We often tend to think of Republicans as “falling in line” no matter how bad things get – as awful as their bill may be, or their candidate may be, they’ll ultimately support their own in the end. We saw it when Trump first ran for president, and finally clinched the nomination and the election, and we saw it when Senate Republicans voted on the Trump tax cut scam back in 2017, and again when Susan Collins ultimately voted for Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination.
For the most part, this observation holds true. In 2020, whoever the Democratic nominee may be, will win few votes from lifelong Republicans – particularly from the die-hard self-described Trumpers. On the other hand, not everyone in the GOP is willing to take a fall for Donald Trump if there’s nothing in it for them. This is why many of them spoke out against Trump when he had no power within the party – not because they knew his agenda was poison, but because it wasn’t a good look for their party and policies and they were afraid of permanently alienating their voters. Once he secured the nomination and then pulled off his win, they were afraid not to support him.
Now that Trump’s pointless trade war has proven to be a disaster on all fronts, some Republicans are less afraid to rebuke him in the open, like Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, who recently blamed the economic slowdown on Trump’s trade war in an interview. What’s unusual about Toomey’s case is that Donald Trump fired back at him in the media – angrily asking Fox News Radio on Thursday: “What does Pat Toomey want me to do?”
Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is equally concerned, admitting that the trade war is the single biggest risk to the economy’s stability and Trump’s trade war isn’t helping. While Donald Trump promised 4% growth while running for president, something he never came close to achieving, economists are now suggesting we could be looking at just a 1% growth next year – which many GOP strategists fear you can’t survive politically. With Trump and senior Republicans feuding publicly, we could be looking at the last straw – as the GOP once again sees Trump as a liability.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making