the Congress from seeing the full Mueller Report (with appropriate, legal, redactions) by invoking executive privilege over a report which was originally intended to be delivered to Congress in whole (with the usual exceptions covering sources and methods, ongoing investigations, Grand Jury materials for which releases could not be obtained from the relevant judge, and sensitive matters of national security).

And the Republicans have been defending this man --- racism; pugnacity; inconsistency on a variety of fronts; inability to recruit and retain top talent; having the security-clearance-for-members-of-his-family problem (and if he were not the President he likely couldn't get it himself because of his long-time foreign business involvements); seeming lack of interest in actually governing; with the Tweet-storms being totally non-Presidential; spending huge amounts of time playing golf, especially at Mar-a-Lago where he is from time-to-time "President-in-public;" and so on and so forth --- 'til the cows come home. So, finally, why? Well:

A. On Policy (Nothing much new here.)_

1. He has had major achievements on long-time major Republican policies: tax cuts for the wealthy and the large corporations; massive "deconstruction of the administrative state" (a la Steve Bannon) other wise known as deregulation on a massive scale; filling the Federal judiciary with reactionary judges; strongly reinforcing the mysogny of the Religious Right.

2. He lies through his teeth about what his real policies are. Most of the Repubs. left in the Congress (most of the honest ones having left before the 2018 elections) are fine with that.

3. Failing to do so from the legislative side, he is doing as much as he can to destroy Obamacare from the regulatory/administrative/judicial side.

4. He has endorsed massive boosts in military spending, making the military-industrial complex very happy.

5. He is a strong supporter of Israeli Zionist/nationalism.

6. He is working hard to create a "Second Cold War" with China (although this one is complicated by the amount of U.S. capital in China and the amount of U.S. debt held by China).

7. He will do nothing other than "thoughts and prayers" (if that) to deal with the epidemic of gun violence.

8. He has pulled out of both the Paris Agreements on Climate Cage and the "Iran Deal," both very popular moves in certain Repub. quarters. E.g., on the morning of its announcement the Senator from the arms industry, Tom Cotton, was denouncing it in the strongest possible terms, before he could have had a chance to even skim it.

B. On Politics (Nothing much new here.)

1. Taking the hood off, so to speak, and bringing out into the open the racism that has been at the center of Republican poltical strategy since Nixon announced the creation of the dog-whistled "Southern Strategy" in his first term. (This had pluses and minuses of course, but many Southern and Mid-Western Republicans have been very happy with it.)

2. Mobilizing xenophobia and Islamophobia, popular with the same consistency.

3. Consistently bashing Obama and Hillary in particular (still loves the "Lock-her-up" chants at this rallies) and the "Democrat Party" in general.

4. Using substance-free (except for the racism, xenophobia, and etc.) poltical rallies as a substitute for real politicking.

5. The movement towards authoritarianism.

6. And etc.

And finally, C., on Electoral Politics (Something new here.)

1. As is well-known, Trump has the electoral base of the modern Republican Party in his back pocket. He is the latest product of the party's history, since the post-Eisenhower mid-1960s following the trend of the Rightward Imperative.

2. Thus, as is also well-known, the fear of being "primaried" from the Right is rampant among virtually all Republican elected officials, especially at the national level.

3. This next observation, however, is not widely held (yet). I think that a primary reason why elected Repubs. will not abandon Trump, regardless of policy, politics, and style is that they desperately want him to be their candidate for President in 2020, regardless of whether or not they think he can win. For example, for quite some time, Mitch McConnell has not been a Trump fan. But now he gives his "case closed" speech. Unless a) the Russian interference is more monumental than it was in 2016, b) Republican election cheating rises to a level not previously seen, and c) the Democrats once again manage to nominate a terrible candidate (Joe Biden comes to mind) who runs a terrible campaign, Trump will lose. But that loss would not in any way compare with what would happen to the Repubs. if Trump is NOT their candidate. Millions of Trump voters would simply stay home. The Repubs., regardless of who their candidate might be (Romney, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, or the "other guy" from Ohio, Jim Jordan), would be walloped. The Democratic Senate majority might even become filibuster-proof without changing the rules. And so on and so forth.

And so, in my view, this is the prime reason why the Repubs. are clinging so desperately to this increasingly mad man (if not madman). Total electoral disaster in 2020 is to be avoided at all costs.


(Article changed on May 10, 2019 at 13:16)

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Steven Jonas, MD, MPH, MS is a Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine at StonyBrookMedicine (NY) and author/co-author/editor/co-editor of over 35 books. In addition to his position on OpEdNews as a “Trusted Author,” he is a Senior (more...)
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