It seems like so long ago now. I was being accused of selling out by supporting President Trump, because he seemed to be on a roll supporting the stuff I support. I was now a Trump shill, because if Trump is for the right thing, that must mean you can't be for that any more, to a certain group of people.
That was so long ago indeed. Like a month ago, dude.
But in the age of Trump, two things are true. One, we're aging in dog years here. Two, everything's negotiable and nothing is.
So it goes that just when you find yourself reluctantly in line to finally jump aboard the Trump Train after a slew of good decisions, Bad Trump returns. Complete with Trump's Judge Dredd, otherwise known as CNN, running the chyron "Trump backs Obama's gun control ideas." And just like that, "make America great again" once more becomes "dispatches from Cuckistan."
This may have been Bad Trump's worst week. Trump dropped his very own “bitter clinger” card concerning guns, which was a wonderfully pathetic redux of the 2016 Republican National Convention. Remember then-GOP nominee Trump patting party loyalists on the head for applauding when he referred to the atrocious taking of 49 lives at a gay nightclub in Orlando?
Responding to their applause, Trump condescendingly said, “I must say, as a Republican it’s so nice to hear you cheering for what I just said.”
Because sometimes, as we all know, Republicans are cool with random acts of mass murder. Sigh. But instead of taking umbrage, many in the GOP tightened their own leashes all the more that night, determined to clap like trained seals no matter what Trump said or did. Even when he humiliated them to their faces.
It’s a reality that might very well be the most existential truth Trump knows or cares about: Republicans are generally a weak bunch. Republicans are the nerdy pro wrestling announcer and Trump is Ric Flair. The nerdy pro wrestling announcer is there to be spat upon, pushed around, and put down when Flair runs out of self-promotional material to hurl into the camera at his intended audience.
For Trump, the intended audience is often the mainstream media, whose approval he craves like a bug craves a windshield — the same mainstream media most Republicans crave approval from even more.
That's why rather than show any particular fortitude, Team GOP stands there self-emasculated and takes it while the show pony struts. For they know who is the star of the show, and it's not them. To be the man, you've got to beat the man. And in the land of GOP girly-men, the pretend-man is king.
It’s why Trump can taunt Republicans sitting right in front of him for being “scared of the NRA.” After not so very long ago saying he could shoot somebody in the middle of the street without losing any supporters. How on earth can you be a would-be gun-grabber and Yosemite Sam at the same time?
You get away with it because this is a transgendered political party that is perpetually transitioning. It only won the recent government shutdown battle because Democrats stupidly refused to take 85 percent of what they want when it was offered to them. Republicans have since taken that victory and changed the subject to bigger deficits, more amnesty, and fully funding baby killers. In other words, the rest of the agenda we'd be getting if Democrats had officially won the last election.
Thankfully, much of the conservative base has decided "better than Hillary" isn't a morphine drip. It showed this week it has plenty of spit and vinegar left in its veins, as most of it — including prominent voices on pro-Trump Fox News — rose up to say "hell no, we won't go" to gun-grabbers. Heretofore Trump has fortunately shown sensitivity to criticism from the Right, and let's pray that trend continues, as does our willingness to apply the pressure.
Because when Trump is already shooting blanks like "take the guns first, go through due process second” it's doubtful that one spanking will be enough. The adults are going to have to show the man-child they mean business.
If he wants to cuck himself, so be it. But we'll be damned if we let him cuck us.