By now, unless you’ve been hiding from the omnipresent “Trump did-what?” porn that floods the news daily, you’ve heard that several Republican lawmakers, along with former GOP president George W. Bush, have expressed their concerns about the intelligence, mental stability and general demeanor of the Republican’s sitting president.
The policy differences these folks have with Trump, if any, lie the areas of foreign relations and trade policy – otherwise they’re more than simpatico with his domestic depredations. Viewed from this vantage point, their forthrightness is even more praiseworthy and the dangers posed by Trump seems all the more serious. It takes personal integrity as well as a strong perception of the threat he poses to speak out against a dangerous, dimwitted, but powerful official who is amenable to enacting policies compatible with one’s beliefs along with furthering the domestic druthers of one’s political benefactors.
Which brings us to the topic of Missouri’s Republican Sen. Roy Blunt. The St. Louis Post-dispatch political writer, Chuck Raasch, had this to say about the so-called GOP “civil war,” specifically as articulated by soon-to-be retiring GOP Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona:
Politicians should assess their counterparts’ hearts, Flake said, “and always look for the good. This spell will eventually break. That is my belief.”
When, how? Blunt could be a key. He has, so far, tried to be the ultimate team player, asserting he’d rather be without drama but not directly criticizing Trump, whom he had said in January would bring a fresh “synergy” to a capital used to doing things certain ways.
On almost all things policy, Blunt and Trump are simpatico. Blunt is a clarion of “regular order” in the Senate, a historian in its ways and traditions and collegiality and a consummate Republican team member. If he would ever take the road of Corker, Flake and others and take on Trump more directly, Washington would take notice.
I haven’t found Raasch to be a consistently persuasive political analyst, but he does a decent if not compelling job. However, he’s really missed the boat if he thinks that Roy Blunt will ever do anything motivated by personal integrity. Blunt, after all, is Montsanto’s man in Washington, Tom DeLay’s bagman, pater familias to a gaggle of lobbyists and CREW’s most corrupt politician of 2010 – and while that may be old news, there’s no evidence to indicate that Blunt has somehow become a “clarion” of anything that does not further the interests of his big donors or any position that would muddy his special pandering to the social resentments of the folks who have been persuaded to elect him so that he can further interests that yield such a big payload.
If Blunt ever speaks out, he’ll only do it when he thinks it’s safe to do so, probably only after more prominent Republicans, the folks who hold the key to committee and leadership appointments, lead the way. And I don’t expect that to happen soon – at least not until gigantic tax cuts for the rich have been insured, Social Security and Medicare decimated, and the courts have been packed with suitably retrograde legal minds.
But somehow Raasch thinks Blunt might come to the rescue of all the Americans endangered by the dementia-crazed charlatan in the White House. Dream on.
Addendum: More cold water on Raasch’s hopes for emergent signs of decency from Roy Blunt: a Washington Post analysis dates the willingness of GOP legislators to go public about their disgust with Trump to Charlottesville when Trump displayed his overt racism. But Blunt has a history of go-along-to-get-along soft racism himself. He’s not likely to be motivated by the affront to decency represented by Trump’s Charlottesville comments. For Blunt it’s all just politics.