Congress has just force-fed Donald J. Trump a heaping helping of his least-favorite veggie, chased down with a bitter concoction of political reality.
The president signed a bill that imposes tough new sanctions on Russia. He doesn’t like the bill. He signed it anyway, then took a series of shots at Congress for — as the president implied — undermining executive authority to conduct foreign policy.
Poor guy. What lawmakers have done is hold him more accountable for the way he deals with Russia, the nation that meddled in our 2016 presidential election.
Trump continues to remain virtually silent on the meddling matter. He has said utterly nothing in public about the harsh retaliation that Vladimir Putin recently took in response to the sanctions bill; the Russian president ordered the expulsion of 755 U.S. diplomats and foreign service staffers. Trump’s reaction? Silence, nothing.
So now we have imposed more sanctions on Russia. The president needs congressional authority to lighten them, which gets under Trump’s paper-thin skin.
He lashed out at Congress for its inability to approve a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and said he, alone, is able to negotiate better deals with foreign powers than those nincompoops on Capitol Hill.
Meanwhile, the probe into Russia’s meddling continues. The president needs to let that investigation proceed full throttle. If it produces nothing, then Donald Trump can crow himself hoarse. If it comes up with something, um, incriminating, then he has to deal with whatever consequences fall into his lap.
If the president isn’t going to speak out on behalf of our electoral system, then it behooves Congress to articulate a nation’s outrage. That is what lawmakers have done with this sanctions bill — and they have forced it down the president’s throat. Good for them!