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Wednesday, Jul 6 2016

MEMO: Will Hill Republicans Have The Courage To Rebuke Trump?

Jul 06, 2016

Tomorrow Donald Trump comes to Washington and congressional Republicans will almost certainly pass up another opportunity to hold Trump accountable for his dangerous, divisive rhetoric. Whether they’re in the room or not, Republicans are failing to rebuke Trump, silently complying with his racism, xenophobia, sexism, shady business dealings, and general unhinged persona while clinging to the illusion of “party unity”.  

It has been nearly two months since Donald Trump last traveled to Washington, D.C. to begin his courtship with Republican leadership. Following his last meeting, Paul Ryan praised Trump, saying he had a “good personality”. In comparison to his first visit, Trump’s second visit holds little hope for repairing relations with GOP leadership. 

Since Trump’s last trip to D.C., he’s been endorsed by Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. How did he repay the favor? He’s lied about his fundraising for veterans groups, criticized the chairwoman of the RGA, engaged in racial attacks against Elizabeth Warren, created the “Mexican Judge” debaclepraised Brexit and plunging pound because he can make a buck off of it, tweeted an anti-Semitic meme sourced from a fringe website, and praised Saddam Hussein, slayer of terrorists (and Kurds and Shiites). And that just scratches the surface. 

Trump’s outlandish comments and repeated “misunderstandings” continually derail GOP leadership’s attempts to set an agenda. Paul Ryan’s #BetterWay roll-outs were dominated by questions about Trump’s controversies. While Trump has derided leadership, telling them to “be quiet,” the GOP has clung desperately to a message of party unity, arranging another charade of a meeting today. 

What To Watch For:
  • What’s the focus of tomorrow’s meeting? Will GOP leaders and Trump discuss policy, his troubling tone, or appear together simply to look unified? 
  • Is there anything Trump can say that will cause party leaders to disavow his hate-laced politics and put country before the GOP’s brand?
  • Will GOP leadership stand by and continue to allow Trump to change the nature of the conservative movement in America? Will they campaign with him?
  • Are you in or are you out? With the nominating convention approaching, vague reservations about Trump’s style aren’t enough. Either congressional Republicans support Trump, or they don’t.
  • Senators Lee, Graham, Flake, and Sasse have been unreserved in their opposition to Trump. Will they be invited to sit with their party’s presumptive nominee? Who will be missing from Trump’s sit-downs tomorrow?
  • Senators Ayotte and McCain are attending committee hearings tomorrow rather than meet with Trump. Who else will choose to actually go to work in order to distance themselves from their party’s nominee? 
  • Senator Flake supposedly didn’t know there was a meeting until asked, and Senator Toomey is somehow unsure what’s on his schedule. What other creative excuses for dodging Trump will we hear?
  • Which congressional Republican will be the next to appear on stage with Trump? 

Published: Jul 6, 2016

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