According to this piece in the New York Times, it is dawning on the GOP leadership that they have the unenviable political problem of trying to control Trump.
The first several days of the Trump presidency have reinforced several core truths: He will continue to give voice to conspiracy theories and peddle misinformation. He will not stop obsessing over cosmetic displays of popularity, like crowd size and television ratings.
And if Republican lawmakers harbored any expectation that this ritual of the campaign cycle would end — the grimacing through questions about Mr. Trump, the hedging when asked if their party’s leader had overstepped — these early days have supplied a decisive verdict: not so much.
So far, dissent has been limited, and almost always cautious. Congressional leaders know, better than most, the president’s power to sink fortunes with a single Twitter message.
Still, there have been early signals of where fault lines might emerge between the White House and some congressional Republicans.
I understand party loyalty and all that goes with it, and the Republicans have had their share of grin-and-bear-it moments throughout recent history, but at some point they’re going to look around and see that not only have they tied their fortunes to someone who has the attention span of a sugared-up six-year-old and the power to use weapons of mass destruction, their own political future is at stake, and they’ll have to do something about it.
Don’t kid yourself into thinking that the Republicans will eventually come around to defying Trump and possibly even come up with ways to either control him or ease him out of office for the good of the country. They want to save their own asses; all too often have they seen the backlash in mid-term elections when the president is unpopular and they know the shit runs downhill. Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 not because the House had voted out articles of impeachment but because he no longer had the support of his own party. They weren’t appalled at his lawlessness. They were staring down the barrel of mid-term elections and knew that if Nixon stayed they’d get wiped out.
The problem today is that it will be hard to convince the core Trump voter to change their opinions. Right now Trump could stand on the Truman balcony in nothing but a Speedo holding an orb and sceptre and declare himself to be the King of Cats and they’d applaud… until their health insurance is gone and their kid in the service comes home from Syria in pieces.
It’s only been a week. How long do you think they can keep this up?