Over the past day and a half, a double digit number of Republican Senators have publicly condemned Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. military forces from northern Syria, so Turkey can invade and slaughter America’s Kurdish allies. As the death toll has started to pile up today, those GOP Senators are speaking up more loudly, but doing nothing about it. I think I know what they’re up to.
If you’ll indulge me with a football analogy for a moment, I think it lines up perfectly with what’s going on here. When a team owner knows his head coach is a dud and needs to be replaced, he’ll often keep that coach around for one more season, knowing that it’ll be a disaster. Why? By the time that nightmare season is finished playing out, the fan base – even those who thought they liked the coach – will be calling for his head. Then the team owner gets to look good by finally firing the coach, while publicly expressing regret that he had no choice.
Based on what they’re saying, Republican Senators are clearly worried that Donald Trump’s deadly Syria debacle is a big problem for their party, and thus for their own personal chances of reelection. Yet if they banded together and told Trump that he had to stop it, he would. They have the power to throw him out of office at any time. They could get rid of him by dinnertime today, if they really wanted to.
And yet, instead of trying to do anything to make the Syria nightmare go away, Republican Senators are sitting back and doing nothing while very loudly condemning it. They know the Kurdish death toll is going to end up being a crippling scandal for Donald Trump – the kind that could even turn some of his own supporters against him. They know that by the time this finishes playing out, the prospect of Trump remaining in office will be completely untenable. Rather than trying to stop it, they seem to be counting on it.
If Donald Trump goes all the way through with getting the Kurds slaughtered, the Republican Senators will find themselves in a rather convenient situation where they can say that they have no choice but to regretfully oust Trump because of how horribly he screwed up on this one. They think it’ll position them as the good guys coming to the rescue by throwing Trump overboard, and they hope that even Trump’s base won’t be too hard on them for it. If I’m right, it means the Republican Senators are enabling mass murder right now, just so they can have an easier time of shedding themselves of Trump’s dead-weight presidency after the Kurds have finished dying – and that’s disgusting beyond words.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report