What’s bad for Donald Trump is bad for the Republican Party, and yesterday was a horrible day for Donald Trump.
Republicans are suffering because they have allowed Trump to do a hostile takeover of their party. And now, like it or not, when people think of the Grand Old Party they think of Trump.
This is when we need to remember the old saying: “you are known by the company you keep.” Most of Trump’s associates are headed to jail, or will soon be indicted. And Trump himself may be charged with multiple crimes in the near future. Therefore the GOP has been tainted, and many Americans now consider it the party of corruption.
Yesterday we found out that two of the president’s top associates will be spending time in prison, and his former attorney said he would testify that the president himself was involved in a criminal conspiracy.
On top of that, Trump’s first two GOP congressional supporters have been charged with corruption.
And Republicans can’t distance themselves from either Cohen (who was deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee until June) or Manafort (who was chairman of the Trump campaign, and organizer of the 2016 Republican National Convention.)
So, yes, the Republican Party is “under siege.”
“GOP operative sounds apocalyptic warning on midterms: ‘The Republican Party looks like a criminal enterprise’
GOP operative sounds apocalyptic warning on midterms: 'The Republican Party looks like a criminal enterprise' https://t.co/ESvFwyjbGH
— Raw Story (@RawStory) August 22, 2018
And, while facing an existential crisis in their own party, Republican leaders are AWOL. They seem to be pretending what happened yesterday was no big deal.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and prominent GOP senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina did not even mention Trump when talking to reporters yesterday.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Speaker Ryan said:
“We are aware of Mr Cohen’s guilty plea to these serious charges. We will need more information than is currently available at this point.”
Graham made the point that that neither case had anything to do with Russia. Graham said in his own prepared statement:
“The American legal system is working its will in both the Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen cases. Thus far, there have yet to be any charges or convictions for colluding with the Russian government by any member of the Trump campaign in the 2016 election. It’s important to let this process continue without interference. I hope Mr Mueller can conclude his investigation sooner rather than later for the benefit of the nation.”
John Cornyn, the number two Republican in the Senate also distanced Manafort’s and Cohen’s troubles from the president. Speaking on CNN, Cornyn told reporters:
“If Manafort and Cohen did things that they shouldn’t have done, which it sounds like they did, I think they ought to be held responsible for it but I don’t see any of this having anything to do with the president and Russia.”
While Republicans continue to play the game of denial, Axios reports that Democrats are poised to exploit the massive GOP vulnerability caused by their rampant corruption. According to Axios:
”One operative close to House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi pointed out that during an April press conference, she was already talking about “the Trump Administration’s culture of corruption.”
Events of the last few days almost make one a believer in Karma, for it seems that (as Michael Avenatti once said) the chickens are coming home to roost for Donald Trump and his party. They are starting to get what they deserve.
The silver lining — and the hope of most Americans — is that the trials and the indictments and the plea deals will both bring corruption out into the open and also clean up Washington.
That may be too much to hope for, but at the very least it appears that Republican corruption will assist in creating a Blue Wave in this year’s elections, and will bring a new party into power.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.