Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson unleashed on the Republican Party in his latest column — and it was to an extent not yet seen.
In his piece, Robinson said that Republicans are becoming just as “bombastic, full of lies and incoherent to the point of lunacy” as President Donald Trump. “Sadly,” he said, he isn’t surprised.
The latest revelation that Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky may have broken several laws. In response to these findings being outed and an impeachment inquiry launch, Trump has lashed out at key House members, saying they’re committing “treason.”
Still, Republicans have been largely silent. Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Rob Portman (R-OH) have called out the president, but Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) humiliated himself in a “Meet the Press” appearance where he tried to change the subject to the Russia investigation.
In a Wall Street Journal interview, Johnson admitted he “winced” when hearing nearly $400 million in military aid was being held up for Ukraine until the country agreed to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his family.
“There it is, the quid pro quo,” wrote Robinson. “But Johnson was apparently determined not to be seen as having criticized Trump lest he become the target of a Trump tweetstorm. So he launched into a diatribe about how Trump’s presidency had been “sabotaged’ and given ‘no measure of honeymoon whatsoever,’ and then dove into fantasy-based conspiracy theories about the origin of the Mueller investigation.”
Johnson ultimately admitted that it concerned him but that Trump denied it, so he believed the president.
Robinson then brought up the bizarre answer from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who said that Trump was just trolling the press by asking other countries to help him get reelected in 2020. It’s hard to find the joke when Trump made it once before and it took just hours for another country to do exactly what he “joked” about.
“What I see is a desperate president trying to convince the public that his attempted shakedown of Ukraine was so innocent, so unimpeachable, that he’s willing to do the same thing to China openly,” wrote Robinson. “Then again, it might have been slam-dunk evidence for another article of impeachment. Either way, Trump’s performance looked and sounded nothing like fun and games with the White House press corps.”
Trump has claimed he welcomes impeachment, but his near-hourly meltdowns indicate that may not be entirely true.
“He reportedly told House Republicans that being impeached would be ‘a bad thing to have on your résumé,’ Robinson quoted. “His tweets and harangues betray what seems to be a visceral horror of being hauled into the dock and put on trial, even if he believes that, ultimately, he will not be removed from office. In his long life of privilege, Trump has rarely been held accountable for his bad behavior. He seems not to enjoy the experience.”
Robinson closed: “For now, Trump can cling to the fact that lily-livered Republicans still fear his wrath. They’re looking at the polls, though, and hearing from their constituents. It is certainly true that brute-force intimidation can compel obedience — but it rarely generates true loyalty.”