It’s been driving me crazy for weeks. It’s a riddle I can’t quite solve. More pieces of the puzzle are revealing themselves by the day, yet it still doesn’t fully make sense. All we know is this: the Republicans in Congress know something about Donald Trump that we don’t. More specifically, they know something about what’s going to happen to Trump in January that we don’t. They couldn’t be more obvious in how they’re telegraphing it. So what the hell is it?
The Republicans will retain majority control of the House and Senate throughout 2018. When they come back from holiday recess in January, they can still pass any legislation they want. So why on earth are they desperately trying to ram through their tax scam bill before going on recess next week? The bill is in tatters. Most of them haven’t even read it. They don’t even know all the ways in which this might backfire on them. It’s one thing to pass a deeply unpopular bill for the benefit of their wealthy donors. It’s another to do it in such stupid and hasty fashion, when they seemingly have plenty of time remaining to do it in a less self-harming fashion. So what do they know that we don’t?
For some reason, something specific enough to send them all into a hurried panic, the Republicans in Congress have decided that they must do this right now. They don’t think they’ll get another chance when they come back in January. That’s remarkable, because there is only one thing that could derail the congressional majority’s ability to legislate: the demise of a presidency. Throw in the fact that the Republican Senate is suddenly blocking several of Trump’s nominees after having rubber stamped them all year, and it even more strongly suggests that they know something we don’t.
The Republicans in Congress are sure acting like they expect the nation to be awash in impeachment, or the 25th Amendment, or some other bizarre crisis surrounding Donald Trump by the time they get back in January. Whatever they’re expecting to happen, they think it’ll last long enough that they never will be able to get their legislative agenda back on track before the November elections arrive. Yet only they could initiate impeachment, and they won’t do it unless things suddenly get so ugly for Trump that they’re left with no choice. So I ask again: what do they know about Trump and January that we don’t?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report