The aftermath of the Bret Kavanagh hearing revealed many uncomfortable truth about America. It revealed that even in 2018 after the #MeToo movement that a women with credible charges of sexual assault will still not be heard. It reveled that the GOP is so driven by power politics that it will nominate a temperamentally unfit man for the nations highest court despite his many and obvious flaws just to gain a solid majority. And perhaps most importantly revealed that the hope that a few courageous Republican senators would stand up to the president at his most outrageous was nothing more than a fiction.
President Trump, through the almost fanatical devotion of the Republican base, has become the living breathing heart of his party where his word is law and his favor could make or break a career. The problem with this is that his behavior, policies, and decisions are offensive to large swaths country for one reason or another, even within his own party. With the GOP in full control of the government right now the hope for many people on both sides of the aisle has been that a few courageous senators will sand up to trump and champion sanity and decency until he came be removed from office one way or another. The nations public has looked at such illustrious figures as Bob Corker, Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Jeff Flake, and until his passing John McCain. So many people who could make such a huge difference in our nations political life and virtually have of them have been a colossal disappointment.
At every turn when it seemed that Trump and his cronies were about to do something outrageous and disastrous we looked to these names to say enough is enough and put a stop to it. We looked to them because as Trump made his rise to the party nomination and party leader after party leader kowtowed to him they vowed to be never Trump and condemned him in their own way. As he took office and legislation started to wind its way through committees we thought that they would use their considerable leverage to reach across the aisle and stop this madness. As votes drew near the paper and pundits began to take bets as to who would prove the decisive block on a bill. And, when the anointed hour arrives, who rises to become the savior of American democracy, the room stays silent save for a few damming yeas as the bill passes without any serious opposition. Only some muted handwringing and apologetic looks to the camera stand to answer the shock of the American people.
Trump the outsider maintains a grip that not even the most dedicated party loyalist can break in a pattern that is all to depressing for the GOP.
This is not the first time the Republican party has been hijacked by extremist outsiders in living memory, it happened twice before in the last 60 years. The first time was in the 1950's with Joseph McCarthy and his 'Red Scare' that ruined hundreds of lives and lead to nearly 40 years of disastrous policy choices. He was only stopped when president Eisenhower, the original RINO, stood up to him along with the liberal wing of the GOP back when they still had one. The second time was in the 1980's when Ronald Reagan blew onto the conservative scene and remade the political world in his image with a coalition of religiosity, supply side economics, and anti government paranoia. While Regan was never truly challenged his successors in the Bush dynasty made his legacy more bearable for the American public.
Trump, in our time combines the worst aspects of bot of these men, marrying a boundless sense of paranoia with impressive media savvy (social media anyway) to create a political monster that now owns the soul of the GOP. One by one Trump's remaining political rivals with any real power have been bowed over by his control over the base and their colleagues as they have gradually fallen silent with their protest and perhaps most crucially fallen into line with their votes. When it was the possible repeal of Obama care on the line there were 5 or 6 senators that could have made a difference and it was the 11thhour intervention of Senator McCain that carried the day. With the Kavanagh conformation it was own to 3 and only one Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska who stood up for what was write. Heaven knows how much longer she'll continue to resist trump from here on out though. Even never Trump stalwart Mitt Romney, who delivered numerous condemnations and speeches against the president has started to walk back his criticisms and lived up to his reputation as a flip flopper.
In the wake of all these repeated disappointments it's time to abandon the hope that a few morally upright senators will exert their power against Trump and stand up for democracy. Any republicans with a shred of integrity have likely long sense abandoned the party of Lincoln for the independents path and maybe for a few brave souls, a blue donkey. The GOP may yet again find itself back to the land of sanity when Trump and his ilk ate long gone from Washington but knowing their history another demagogue will probably come along and start the whole thing all over again. Better to leave them to it than spending precious hours worrying about impossible things especially when there are more important things to worry about, like which trump scandal a democratic house should investigate first.