The congressional handwringers

The congressional handwringers

by digby

Mark Warner D-Va:

In the last three months, we have had the president with a disastrous policy with the president separating kids from the border, we had the embarrassment of the president kowtowing Vladimir Putin, in Helsinki. We had this zigging and zagging on his trade and tariff policies. We have had, as I indicated already guilty pleas of some of his senior campaign and personal lawyers. We have had horrible treatment of John McCain after he passed. And now we have had the Woodward book and this op-ed come out.

Clearly you’ve got a president who is lashing out. He is lashing out in terms of whoever wrote the op-ed, and I wish the person would have revealed their identity, but you’ve also got the president attacking his Justice Department and also attacking the Justice Department for indicting Republican congressmen. Does this president not understand that the Justice Department is not a tool of his own personal power. That is one of the reasons I think you’re seeing not only Republican members but what appears to be a lot of folks in the White House have real concern about this president’s stability.

Which Republican members? Where? Who? Corker, Flake? Hah.

Consider this lukewarm bucket of warm spit:

Sen. Ben Sasse said Sunday morning that he probably thinks about leaving the Republican Party “every morning,” while decrying the way he said Republicans and Democrats get caught up in the political furors of the day instead of having a “long-term vision” for the country.

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sasse (R-Neb.) said he considers himself an “independent conservative who caucuses with the Republicans.” But despite his misgivings, he said he is “committed to the party of Lincoln and Reagan as long as there is a chance to reform.”

Sasse said he backed many of President Trump’s decisions when it comes to judicial nominations and regulatory changes. But he said the daily drama and tumult surrounding the White House are a distraction from many key issues facing the country, including its involvement in ongoing wars and cybersecurity concerns.

Last week, Sasse raised the issue of becoming an independent when he responded on Twitter to an Iowa woman who said she left the Democratic Party because she dislikes both the major parties.

“Yep — regularly consider it,” he tweeted back.

Sasse, a former president of Midland University, which lies west of Omaha, pointed out to CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that he was just one of a few members of the Senate who has never been a politician before. And he said his disillusionment was directed at the entire political system, not just the GOP.

“The main thing the Democrats are for is being anti-Republican and anti-Trump,” he said. “The main thing Republicans are for is being anti-Democrat and anti-CNN. And neither of these things are really worth getting out of bed in the morning for.”

Asked whether he would run for president in 2020, he said he was more likely to run for the local “noxious weed control board.” But he didn’t completely rule out a White House run.

“We spend way too much time talking about campaigning,” he said.

Later, speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he said the daily drama coming out of the White House was a “distraction.”

He's so special. He's above all this icky political drama that has all those lower level humans concerned. Everyone should be as "independent" as he is.

Look, if Sasse does something truly bold and worthy like go Independent and agree to caucus with the Democrats, I'd give him some props. But he, McCain, Corker, and Flake should have all done it over a year ago to save the Republic. Handwringing at this late date is completely worthless.

By the way, it's not that unprecedented for people to switch parties. It has happened from the beginning. I recall this huge switch in 94-95 as a bunch of Democrats switched to GOP in the wake of that cycle's big wave:

1994 – Walter B. Jones, while running as a Democrat for U.S. Representative from North Carolina. U.S. Representative from North Carolina (1995–present)
1994 – Ed Whitfield, the day before filing as a candidate for the U.S. House in Kentucky. U.S. Representative from Kentucky (1995–2016)
1994 – Mike Bowers, while Attorney General of Georgia (1981–1997)
1994 – Fob James, former Governor of Alabama (1979–1983). Later Governor of Alabama (1995–1999)
1994 – Richard Shelby, while U.S. Senator from Alabama (1994–present)
1995 – Jimmy Hayes, while U.S. Representative from Louisiana (1987–1997)
1995 – Greg Laughlin, while U.S. Representative from Texas (1989–1997)
1995 – Ben Nighthorse Campbell, while U.S. Senator from Colorado (1993–2005)
1995 – Billy Tauzin, while U.S. Representative from Louisiana (1980–2005)
1995 – Nathan Deal, while U.S. Representative from Georgia (1993–2011). Later became the 82nd Governor of Georgia (2011–present)
1995 – Mike Parker, while U.S. Representative from Mississippi (1989–1999)

Interestingly, I could find zero GOP to Democratic sitting federal officeholders switches for the last 30 years. I guess in this modern iteration of the Republican Party they make you drink blood and pledge to commit suicide and take the country with you rather than become a Democrat.