Why Are Republicans Protecting Trump? A Theory

Right now, Republicans are busy running interference for Trump as former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testifies about Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia.  At this point, it’s fairly obvious there was some sort of connection between the Trump campaign and Russia, but the details are still foggy, and trying to discern them will likely lead you down a conspiracy theory rabbit hole.

So instead of trying to postulate about what exactly are the ties between the Trump campaign and Russia (information that will probably be slowly revealed over the following years rather than what someone vomits out in a tweetstorm), I’d like to offer a theory about why Republicans are bothering running interference for Trump in the first place.  After all, he’s not their guy.  He’s not a popular President.  If they threw him under the bus and put in Mike Pence, they could probably enact their agenda with far less drama.

So why protect Trump?  I think there are two reasons.  The first is that Trump still controls the base.  These are the people that have no regrets about voting Trump and haven’t really felt his wrath.  They’re fine with the administration terrorizing immigrants and people of color, and while they wish Trump would tweet less (i.e. be less openly stupid), they want him to stay President…for now.

But Trump is everybody’s fool, which leads us to the second reason.  If the policies enacted under Trump are wildly unpopular, then the GOP can throw him under the bus before the midterms.  Keep in mind that most politicians at the national level don’t have ideology; they simply want to get reelected (this is an issue on the right and the left), and they’ll do anything to be reelected.  So, for example, if the GOP’s poll numbers are bad around spring or summer 2018, then they’ll launch an investigation into Trump.  By that point, the base will be suitably disappointed, and then the GOP can say that Trump was never a true Republican and that the GOP will always look into malfeasance.  They sacrifice Trump to save their skins and buy another two years under a President Pence.

Monday, May 8th, 2017 politics

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