Why have some Republicans fought so much harder against the Trump presidency and Trump legislative agenda than they ever did against Obama? It’s especially the case among Republicans in Congress, and as noted on this blog before, I think it’s also the case among certain GOP factions here in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Normally, when your candidate loses a primary, you hate the victor and his supporters for a modest period of time but then everyone makes up and moves on to the general election. I’m not a Democrat, but I get the impression that’s what the Democrats usually do. It’s an intelligent approach, obviously, in fulfilling the mission of the party, which is to get its candidates into public office.
Some Republicans REALLY did not pull together after Donald Trump won over Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and the others, which is weird, because Republican office holders have often been terrible and every Republican knows it. Those who suggested Trump was likely to be not “conservative” enough were either ignorant or liars, because the party had not had such a person in the White House or as the nominee for a very long time.
The last couple Republican presidents left legacies that departed substantially from whatever “conservative” platform the Republican Party and the presidential campaign foisted on unwary voters to get the putzes elected.
Actually, the last couple Republican presidents’ legacies are worse than unkept promises because all that stuff that “conservative” think tanks and thousands of Republican political campaigns have been saying are so critically important, as reasons to vote for the Republican du jour, all the terrible changes to American society and government that this or that Republican was going to prevent, got worse under the Republican presidents named Bush.
Were the Bushes better than Clinton or Obama? Probably, but not by a lot. Here’s how you can tell that: you don’t see many people writing stories contrasting the Bush presidencies with the Obama or Clinton presidencies.
You don’t see a lot of infographics or memes put out by “conservatives” recalling the glorious eras of the Bushes. That’s because there is very little to feel proud about from those periods, I believe.
Thus we have to wonder, for any Republican with any knowledge of history, what is the problem with Trump? After his first year in office, we now know, he’s come a lot closer to accomplishing what the “conservatives” have been promising than any other recent president. If not for opposition by Republicans in Congress, Trump would have accomplished much more of what Republicans promise every time an election comes around.
It’s not my purpose to get into a detailed public policy discussion at this time, but any Republican with a knowledge of history knows exactly what I am referring to. The short answer is that when it comes to the “conservative” principles that candidates and consultants have been bloviating about for the past 25 years, President Trump doesn’t look too bad compared to nearly all other Republican office holders.
Unless the logic is that the past two Republican presidents get a pass for almost total failure, but Donald Trump will suddenly be held to the very highest standard of “conservative” wish lists or be deemed an enemy of the people, there seems to be some disconnect. There seems to be some major inconsistency from the “conservative” elites, almost to the point that one wonders if they are worth listening to, on any subject, ever again.
The thought that “conservative” leaders could be anything less than exemplars of integrity is inconceivable to me, so I will leave that dilemma for now and go back to the original question of: Why the Trump hate?
One of many bizarre examples will suffice. Speaking of Republican presidents: George W. Bush did not make a single public comment about anything that Barack Obama did during the latter’s presidency. Maybe I missed a statement or two, but I think I’m right in saying that Bush never said a word as Obama spent years verbally trashing the Bush presidency and, policy-wise, being rather non-conservative, adding over $9 trillion to our debt, and even using the federal machinery in ways that some consider unethical. Does George W. Bush not care about our grandchildren? But Bush never found much to criticize in Obama — or Bill Clinton, in fact.
How is it, then, that Bush finds the motivation to come out of his respectful shell and criticize Donald Trump so relatively mercilessly? There’s a topic that, seriously, someone could write a book about, knowing what we know now.
We know that Trump is divisive. He is more divisive for American political and media experts than Godzilla was for urban neighborhoods in Japan. In the end the Japanese loved Godzilla, as I think in one of the later films it was revealed he was fed GMO fish as a child and once he transitioned to soy-based foods he mellowed considerably. But there will be no soy for Donald Trump. And the rationale for political opposition seems to transcend all the normal triggers, such as public policy.
Republicans seem to have finally gotten a president who is willing to sign into law all the “conservative” agenda items that “conservative” Republicans have been shilling with for two or three decades, and it’s almost like these Republican elites are petrified that they could be allowed to deliver on marketing messages. Why, it’s almost as though all those campaign messages and fundraising letters were untrue, and actually depended on the promises not being fulfilled in order to continue to scare ignorant voters and donors in the future.
But now comes Trump, looming over the skyline, threatening to trample and destroy the City of Promises by delivering on Republican promises. He’s a monster.
That’s one reason, then, for the Trump hate.
Another reason, which is purely speculative on my part, but I am grasping for straws here, is that maybe there have been activities that people in Washington D.C. are not proud of, and that Trump threatens to expose. Maybe some people knew even before Trump was elected that he would not “play ball” and that’s why they went on the warpath against him, and now that he is in office, are worried about what he might do.
Who knows. But one thing I do know is that if Republicans had the political intelligence of their Democratic Party counterparts, the GOP might accomplish all the things it has promised for so long. That thought must keep some of them awake at night.