Republicans are Finding Themselves on Trump’s Enemies List, and it’s Their Own Damn Fault

by Hunter –

There is no person on the planet who would be surprised to hear that Donald Trump keeps an enemies list. The man is a walking, talking enemies list. Seething about his perceived enemies is what he does—and from his own public statements, it seems at least 80 percent of the man’s brain is devoted to itemized lists of everyone who has ever wronged him and why.

The near-total capitulation of the Republican Party to his every whim hasn’t shielded them from his obsession for vengeance. It’s just made his fury against those that have slighted him more focused.

In private, Trump has spoken of spending $10 million out of his own pocket to defeat an incumbent senator of his own party, Jeff Flake of Arizona, according to two sources familiar with the conversation last fall. More recently, the president celebrated the attacks orchestrated by a White House-sanctioned outside group against another Republican senator, Dean Heller of Nevada, who has also been openly critical of him.

Spoiler alert: Trump is not going to spend $10 million to defeat Jeff Flake. Trump is cheap. But he will spend a great deal of media time bashing him, because it both requires no cash and is one of the few things he appears to enjoy in life.

As a result, he’s got Republicans tripping over their own feet in attempts to ingratiate themselves.

White House officials have taken notice of [Rep. Martha Roby]’s efforts to make amends and view her efforts with some skepticism. While in the Oval Office for a NASA bill signing in March, Roby sidled up next to Trump — putting her front-and-center for the photo-op. Behind her push for the president’s approval is a stark political reality: She is facing a fierce primary challenge from a Trump stalwart who has turned her past opposition to the president into the focal point of his campaign. […]Two different White House aides say the president now relishes that some of those who crossed him, like Roby, are scrambling to get in his good graces.

Rep. Roby’s sin was a doozy: She spoke out against Trump after the Access Hollywoodtape of Trump bragging about sexual assault surfaced, because that is what any decent person would of course do. But now that he’s in office, Roby’s trying to brush aside that whole pointing-out-Trump-is-a-sexual-predator issue so she and he can get some good Republicaning done. ‘Tis the founding plank of the modern Republican Party: Never let the courage of your own convictions damage your re-election chances.

Trump, however, has found the one part of the job he truly enjoys: punishing detractors.

The presidency is the most visible stage in the world for slinging mud on those who have wronged him. It may hurt his party, or it may not—he doesn’t care. But we are unfortunate in that the current crop of Republican lawmakers are exactly the wrong sort of people to stand up to such petty bullying. The very reason he rose to the top of their party to begin with is that the party, as a whole, decided winning an election was more important than standing up to his transparent racism, ignorance, blustering, crookedness, and perversions.

Now they have placed a truly rotten man in precisely the office where he can best punish them if they attempt to thwart his momentary acts of egotism. Their only response? Agree to those whims, protect his acts of corruption, ignore his sordid past, defend his nation-damaging acts, and do whatever else it takes to ingratiate themselves to the man lest they, personally, be the ones singled out next.

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos