Between Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Adviser John Bolton, it’s nothing short of a miracle that we’re not all pink mist and bone dust. Trump has managed to stoke the ire of nearly every US ally, Pompeo has kowtowed to some unstable dictators and irritated others, and Bolton is having a hard time deciding which war to start first. Amazingly, there appears to be a check on Trump and his goons – one that could herald rougher seas ahead for him.
The Democrats may have found odd bedfellows in Republican leadership this time. In particular, Senate Republicans, who historically have been keen on rubber stamping every eye-wateringly awful Trump agenda, are resisting his moves regarding China and Iran. The trade war with China is, as I’ve written before, economically inefficient for businesses and citizens. In a vain attempt to quell mounting disapproval, the administration reiterated the point that China steals intellectual property and that the trade “squabble” was a power-play to leverage stolen intellectual property against the trade deficit we have with China.
The idea is that we can forge a new agreement in which it is stipulated that China must buy more American products to repent for the stolen IP in order for us to continue regular trading practices with them. There are a number of problems with this approach, the most germane being that Trump manufactured this crisis by killing off the Trans-Pacific Partnership that the Obama administration established, in which there were strong protections for American IP. Many Republican senators aren’t buying Trump’s approach.
Senate Republicans appear to be particularly agitated with the Trump administration for keeping them in the dark about Iran, especially considering this past week’s order to non-emergency government employees to get out of neighboring Iraq. This is the sort of order that a country makes in anticipation of conflict, so Republicans demanded answers and many expressed immediate disapproval. Senate Republicans, who are almost all ardent pro-lifers, are even distancing themselves from Alabama’s draconian abortion law, itself a reaction to Trump’s Supreme Court.
This consistent disapproval of Donald Trump’s policies and posturing by senate Republicans is telling. They spent the first two years of his presidency basking in his fetid turbulence, and now they distance themselves from him in key moments when he desperately needs their support. In considering these developments, it’s becoming increasingly unrealistic to believe that the Senate won’t remove Trump when he finally gets bombarded by the results of ongoing investigations. Don’t listen to those who say it can’t be done.