We’ve been impressed with Donald Trump’s willingness to forget and forgive. From the way the president talks these days, it’s almost hard to remember that last year at this time – and certainly throughout the primaries – Trump was running as much against the Republican Party as he was against the liberalism of Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton. He was the ultimate outsider candidate, taking shots at Paul Ryan, John McCain, and George W. Bush with near-constant regularity. Pointing out the rigged primaries. Getting down and (extremely) dirty with Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and the rest of the crowded field of candidates. And, in turn, getting hammered by Republicans in the establishment, who kept telling us and telling us and telling us that despite what the polls were saying, Donald Trump was NOT going to be the Republican nominee for president.
Oh, what a difference a year makes.
But there were signs this week that Trump is losing his patience with the truce. With the healthcare bill facing an uncertain-to-dismal future in the Senate and Republicans ducking into the shadows every time they’re asked about the Russia investigation, the president is beginning to remember publicly what he has likely not forgotten privately – that he not only got to the White House without the help of the Republican Party, but that he actually had to CRUSH the GOP to make room for his ascendant, populist candidacy.
In tweets this weekend, Trump reminded congressional Republicans that many of them would be sitting at home looking for work in the private sector were it not for him.
“It’s very sad that Republicans, even some that were carried over the line on my back, do very little to protect their president,” he wrote on Sunday.
Trump’s irritation may be rooted in a recent CNN report, where four Republican senators complained about the president off the record.
“One gets the impression that the President doesn’t understand or he willfully disregards the fact that the attorney general and law enforcement in general – they are not his personal lawyers to defend and protect him,” one unnamed Republican told CNN in response to Trump’s remarks about Jeff Sessions in a New York Times interview.
We don’t blame the president for being pissed. He’s absolutely right. These guys would be staring down – at best – a Democratic president hostile to their congressional majority if it weren’t for Trump. At worst, they would be facing a Democratic majority and be right back where they were for the first two years of the Obama administration. In fact, it would be worse, because Republicans would now be scrambling to do all of the “autopsy” stuff that Democrats are now trying to do, just to figure out who was going to lead the party going into 2018 and 2020. Trump’s stunning victory and his overall movement saved them from that fate, and they thank him by failing miserably on healthcare, caving on his wall, and bitching about him anonymously to CNN?