The federal government shutdown is now the longest in U.S. history. New reports over the weekend indicate an increasing (yes, ever-increasing) level of concern about the possibility that President Trump is or has been actively working to advance the interests of Russia to the detriment of the United States. At the very least, it is inarguable that Trump has taken
unusual unprecedented steps to hide the details of all of his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin from even his most senior staff. As even a child understands, if you have nothing to hide, you don’t go to extreme lengths to, you know, hide things.
There is no hiding from the fact that Trump is causing great harm to this country and our political system. But as Greg Sargent of the Washington Post writes today in a column that is being widely shared, it’s time that Americans take a deeper look at the enablers that make Trump’s actions possible:
Two new blockbuster scoops about President Trump’s relations with Russia — combined with fresh signs that Trump will drag out the government shutdown indefinitely — should renew our focus on the quiet but critical role that Mitch McConnell has played in enabling the damage that Trump is doing to the country on so many fronts…
…In much discussion of all these matters, there is a terrible rhetorical habit of treating GOP conduct toward Trump as mere passive acquiescence. In fact, this is better seen as an active enabling, on one front after another. And we are likely to learn much more about just how damaging this has been soon enough. [Pols emphasis]
Republican leadership in Congress doesn’t appear to know how to deal with any of this, so they have ended up doing nothing. You might as well just change the Republican Party logo from an elephant to a “¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ” emoji.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wasn’t in Washington D.C. on Friday, the first day that federal employees missed a regular paycheck. Neither was Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner — he was at the stock show in Denver instead.
Republicans have lost the messaging battle over the government shutdown — which is no surprise given that President Trump has repeatedly said that he would own the shutdown himself. Even Trump’s once-loyal base of white, working-class voters is starting to slip away. Yet Senate Republican leadership, which includes both McConnell and Gardner, won’t act.
Sure, Gardner will say that he wants the shutdown to end, but he won’t do anything about it. Officials from Colorado’s Congressional delegation, including Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver), were at Denver International Airport today to talk about the shutdown and proposals to get the government up and running — proposals that Republican leadership won’t even consider because Trump demands a big wall. If Gardner was at DIA on Monday, it was because he was flying somewhere else.
Responding to someone like President Trump with inaction is absolutely the same as enabling him. If and when Trump falls, his enablers will go right along with him.