At present let’s address “just” the obvious, frightening reality that this president is incapable of performing the basic functions of the office (e.g., keeping the government open), attending to our national security (e.g., not handing geopolitical gifts to our enemies) or truthfully relating intelligence (e.g., not lying about Jamal Khashoggi’s killers). He no longer has the advice of any respected, competent senior adviser nor the trust of members of his own party, who profess (suddenly!) to be worried about the conduct of foreign policy.
We have gotten to this sorry stage of events because Republican lawmakers shielded him from scrutiny and indulged his lies, racist rhetoric and attacks on democratic norms. To make matters worse, Republican senators refused to reject unqualified or extreme nominees.
You’d think at some point they might feel just a twinge of regret, a tiny speck of guilt over having created and sustained a political monster who has thrown the country into chaos.
And yet …
Not a single Republican senator has committed to delaying confirmation of key Cabinet nominees until the special counsel’s report is complete.
Not a single Republican lawmaker has committed to bipartisan legislation forcing Trump to turn over his tax records and divest himself of his businesses.
Not a single Republican member of Congress has declined to endorse him for reelection. (Do they actually think he deserves reelection, or is even fit to govern?) And certainly none has called for him to resign for, if nothing else, his endemic lying and effort to defraud voters during the 2016 election (e.g., lying about pursuit of business deals with a foreign foe, hiding payments to women).
Not a single Republican chairman has conducted on oversight hearing on the handling of Hurricane Maria, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s serial failures to disclose and divest himself of stocks posing a conflict of interest, administration officials' repeated misuse of taxpayer money on travel, Jared Kushner’s and Ivanka Trump’s possible conflicts of interest, Ivanka’s use of personal emails, Mar-a-Lago members' influence at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Trump’s receipt of foreign emoluments, White House procedures for national security clearances or dozens of other incidents involving mismanagement or corruption.
Unless and until Republicans start acting in these or other meaningful ways to constrain this president and accelerate his departure from office, they should forgo the distressed tweets and murmurs of discontent (offered only on background). They aren’t victims here; they are Trump collaborators.