In case you missed it yesterday, veteran arch-conservative writer and columnist George Will, authored a column for the Washington Post in which he lambasted President Trump and issued a devastating condemnation of Republican senators, like North Carolina’s Thom Tillis, who have abandoned their principles in order to stay loyal to the president.
Will, who once famously (or infamously) drew national attention by crossing the line from journalism into advocacy in order to help Ronald Reagan prepare for a presidential debate, has served as a voice of hard right conservatism for decades. And while Will has clearly not abandoned his commitment to the conservative cause, his column was scathing in its assessment of Trump and members of the Senate who have cravenly kowtowed to his bullying.
The person voters hired in 2016 to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” stood on July 28, 2017, in front of uniformed police and urged them “please don’t be too nice” when handling suspected offenders. His hope was fulfilled for 8 minutes and 46 seconds on Minneapolis pavement.
What Daniel Patrick Moynihan termed “defining deviancy down” now defines American politics. In 2016, voters were presented an unprecedentedly unpalatable choice: Never had both major parties offered nominees with higher disapproval than approval numbers. Voters chose what they wagered would be the lesser blight. Now, however, they have watched him govern for 40 months and more than 40 percent — slightly less than the percentage that voted for him — approve of his sordid conduct.
Presidents seeking reelection bask in chants of “Four more years!” This year, however, most Americans — perhaps because they are, as the president predicted, weary from all the winning — might flinch: Four more years of this? The taste of ashes, metaphorical and now literal, dampens enthusiasm.
And then Will let’s senators like Tillis have it:
The measures necessary for restoration of national equilibrium are many and will be protracted far beyond his removal. One such measure must be the removal of those in Congress who, unlike the sycophantic mediocrities who cosset him in the White House, will not disappear “magically,” as Eric Trump said the coronavirus would. Voters must dispatch his congressional enablers, especially the senators who still gambol around his ankles with a canine hunger for petting.
In life’s unforgiving arithmetic, we are the sum of our choices. Congressional Republicans have made theirs for more than 1,200 days. We cannot know all the measures necessary to restore the nation’s domestic health and international standing, but we know the first step: Senate Republicans must be routed, as condign punishment for their Vichyite collaboration, leaving the Republican remnant to wonder: Was it sensible to sacrifice dignity, such as it ever was, and to shed principles, if convictions so easily jettisoned could be dignified as principles, for .?.?. what? Praying people should pray, and all others should hope: May I never crave anything as much as these people crave membership in the world’s most risible deliberative body. (Emphasis supplied.)
Wow. One suspects Tillis will be unmoved, but it seems at least possible that the takedown might make shaving a little tougher for the junior senator for the next few mornings.