Trump lashes out at Republicans who say his phone call with Zelensky wasn't 'perfect'

Trump lashes out at Republicans who say his phone call with Zelensky wasn't 'perfect'
Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

The idiot in chief was at it again, on Sunday, this time apparently responding to Republicans who have been attempting to both-sides their way through impeachment questions by muttering, to the press, that Donald Trump was wrong to extort Ukraine into opening "investigations" of his political foes but that it wasn't so bad as to amount to an impeachable offense.


That was never, ever going to fly with Donald Trump, because Donald Trump is a (say it with me, now) malignant narcissist. He is mentally ill. He genuinely believes he is perfect, his actions are perfect, he is the bestest phone-talker in the history of phone talking and he will get VERY DAMN MAD AT YOU if you suggest otherwise.

Republican lawmakers may think their best path for dodging responsibility to an exposed high crime, of the explicitly mentioned-in-the-Constitution variety, is to very lightly rap Trump on the shoulders while declaring that well, the Constitutional edict against doing crimes is more of a suggestion, really, but Trump has no intention of allowing that to happen. One does not criticize Dear Leader by suggesting that he has done something wrong. One praises Dear Leader for his perfection, and if you can't handle that, Trump's tone suggests, you may end up on Dear Leader's enemies list no matter how you vote on impeachment itself.

That puts Republicans, especially Senate Republicans, in a bind. Anyone who does not want to look like a frothing authoritarian-minded nut (sit down, Lindsey) has to acknowledge that no, it is not "perfect" to withhold military aid from an ally as means of pressuring them into supporting an election-related conspiracy theory that your personal "lawyer" friend cooked up to smear your next possible election opponent.

From that uncontroversial real-world perch, Republican senators think perhaps they can rappel down briefly to crackpot crazytown base-land with declarations that it is still not quite corrupt enough to actually do anything about. Spilled milk and all; oh well, chalk this one up to Trump just not knowing which crimes are crimes.

That would allow them to avoid collapsing entirely into the Dear Leaderism of the Jim Jordans and Devin Nuneses, so that they themselves do not look mind-bogglingly corrupt, while still avoiding all-but-certain primary challenges from Republicans who do think Dear Leader ought to be able to commit any damn crime he wants to. It's what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, perhaps, intends as the Senate's escape hatch now that a dozen different witnesses have testified that Trump and allies without question carried out the extortion effort, over the course of many months; the previous Republican stance that Trump did nothing wrong is now impossible to plausibly argue, so arguing that Trump's corrupt act was not a presidential dealbreaker is the current line of retreat.

But Trump isn't having it. Dear Leader is perfect, by God, and not one of you will be getting out of this by meekly claiming otherwise.

Good luck with that, everybody. It'd be hilarious to watch, if our continued status as a democracy didn't hinge on the outcome.

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