The disclosure Trump asked FBI director, James Comey, to back off an investigation of Michael Flynn
intensified calls for more aggressive investigations and a special counsel from many quarters,
except the most important one — top congressional Republicans.
The revelation, based on contemporaneous notes kept by Comey, heightened the unease among RPBs on Capitol Hill and produced new calls for Comey to testify.
But it did not seem to stir Republican leaders to any new level of urgency.
Their position has bizarrely puzzled Democrats, political analysts and many in the news media who should know better but keep asking:
What will it take for leading Republicans to abandon Trump given the escalating White House chaos and its impact on the policy agenda?
But as they survey the political and investigative landscape,
RPBs say they have good reasons for not being swept up in what they see as the self-inflicted disorder rocking Trump and his White House.
Here are some of them.
No “Slap in the Face” Evidence of Collusion
A paper trail or other intelligence showing such collusion could abruptly change their position,
given that Republicans such as Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, see Russia as a dangerous adversary.
But probably not.
Ongoing Investigations Currently Controlled By RPBs
House and Senate Republicans say that the inquiries being conducted by the intelligence committees and other panels are more than sufficient and capable of producing results.
Even clueless Dems have credited RPB leaders of the panels with conducting serious, credible investigations, though not at the pace they would like —
which shows how easily Dems are bullied and manipulated by people like Richard Burr and Devin Nunes.
Republicans say that a special counsel could complicate their inquiries.
“I don’t see that happening,” Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, a member of the Republican leadership, said Tuesday.
Which shows what an idiot Barrasso is, given the appointment today of Robert “Shifty Bob” Mueller as Special Counsel.
Rejecting Dems’ Demands Out-of-Hand, While They Futilely Squeal
Republicans are loath to accede to Democratic demands of any kind.
What is the point of being in control of the House and Senate
if they are going to acquiesce to heated Democratic cries for a special counsel or a select committee?
In their eyes, Democrats are devoted to stirring up resistance to the new White House to stymie the president and his party
as they finally get to enact their tax and budget priorities.
They won the elections in November and are in charge, not Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader.
Mollifying the Rabid RPB Base
Republicans are acutely aware that if they turn on Trump,
they run the risk of alienating the voters who made him president,
voters the Republican Party is going to badly need in the midterm elections.
While Democrats and growing numbers of independent voters are digging in against Trump,
conservatives in red states that provide the party majorities in the House and Senate are still standing by him.
It is the same reasoning behind the Republican push for their health care bill —
they need to mollify the base — even at the risk of alienating other voting blocs.
Distrust of Any Media Not Fox News or TASS
Republicans distrust many in the news media and see it as an institution that has decided to undermine an outsider president in return for website clicks and subscriptions.
They see news organizations working in concert with forces actively seeking to derail if not destroy the first Republican administration in eight years.
Speaker Paul D. Ryan echoed that theme on Wednesday.
“It is obvious there are some people out there who want to harm the president,” he told reporters.
Unlike what they did with Obama.
Trump Clearly Committed To Most Insane Elements of Mainstream RPB Agenda
Like many of the voters in their states and districts,
congressional Republicans are happy with the steps being taken by the Trump regime on immigration, crime, trade and deregulation.
They see the president through an entirely different lens than that of his fierce critics.
“He’s an outsider in this process as I am, and I will tell you I give him high marks in the first four months in office,”
Senator David Perdue, Republican of Georgia and a Trump ally, told Fox News on Tuesday.
“This is a president that is beginning to reassert the national interests of America.”
Like making it a vassal of a failed petro-cyber-hacker state like Russia.
Fear of a Special Counsel
Republicans remain skeptical that agreeing to a special counsel would in any way lower the temperature on the controversy raging around the White House.
Instead, they worry that moving in that direction might only inflame the situation,
giving new credibility to accusations around Trump and others and possibly dragging the inquiry into the midterms and beyond,
with Republicans having little control over the pace or the outcome.
Republicans, given their own experience with Bill and Hillary Clinton, are well aware of how special inquiries can have a long and seemingly endless reach.
But there’s little reason to worry about Shifty Bob Mueller, so they can probably relax on this score.
We Can Screw Things Up Ourselves – We Don’t Need Trump Help For That
Last month’s spending deal showed that congressional Republicans can circumvent the president to produce legislation.
They seem to be moving in that direction again, ignoring more administration calls for budget cuts and working out tax and health care deals internally.
If they have to produce without the president, they will try to do so.
All of this is not to say that there is no tipping point for RPBs when it comes to Trump, and they may be getting closer.
Republican officials say new developments and substantiation of the Comey claims could prove devastating.
But Ryan reaffirmed his party’s posture on Wednesday,
saying that “before rushing to judgment” the Republican-led Congress would “get all the pertinent information.”
“Our job is to be responsible, sober and focused only on gathering the facts,” he said.
That is, we can delay any meaningful action as long as possible,
by which time our stupid and easily-manipulated base will have forgotten what it was all about in the first place.
The interests of congressional Republicans and Trump remain too closely aligned for a major rupture.
Until that relationship changes, the view of most Republicans will not change.
And when it does, anyone with a brain will realize impeachment or anything like it will have become the WRONG thing to do.