Who’s to blame for Donald Trump’s decision to kidnap immigrant kids and lock them in cages? Donald Trump is to blame, of course. It’s his decision. He signed off on it. He’s the (supposed) President of the United States. Kirstjen Nielsen and Jeff Sessions have also come off looking pretty terrible in the process. But we predicted that Stephen Miller would be the one to take the fall for this if anyone, because, well, he’s Stephen Miller. It turns out we were onto something, because now he has a whole new problem.
At this point most of the Republicans in Congress – at least the ones who aren’t caught up in his criminal scandals – would probably rather Donald Trump were gone. He’s become just that much of a headache and a liability to their party and its prospects. But the GOP is afraid of blowback from his demented base if they were to impeach him. So they’re going to ride that broken down horse into the midterm elections, hoping that the carnage isn’t too bad. However, it does appear they’re testing the waters for ousting Stephen Miller as a way of trying to bring Trump under control.
Republican Senator Mike Coffman publicly called for Donald Trump to fire Stephen Miller yesterday. It’s incredibly rare for a Senator to publicly call for the President from his own party to fire a senior adviser, when that adviser isn’t caught up in a specific scandal. And while Coffman is from the GOP’s comparatively moderate flank, he wouldn’t be sticking his neck out on something like this unless he expects to get support for it. Six months ago Republican Senator Lindsey Graham publicly singled out Miller as being a problem, so it’s clear that there is GOP support for his ouster.
As Donald Trump’s senior advisers have resigned, been fired, been arrested, and/or cut plea deals against him, he hasn’t bothered to replace a number of the vacated positions. That’s given outsized influence to the advisers who are left, and it’s given Stephen Miller the opportunity to steer Trump in a particularly demented direction. The GOP seems to think that with Miller gone, Trump might be a bit less self destructive, and thus a bit less harmful to the party’s prospects in November.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report