If I Were a Republican…

Now that’s an eye-popping headliner for those of you who know me or who have read the blog for any length of time. Of course I’m never going to be a Republican. But if I were, especially one in leadership, here’s what I’d worry about the most under a Trump administration: the guy claims wins that aren’t his, and distances himself from losses that are. In other words, he readily throws people under the bus. Losing a Navy Seal operative in the raid in Yemen? Not Trump’s fault. It was the generals, or maybe it was President Obama, since planning for the raid began under the former administration. Inaccurate claims about the size of his inaugural crowds relative to those of President Obama? Not Trump’s fault — his people gave him the wrong information. And the current battle over the Republican health care bill? Not Trump’s fault — he wanted to start with tax reform. False claims about President Obama wiretapping Trump Tower? Not Trump’s fault. He’s been reading around and saw sources making that claim. On the other side of the ledger, Trump regularly boasts of wins for job creation promises that were in the works well before he came into office and have little to do with him or his administration’s policies. Major corporations have figured out that if they feed Trump’s ego by telling him what a great job creator he is, they’ll have an easier go of it under the Trump administration.

Passing major legislation is hard work, and requires people in political leadership to have each other’s backs. It has to be evident to the Republican leadership in Congress that they can’t count on Trump for that, and it has to be a big worry going forward.

As far as voters, I’m wondering when “It’s not my fault” is going to get old. Most of us wouldn’t keep a friend who acted that way, or a romantic partner, or an employee. Trump’s approval ratings are down to 35%, so maybe voters ultimately won’t keep a president who acts that way either.

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