Let the record reflect that on July 12, 2017, at a few minutes after 10 a.m. Eastern daylight time, the lights went out on the Republican Party.
Speaker Paul D. Ryan and fellow House Republican leaders had just finished their caucus meeting and were beginning a news conference. The House Republican Conference chair, Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), was announcing new legislation to combat human trafficking. “We made a promise — “ she said. And then the room went dark.
“Whoops! Did I step on it?” she asked, looking at her feet for an electrical cord. Presently, the lighting rekindled. “Now, if we could pay the light bills,” she resumed.
The metaphor alert level has just been raised to red.
The latest revelation in the Putin palooza — that Donald Trump Jr., along with Jared Kushner and Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, eagerly met last year with a person promising dirt on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government — brings the sprawling scandal to a new level. Surely Republican leaders will move with dispatch to disavow Team Trump’s behavior?
But each time President Trump hits a new low — a racist outburst, a vulgar tweet, shabby treatment of women — commentators invariably state that this one will be the tipping point, the time when Republicans bail on the man who is undermining their party, and conservatism, and American values. Each time, such expectations meet the same fate: Wrong!
And this time, sure enough, the Silence of the Republicans has been profound.
On the House’s first morning back from the July 4 recess, five GOP…
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