President Donald Trump's already erratic behavior has become even more bizarre in recent weeks leading some to speculate that he is becoming altogether untethered from reality.
Vanity Fair's Tina Nguyen wrote on Thursday that most Republicans are plugging their ears and hoping to pass their radical tax cut bill while ignoring the increasingly unhinged rages and tantrums of a president who "doesn't think in terms of policy" and who shows no interest in the work of governing.
Trump has reportedly told aides and lawmakers that he believes that the notorious "Access Hollywood" tape was faked -- even though he admitted it as real and apologized for it in 2016. Privately, he has also continued to question the legitimacy of former President Barack Obama's birth certificate -- in spite of public statements disavowing "birtherism."
"This past week in particular saw Trump plummet to levels predicted by few, making a racially insensitive joke during an event celebrating Native Americans, and retweeting propaganda videos from a far-right British group and activist," Nguyen wrote. "And on Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that, even in the wake of pushback, Trump feels emboldened, with sources adding that the president feels he can 'largely operate with impunity.'”
In fact, White House officials are warning that Trump is set to go even wilder in the weeks ahead. If the GOP's wildly unpopular tax bill clears the Senate, the victory will likely go straight to Trump's head, say insiders, and no-one -- neither Congress nor the president's staff -- know what direction the administration intends to take next.
“There is very little in the pipeline, and no obvious next item on the agenda after tax reform except maybe a return to health care,” said Yuval Levin of the conservative National Affairs to Politico. “Combine that with a president who doesn’t think in terms of policy, and you’ve got no clear next step.”
Meanwhile, Republicans like Sen. Orrin Hatch (UT) are lavishing Trump with praise, calling him "one of the best presidents I’ve ever served under" or standing by and "letting Trump be Trump."
GOP strategist John Brabender told The Washington Post, "We’re seeing the message hijacked by the messenger.”
He added, “That’s been problematic for a long time and it’s still problematic . . . Sometimes we all just scratch our heads.”
Meanwhile, the Republican tax bill, if passed, is expected to be "catastrophic" for senior citizens and other vulnerable groups in the U.S. who will lose their healthcare coverage virtually overnight.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO)'s analysis of the tax plan said that it will grant a massive tax cut to the country's wealthiest people while raising taxes on the majority and hit poor people the hardest. Furthermore, it would explode the national debt and decrease government revenues by $1.6 trillion dollars.