The chatter now about Donald J. Trump’s disgraceful performance this week in Helsinki deals with how Republicans in Congress are finally — finally! — beginning to condemn the president’s conduct.
It all seems to circle back to a question I keep asking myself and occasionally pose it publicly on this blog: How does the president command the loyalty of Republicans when he is the quintessential Republican In Name Only.
These same GOP loyalists are so damn quick to hurl epithets at other Republicans who deign to speak out against Trump. Sens. John McCain, Jeff Flake, Bob Corker and, yes, Mitt Romney are now considered RINOs in the world according to the Trumpsters.
Two of the men I mention — Romney and McCain — were the party’s presidential nominees in 2012 and 2008, respectively. They aren’t RINOs.
As for Trump, I’ll refer to a point that one of my sons made this week. The president, he said, once was a pro-choice Democrat and a member of the Reform Party before he became a Republican.
My own view is that Trump lacks any ideological grounding. He doesn’t speak with any knowledge or eloquence about his party’s ideology. He has no moral basis.
So, he blathers in Helsinki about how he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin and disbelieves U.S. intelligence agencies’ assessment about Russian election interference. Democrats, quite naturally, are quick to condemn the president.
Republicans? They pull their punches. They speak in milquetoast terms: Trump’s remarks were, um, unfortunate, they were ill-advised.
They continue to rally around a guy who isn’t even a real Republican.
Go … figure.