Littwin: If the Trump ship is taking water, when will Republicans like Cory Gardner jump?

Let’s imagine that this really is the beginning of the beginning of the end for Donald Trump. It’s in the air. And, yes, we’ve all been wrong about this before, and, to be perfectly honest, we may all be wrong again. But this does feel different. 

Now let’s imagine what all those soul-selling Republican enablers in Congress would think/do if Trump actually is in free-fall, Democrats retake the House and maybe even in the Senate in November, Trump’s “rats” keep grabbing for plea deals or immunity and Robert Mueller’s relentless investigations gets ever closer to the top.

OK. Once we’ve gotten that far, now let’s imagine you’re Cory Gardner, and your decision is moving from whether to jump ship to when. He has wonder if it’s not already too late.

If you remember, Gardner was anti-Trumpist during the GOP presidential primary. When he not surprisingly embraced Trump after the election, he tried to find issues where he could take a few steps away. The Washington Post even (mistakenly) labeled him the model Trump dissenter. Gardner is up for re-election in 2020, the same year Trump is. If Republicans lose in 2018, how does Gardner play it then?

I’m not saying it will work out this way or that all the talk of “inflection points” is on the money, or even the hush money. I’m saying that Gardner is a smart politician who understands the stakes. For that matter, so does Mike Coffman, who is facing the same issues this year.

One of my favorite Saturday Night Live skits is of Nixon’s self-pitying final days in the White House as Nixon (played brilliantly by Dan Aykroyd) wandered drunkenly through the halls, finally stopping at the Abe Lincoln portrait to say, “Abe, you were lucky. They shot you.”

The great Frank Rich has a piece in New York magazine predicting a similar, although not imminent, end for Trump — eventual resignation in disgrace as the Oval Office walls finally close in.

Over at The Atlantic, Eliot A. Cohen compares Trump to Macbeth (if, say, Macbeth had had millions of Twitter followers), writing that “Sooner or later, tyrants are always abandoned by their followers.” But, as he also notes, that abandonment may well come much later than sooner.

In The Washington Post, Michael Gerson writes that Michael Cohen‘s guilty plea — with its charge that the president himself directed Cohen’s hush money payments — is the John Dean cancer-on-the-presidency moment for Trump. He also notes that Dean’s testimony came in June of 1973 and that it wasn’t until a year later that a majority of Americans thought Nixon should be removed from office.

But if there’s one thing you can be sure of, it’s that we will know a lot more come November. If Democrats win the House in the midterm elections, it won’t just be Mueller’s investigation or the fake-news media hounding Trump. It won’t just be a matter of how many “rats” Mueller can turn and whether Don Jr. and/or Jared Kushner are at risk.

If Democrats take the House, committee chairs will be tripping over each other in starting up the Trump investigations. As another ruthless dictator— we can assume Trump would have loved him, too — once said, let a hundred flowers blossom.

To this point, all predictions of Trump doom have been way premature or, to put it another way, utterly wrong. The base is still the base. Trump’s approval rating is still in the low 40s. Fox News is all murderous undocumented immigrants and white South African farmers. The experts give Democrats only a moderate-to-good chance to win the House in November. If Democrats lose, they will be the party in chaos.

But it’s a certainty that if Democrats win bigly in November, the Republican political calculus suddenly changes. Fear of being primaried will now have to compete with the fear of being Trumped in a general election.

Which brings us back to Gardner. I have questions for Gardner. As you may know, neither he nor his office returns my calls, but if either did, I’d ask what he thinks about Trump’s tweet sending “warm regards and respect” to Kim Jong-un, what he thinks about a possible presidential pardon for Paul Manafort, what he thinks about Cohen’s guilty plea implicating the president, what he thinks about Trump’s war with the FBI and the Justice Department, what he thinks about Trump calling cooperating witnesses rats. And that’s just for starters.

I’d also like to ask him whether he’s comfortable being seen walking down the Air Force One staircase, a few respectable steps behind the president, on his way to the lock-her-up West Virginia rally for Senate candidate Patrick Morrisey. Gardner was on hand for the lowest moment of the Trump presidency, in that remarkable hour of the Manafort verdicts and the Cohen plea.

Gardner didn’t say anything in support of Trump, at least not publicly. He didn’t say anything not in support of Trump, either. What must cause Gardner sleepless nights, even as he represents a state that Trump lost by five points, is knowing that eventually he won’t have that choice.

Photo of Sen. Cory Gardner by Susan Greene

16 COMMENTS

  1. Sen. Gardner increasingly seems to be playing a variation on Billy Flynn — distracting the villains and figuring out how to get them free, distracting any effort toward justice, focused on his own bottom line and reputation. As one observer wrote Take it from Velma Kelly: “Don’t forget: Billy Flynn’s number-one client is Billy Flynn.”

  2. “Let’s imagine that this really is the beginning of the beginning of the end for Donald Trump. It’s in the air. And, yes, we’ve all been wrong about this before, and, to be perfectly honest, we may all be wrong again. But this does feel different.”

    It doesn’t feel any different to me, or any of President Trump’s supporters, I suspect. It’s just the latest hysterical fantasy by the left, another symptom of the advanced case of Trump Derangement Syndrome they’ve been suffering for the past two-and-a-half years.

    And I’m afraid their TDS symptoms are going to become even more severe for the next five-and-a-half years, the likely remaining tenure of the President.

  3. Nice try gaslighting the majority of Americans who have never supported Comrade Chump, but reality is reality whether it’s inconvenient for you or not.

    Let me repeat that…Comrade Chump has never had the support of the majority of voters in this country. Ever.

    Time for that majority to take power again, considering what minority rule has brought us.

  4. CapitalistRoader —
    it doesn’t feel different, huh.

    First guilty plea that directly implicates the President. With a taped conversation with Trump that clearly undercuts at least 3 of the previous explanations of payments to Stormy Daniels.

    Trump’s own follow-up to Cohen’s plea in his interview with FOX where he basically described his interaction with Cohen in terms that most attorneys see as an admission of criminal violation.

    First conviction at trial of a Trump partisan on 8 counts. Admission from a pro-Trump partisan on the jury that only one vote prevented conviction on the other 10 counts. Admission from that same pro-Trump partisan that she wanted Manafort to be innocent, discounted testimony from Gates, thought badly of the prosecution lawyers and accepted the defense counsel’s approach of not putting Manafort on the stand — and STILL voted to convict on all charges (unless she is being duplicitous and she was actually the holdout).

    Immunized testimony agreement from a friend who now is known to have worked with Trump to conceal stories. Release of at least one additional agreement of payment for not speaking.

    Immunized testimony agreement from the CFO of the Trump Organization, who was also a director of the Trump Foundation.

    And, outside the realm of legal work, Trump cancelling Pompeo’s visit to North Korea, with statements out loud that there hadn’t been progress toward actual arms control.

    Or, in the realm of politics, Trump (and Junior) endorsing Foster Friess for Governor of Wyoming, and Friess losing.

  5. CapitalistRoader; If Lying daily, being caught up daily in your lies, getting caught boasting about “grabbing women by the pussy”, paying off porn stars/Playboy Bunnies
    illegally in violation of federal campaign finance laws while your wife is pregnant, coddling up to the worst dictators in the world, destroying relationships with America’s closest allies, ripping immigrant children from their parents with no plans on what to do with them, passing tax legislation that benefits the rich, destroying the environment at unbelievably high costs to our children, gutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are the causes of “Trump Derangement Syndrome”, then put me down in that column. As for yourself; may I suggest that you move to Putin’s “paradise”, where people like you belong! (assuming your not already living there).

  6. Yeah. Cory Gardner responds to all of my emails with : “Thank you for contacting me…” and never addresses my concerns directly. He should be vulnerable as he faces re-election in our “purple state”. But…the D’s seem to have no one available who can highlight his toadism. Might we hope that the spirit of John McCain can live on?

  7. RIP – John McCain

    Elections have consequences

    “Hiding news that doesn’t fit an ideological or a partisan agenda is perhaps the worst form of media bias. And it’s one more reason the public holds the press is such low esteem.” – Investor’s Business Daily

    “(Mr. Trump) won’t be president. He was sliding in the polls before the video, and the video now means that he has no way to climb back. Which independent voter, which suburban woman, which Main Street Republican on the fence is going to vote for Trump now?” – Mike Littwin

    Magical thinking: The belief that one’s own thoughts, wishes, or desires can influence the external world. It is common in very young children. – Radiotherapy

    President Trump 306 Electoral votes
    Hillary Clinton 232

    #droptheMike

    }{

    One of my favorite Saturday Night Live skits is Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin facing-off in a faux Point/Counterpoint debate where Mr. Aykroyd would invariably open his argument with the same four hilarious words…..which I will not repeat here. Go to YouTube.

    Of course, Mr. Littwin doesn’t need two people to carry on a point/counterpoint debate he can do it all by himself. He’s a walking/writing contradiction.

    On August 22nd he wrote a column in which his second sentence contradicted his first. His first sentence described President Trump as an “impeachable president” but in the very next sentence Mr. Littwin quickly walked that back saying, “I’m not predicting impeachment”.

    Incredibly, he does the very same thing in this column. His first sentence asks readers to image “this really is the beginning of the beginning of the end for (President) Donald Trump” and in the very next sentence admits, “we may all be wrong again.” But Mr. Littwin understands that the majority of his readers will ignore the second sentence because they’ll still be drooling over the first.

    He appears to be doubling down on Magical Thinking because he then asks his loyal readers to, “imagine what all those soul-selling Republican enablers in Congress would think/do if Trump actually is in free-fall, Democrats retake the House and maybe even in the Senate in November.”

    There are, of course, problems with that imagery not the least of which is Mr. Littwin’s admission—-although buried deep, deep in the column—-that “To this point, all predictions of Trump doom have been way premature or, to put it another way, utterly wrong.”. And he also admits “The experts give Democrats only a moderate-to-good chance to win the House in November.” Wow!

    Unless you’re wearing a HANS device, at this point you’re probably suffering from a severe case of whiplash.

    But Mr. Littwin isn’t through. He criticized President Trump for his fawning tweet which included his “warm regards and respect” to Kim Jong-un. But just two months ago he admitted he’d rather (President) Trump “absurdly praise Kim”…. “then go back to his Little Rocket Man tweet-taunt days.”

    You can’t make this stuff up!

    If you want left-leaning political spin, you’re in the right place but if you want political insight there’s always David Harsanyi, senior editor at The Federalist.

    November 08, 2016

    “’Cause I don’t have no use
    For what you loosely call the truth” – Tina Turner

    Flags of Valor
    Folds of Honor
    Special Operations Warriors Foundation

    Veterans Day – November 11, 2018

  8. Don Lopez…Pfffffffffffffffffffffffffffttttt…with spittle…you are wrong on so many levels, that I just flush your shit down the pipes…
    with love…Buford…

  9. Mr. Buford,

    Thank you for your warm, loving, kind, gentle, well-thought-out, well-written and almost obscenity-free response.

    I sometimes worry that my comments aren’t being received in the manner I intend but I see now my worry was unfounded.

    I think I know what you mean by “Pfffffffffffffffffffffffffffttttt…with spittle” because I feel the same way when I read Mr. Littwin.

    And thank you for not only criticizing how I was “wrong on so many levels” but including examples of my mistakes. Oh, wait….

    Rest assured that whatever pipe you flushed by comment down, Mr. Littwin’s column preceded it.

    I hope you’ll continue to comment because there are some who think Mr. Littwin’s readers are far too sensitive about criticism aimed at him or his politics but you could change all that.

    With the utmost sincerity.

    November 08, 2016

  10. Comrade Don is a great reminder why Trump the Traitor will always have an asterisk next to his name.

    As will his supporters.

    I imagine those loyal to the crown suffered a similar fate when our country was founded.

    Comrade Don and his ilk are simply the latest version of the Tories…and will be held by history with the same disdain.

    A just punishment for treason. Among other things.

  11. Mr. Byron,

    OK, if you insist but I don’t think the polls will still be open because the General Election this year is on November 6th.

  12. A fitting punishment might be to make them wear their little red hats for the rest of their lives…like scarlet letters…but for bigotry instead of adultery.

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