When the Washington Post reporters Seung Min Kim and Erica Werner write that Donald Trump’s advisers and Republican lawmakers are “reeling” from “policy whiplash” with Trump, they’re probably understating the situation. There’s the ongoing saga of Trumpcare with Trump deciding unilaterally that he would tell the courts to destroy the Affordable Care Act and that he was tapping three senators to write the legislation to replacement, a pronouncement that was news to those three and their leader Mitch McConnell. Then it was off, because McConnell told him no, and then back on because Trump is fixated and can’t shut up about it.
But it’s not just Trumpcare. He’s declared he’s going to close the entire U.S.-Mexico border, and then maybe not completely close, maybe just a little but allow trucks bearing goods could still go back and forth. He’s declared that Puerto Rico isn’t part of the U.S. (news to everyone in the U.S. territory) and should not get any more aid to recover from the hurricanes that have crippled it. That’s contributed to an already contentious disaster aid bill in the Senate, one that not just Puerto Rico is begging for. There’s his on-again, off-again tariffs against China, the status of which seems to depend entirely on what Trump decides to tweet on any given day. The only constant is his demand for a wall, but what he’s stealing from to get it under his emergency declaration isn’t entirely clear.
Everything depends on Trump’s twitchy Twitter thumbs. “Obviously this is a president who tends sometimes to move on his own and then obviously has some of those conversations later,” Senate Republican Whip John Thune told reporters Tuesday. “That’s the dynamic that everybody up here deals with.” Nice spin on Trump’s making it up as he goes along.
Which is better than Sen. Ron Johnson, genius. The Wisconsin Republican blames it all on voters. “Listen, before the 2018 election, certainly in Wisconsin, I was saying, ‘Don’t elect Democrats to the House; if the Democrats take over the House all we’re going to be talking about is investigation, talk of impeachment, it won’t be about legislation, it won’t be about solving these problems.” Never mind there’s no House voting scheduled on impeachments, and they’ve been doing legislative stuff at a pretty good clip—even a bill to fix some of the Affordable Care Act’s major flaws. But, sure, Ron, blame the voters that put in Democrats and not the ones that saddled you with a narcissistic authoritarian orange being with no control over his own impulses.
It’s always someone else’s fault with Republicans.