As a committed conservative and a Republican, I’m going to be blunt: President Trump is making an ass of himself, embarrassing himself and his country, and worst of all, making it almost impossible for any Republican in Congress to support his agenda.
Here’s some simple Constitution 101 for all of those purported constitutionalists who keep jumping to Trump’s defense when he behaves like an insecure middle school bully:
1. Congress consists of members elected by the people. Members of the House face a referendum by those people every two years.
2. When a president behaves like a jackass, any Member of Congress who has a record of supporting him gets that president hung on his shoulder like an albatross in the next election. If the president has offended enough people, this tactic results in a landslide backlash election against that president’s party.
3. So, the more our president behaves like an ass, the more incentive congressional Republicans have to establish their independence from him by defying his agenda.
And make no mistake about it: In the eyes of the American people, who want to be proud of and inspired by their president, Donald Trump is making a complete ass of himself.
I have no objection to Trump attacking the news media generally and specific news media outlets like CNN who have conducted disgraceful vendettas against him. But Trump’s disgusting personal attacks on specific people in the media are not only beneath the dignity of the presidency. They are beneath the dignity of being a man.
And Trump’s little video showing himself body-slamming CNN was so juvenile that I’m embarrassed to be in the same party, country, and species as him.
More to the point, the American people are repulsed by these kinds of moronic actions by the man they elected to be the leader of their country. And they will take the opportunity in next year’s congressional elections to express that disgust by voting against members of Trump’s party who have a record of supporting him.
Donald Trump is the current President, but he does not own the presidency. In America, the institutions of government derive from and belong to the people. The American people own the institution of the presidency, and any president is merely the steward of his office.
At the end of his term, the American people will decide whether to entrust the incumbent president with the stewardship of the presidency for another four years or to bestow it on someone else. And if the president disgraces his office badly enough, the American people, through their elected representatives, can engage in a constitutional process to remove him from the presidency before the end of his term.
Donald Trump is one of the worst stewards of the presidency in American history. He disgraces his office on nearly a daily basis with his repulsive juvenile conduct.
In so doing, he dooms his congressional agenda by making it impossible for Members of Congress of his own party to support it.
Trump sycophants point to the Republican victories in recent special elections to argue that what Trump is doing is resonating with the voters.
Bullshit. We won those elections despite Trump’s conduct.
What happened, as I wrote last week, is that over the past few months the Democrats made bigger asses of themselves than Trump, so they were the ones to pay the price for it.
Trump seems determined to surpass the Democrats in asinine conduct. If we allow him to succeed, the Democrats will be the beneficiaries at the polls.
I have been a loyal Republican for my entire adult life – over 30 years. So I say this with the strongest conviction: The Republican Party is an institution of principles and not men.
When a president abandons Republican principles, as President George H.W. Bush did when he violated his pledge not to raise taxes, our party called him out and held him accountable.
In the same vein, when a Republican president engages in conduct that brings disgrace to his office, his party, and his country, and that undermines his ability to translate our conservative principles into law, Republicans have the right – and the duty – not to circle the wagons but to confront him and insist that he stop with the juvenile displays and start honoring the office with which he was entrusted.
In the ’90s, President Clinton disgraced his office by turning the White House into a brothel and renting out the Lincoln Bedroom. Republicans rightly savaged him for it and were bewildered when the Democrats defended him.
Those very same Republicans are doing the same thing today that the Democrats did then. They are defending conduct that they would never tolerate in their own children.
Until Republicans unify in staging a long-overdue intervention with Donald Trump, I hope they enjoy the show – as well as Obamacare, high taxes, illegal immigration, and all of the other problems that will continue to go unaddressed.
Author: Ken Falkenstein
Ken Falkenstein brings a wealth of experience and expertise in public affairs to Committed Conservative, having worked in all three branches of the government and at every level of government, federal, state, and local. Ken served in the U.S. Army in the last years of the Cold War as a Russian linguist for military intelligence and the NSA. After leaving the Army, he earned his degree in Secondary Education from Old Dominion University, where he also wrote a popular column in the student newspaper called Ken’s Colloquium.
Upon graduation, Ken worked as a Legislative Aide to two Republican members of the Virginia House of Delegates. Ken also served as Corresponding Secretary of the Young Republican Federation of Virginia, managed several successful political campaigns, and ran governmental affairs for the Tidewater Association of Realtors.
In 1995, Ken moved to Washington to serve as a Legislative Assistant to Sen. John Warner (R-VA). While working for Sen. Warner, Ken attended law school at night, earning his J.D. cum laude from the George Mason University School of Law (n/k/a The Antonin Scalia Law School). Since that time, Ken has practiced as a civil litigation attorney, including serving for three years as an Associate City Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Ken previously was a contributor to the highly-regarded political blog Bearing Drift and was a weekly co-host of The Steve Batton Radio Show.
In 2016, Ken ran unsuccessfully for the Virginia Beach School Board. Ken is also a former President of the Down Syndrome Association of Hampton Roads, and he is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Congregation Beth Chaverim in Virginia Beach.
Ken lives in Virginia Beach with his wife, Kim, and three sons, Adam, Dylan, and Joshua, who has Down syndrome and autism. Ken’s writing and activism is motivated and informed primarily by his concern for his kids’ future.