Republicans Are Frantically Trying to Convince the Public Their Party Is Not in Disarray
The first six months of the Trump presidency will go down as the least productive, most tumultuous ever for a unified government. The Republican House, Senate, and White House should be a juggernaut of dystopian productivity. Instead, we're heading into the August recess with the Senate two weeks earlier than planned, having taken taken precautions to make sure Trump can't make recess appointments while they're away. What Republicans have managed to achieve in the past few months has been done without any help from the administration or to actually isolate and hamper Trump. From the New York Times:
Among its more notable successes this year, and against Mr. Trump’s objections, Congress passed a tough Russia sanctions bill with a veto-proof majority, which the president begrudgingly signed this week. Congress also approved a law to help veterans get health care—a bipartisan, bicameral, messy but ultimately successful effort that came together with zero involvement from the administration. […]
Indeed, most of the coming efforts in Congress run counter to what the White House has suggested ought to happen.
On the health care front, many lawmakers are already busy figuring out a way to stabilize the individual health insurance market and to fund the cost-sharing subsidies that Mr. Trump has threatened to end.
In a rebuke not just to Trump but to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as well, Republican chairman are returning to regular order and working with Democrats to set up hearings, including how to fix Obamacare. They've ignored Trump's bullying attempts to force them to stay in D.C. and keep working on repeal. Rank-and-file Republicans are teaming up with Democrats against Trump to make sure he can't derail special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the web of financial and political ties Trump has in Russia.
This burgeoning war against Trump, Republicans try to insist, is perfectly normal and healthy. From Politico:
"That's a good thing, right?" South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the third-ranking GOP leader, said of the moves to establish more independence from Trump. "It's important that Congress assert its authorities under the Constitution and be an equal branch of the government." […]
"I think the Founding Fathers anticipated a tension between the" legislative and executive branches, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said in an interview. "And this is the healthy tension. Even if the president is of your own party, there should still be that tension."
Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) agreed: "For as long as I've been in Congress, and particularly since I've been in the Senate, I look for a stronger Congress.'"
In other words, this Trump guy that we thought was just going to be a rubber stamp for our extremist agenda has become a tweeting, bullying, counter-productive nightmare. But it's all perfectly normal! Meanwhile, House Republicans are fighting with one another, but are united in being pissed at Senate Republicans. The Senate has always hated the House, and is now trying to regroup after the disastrous Trumpcare fiasco, finding the best way to do that is by blocking their own president from doing anything.
All perfectly normal and healthy, right?