Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Erick Erickson reports on some really tough talk in the Executive Branch:
“If he can get treated that way, what about the rest of us?” one of the President’s Cabinet secretaries asked me with both shock and anger in his voice. I am told reports about Rex Tillerson (not who I talked to) are legitimate. He is quite perturbed with the President’s treatment of his Attorney General and is ready to quit. Secretary Mattis (also not who I talked to) is also bothered by it. They and other Cabinet members are already frustrated by the slow pace of appointments for their staffs, the vetoes over qualified people for not being sufficiently pro-Trump, and the Senate confirmation pace.

In fact, the Cabinet secretary I talked to raised the issue of the White House staff vetoes over loyalty, blasting the White House staff for blocking qualified people of like mind because they were not pro-Trump and now the President is ready to fire the most loyal of all the Cabinet members. “It’s more of a clusterf**k than you even know,” the Cabinet secretary tells me about dealing with the White House on policy. It is not just Tillerson ready to bail.
Really? Then bail. Why are you waiting -- do you think the situation might get better? Do you think Trump might evolve and mature?

But the Cabinet isn't the only place where subordinate Republicans grumble about their leader's imperious excesses but won't do a damn thing in response. Here's Lindsey Graham chatting with a Bloomberg reporter and displaying the typical Senate Republican reaction to Mitch McConnell's shut-up-and-eat-your-mystery-meat Obamacare repeal strategy:

Senate Republicans are also upset about Trump's manhandling of Attorney General Sessions, or so we're told by McClatchy's Lesley Clark:
President Donald Trump is getting a bitter Washington lesson when he messes with Jeff Sessions – you don't pick a fight with one of the Senate's guys.

It's a lesson that could cost him politically in a Senate where he badly needs Republican support for his lengthy agenda, starting with healthcare on Tuesday.
But they don't sound all that upset:
“That’s what he does, I don’t think he means harm with those tweets,” Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said of Trump.

But Hatch added, "I’d prefer that he didn’t do that. We’d like Jeff to be treated fairly."

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina, agreed.

”I guess we all have our communication style and that’s one that I would avoid,” Tillis said, adding that the Russia investigation by an outside special counsel should proceed without interruptions: “The fewer distractions we have, the faster the investigation can proceed and the less confusion the electorate has to deal with,” he said.

”Sen. Sessions is showing the independence I expected of him and that’s a healthy thing,” Tillis said.
As I told you on Friday, Noah Rothman of Commentary wrote this about the congressional GOP:
Republicans in Congress ... have to summon the courage to state publicly what they so freely tell reporters on background. If they are so concerned that the norms and traditions that have preserved the rule of law in this republic for 240 years are in jeopardy, they must say so. And they must say what the consequences will be for Trump, his associates, and his family if he goes too far....

Republicans may dislike the prospect, but it’s fast becoming time for them to start saying the “I” word if only to save the president from his most reckless impulses.
But they won't, and Lindsey Graham and the other critics of Mitch McConnell's legislative process (Susan Collins apparently excepted) won't tell him that they refuse to let the process move forward until they have some idea of what the hell they're voting on. And Tillerson and Mathis and whoever Erick Erickson's source is (I assume a fellow Georgian in the Cabinet, Tom Price or Sonny Perdue) won't tell Trump to take the Cabinet job and shove it. As much as they grumble, they all accept the lash. They'd really, really like to stand up for themselves -- no, seriously, they would -- but for now, all they do is grumble and acquiesce.

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