What it took for Republicans finally to feel betrayed by Trump
WASHINGTON -- Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, an early and loyal Trump enthusiast, gave an uncommonly candid assessment of the president to a group of young Republicans at home in California recently.
"He's an a--hole," Duncan said, "but he's our a--hole." So reported his hometown San Diego Union-Tribune.
That's close to a perfect summary of Republicans' relationship of convenience with President Trump.
Trump gave succor to neo-Nazis, boasted of groping women, attacked the integrity of the judicial system, fired the FBI director to stymie the Russia probe, boasted about his genital size on national television, attacked racial and religious minorities and labeled women all manner of vulgarities.
And, through it all, Republicans stuck with Trump.
But this time, some Republicans say he went too far. He made a deal with Democrats.
It's not a big deal, mind you, just a procedural agreement to postpone budget wrangling for three months. But because Trump sided with Chuck and Nancy over Mitch and Paul, combined with his tweeted attacks on the Republican Senate leader and Stephen Bannon's threat to back primary challenges to Republican senators, there is suddenly talk of civil war within the GOP.
Republican lawmakers booed Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney when they tried to sell Trump's deal with the Democrats. "It's just a betrayal of everything we've been talking about for years as Republicans," former senator Jim DeMint, an influential conservative, told Politico.
In article headlined "Bound to No Party, Trump Upends 150 Years of Two-Party Rule," Peter Baker of the New York Times quoted conservative writer Ben Domenech: "This week was the first time he struck out and did something completely at odds with what the Republican leadership and establishment would want him to do in this position."
The first time!