Among all the Republicans in Congress, so far only one, representative Justin Amash (who had to become an Independent due to his standing on principle), has come out in favor of impeachment and against Trump’s behavior. Meanwhile Trump’s approval among the general public continues to hover in the low 40s give or take a point or two. Why have so few Republicans, including both the people in Congress and the voters in general, not yet turned against him? As a Democrat it seems obvious to me that Trump places his own personal good above that of the country. I just don’t get how so many Republicans can be in denial about what seems so obvious to those of us who aren’t inside the Republican bubble.
I think if you gave them truth serum they’d admit that Donald is a crook and existential threat to democracy. But they are terrified of his base, so jumping off his bandwagon means losing your seat. They’re all facing a choice of standing up for the country or clinging to their seat out of fear, and fear is kicking honor’s ass in that battle.
That’s what I thought at first, but let’s compare Trump’s situation to the most recent historical example, Richard Nixon. After Republicans turned on him the Republicans “suffered” through four whole years of Jimmy Carter but then ended up holding the presidency for 12 years after that. They certainly weren’t cast out into the wilderness for a generation or forced to change their whole platform or much anything else of consequence.
If they stand up to Trump they will be fired.
They don’t want to be fired.
Ergo, They will not stand up to Trump.
It’s not that complex.
Personal needs before Party.
Party before Country.
That was a different era, though, voters weren’t so polarized. It was an era where Reagan could win 49 states (in other words, voters had little qualms about jumping from red to blue or vice versa.) Today, the only way the Republican Party can survive is if they maintain near-perfect party discipline and voter mobilization, and shrinking demographics are on the way.
They don’t care about the party. They care about themselves first. (Country is third, if that)
They don’t want to be fired and personally lose their jobs as representatives next election. They are dependent on the Trump base for their jobs. They cannot go against Trump’s base.
Therefore, they will never go against Trump. They don’t care about the party’s fortunes in the future. They care about their PERSONAL fortune, RIGHT NOW.
So party discipline is more important than what’s best for America?
If the Republican party as currently comprised becomes unable to survive, isn’t that a feature of a democratic society rather than a bug? Why should a party that can’t maintain sufficient support levels to win without engaging in shenanigans be artificially propped up? Maybe they need to rethink their policies and make them more appealing to more Americans? Or is that just out of the question?
The former follows the whims of the latter, or else they run the risk of being primary’ed. Since the latter gives the President an 87% approval rating, there really isn’t much of a decision there. I’m sure plenty of them are planning their exit strategy for when the boat starts sinking and the lifeboats are scarce, but jump too soon, and you risk sitting alone in the ocean, and just maybe the Titanic is going to limp into port after all…
I get that this is the answer. But, all of these folks are, at worst, going to lose their job. Big deal.
Trump’s continued high approval among Republican voters is part of what I don’t get. I think, but obviously have no proof, that if Obama had openly suggested in 2011 that some foreign country investigate Mitt Romney, that big chunks of Democratic voters would have abandoned him. I genuinely believe that had Obama been the sort of person to put his own interests ahead of the country’s, and that if there had been obvious evidence showing that, then Democratic voters would have held their noses and voted for Romney in 2012.
Apologies for the double post. Speaking for myself, had Obama turned out to be the left wing version of Trump, I would have voted for Romney in 2012.
Perhaps more to the point, I believe that if Obama had been shown in 2011 to have committed gross malfeasance in office, he wouldn’t have been the Democratic nominee in 2012, even if he wasn’t impeached and removed from office!
Maybe I’m underestimating my own side’s capacity for denial and whataboutism, but compare and contrast how Al Franken and Roy Moore were treated by their respective parties. I think there’s a very real moral difference there.
I think I would have to. I like to think that though I would likely have disagreed with most everything he did, Mitt would have been an honorable president.
I missed the OP question about the voters. Why don’t voters abandon him? I think it’s like the reverse of buyer’s remorse. They’ve invested heavily of themselves in him, it’s tough to admit that the support was for an ignoble cause. Rather than admit that they made a terrible mistake, a lot of people would rather dig in deeper. There are also millions that love him because he hates the same people they do. That hasn’t changed.
Romney would have received 538 electoral votes.
Actually, if Obama had pulled this exact same shit, he would never have finished his term.
I heard a quote from Mitt Romney a few weeks ago (though I suspect that he didn’t coin it): “Democrats fall in love; Republicans fall in line.” The point was that the GOP is typically far more able to get their office-holders to toe the party line, and publicly support senior leadership when issues emerge, than the Democrats are.
That’s the authoritarianism.
He’s from Grand Rapids.
So was President Gerald Ford.
Maybe the water in town is different hence why Grand Rapids republicans are moderate while the party moves extreme.
Maybe, but Amash was a member of the Tea Party back in the day when that was still a thing.
You’re sort of assuming the worst, there.
Imagine — stop laughing! Imagine you’re a GOP Congressman who truly believes your party is championing what’s best for America, and that the Democrats are maybe an election or two away from destroying the country.
Losing your job means — what, exactly? Let’s say you legislate by always asking yourself what’s best for these United States. Let’s say you believe your replacement would vote differently at least some of the time: maybe most of the time? And, of course, maybe disastrously, whenever ‘ruination’ comes up for a vote.
What’s the benefit to the country of you losing your job?
The answer is easy.
Any republican who opposes Trump will face a primary from a Trump supporting republican.
Trump represents the id of the GOP base. He is racist, sexist, nativist, islamophobic. He hates democrats and liberals. He hates the Clintons.
All those urges the GOP voters have had to suppress and pretend they didn’t have, now they can openly adulate Trump for representing those urges. The GOP is a party of angry white nationalists that pretends to be a party of free market economics. Now the voters don’t have to pretend anymore.
And GOP politicians know it. So they aren’t going to risk their jobs by standing up to Trump, they aren’t dumb. All they’ll do it lose re-election and find it harder to get a high paying job in the private sector afterwards.
FWIW, I’ve heard that 40% of republicans who served in the house in 2017 are now gone. Either replaced by democrats or retired. So they are abandoning ship in a way, just not by standing up to Trump.