Robert Reich: Hill Republicans, Trump Is Fritzing Out – OpEd
By Robert Reich
This morning I phoned my friend, a former Republican member of Congress.
Me: What’s going on? Seems like the White House is imploding and Republicans are going down with the ship.
Him (chuckling): We’re officially a banana republic.
Me: Seriously, what are you hearing from your former colleagues on the Hill?
Him: They’re convinced Trump is out of his gourd.
Me: So what are they gonna do about it?
Him: Remember what I told you at the start of this circus? They planned to use Trump’s antics for cover, to get done what they most wanted – big tax cuts, rollbacks of regulations, especially financial. They’d work with Pence behind the scenes and forget the crazy uncle in the attic.
Him: Well, I’m hearing a different story now. Stuff with Sessions is pissing them off. And now Trump’s hired that horse’s ass Scaramucci – a communications director who talks dirty on CNN! Plus Trump’s numbers are in freefall. They think he’s gonna hurt them in ’18 and ’20.
Me: So what’s the plan?
Him: They want him outa there.
Me: Really? Impeachment?
Him: Doubt it, unless Mueller comes up with a smoking gun.
Me: Or if he fires Mueller.
Him: Not gonna happen.
Me: So how do they get him out?
Him: Put someone else up in ’20. Lots of maneuvering already. Pence, obviously. Cruz thinks he has a shot.
Me: But that won’t help them in the midterms. What’s the plan before then?
Him: Lots think he’s fritzing out.
Me: Fritzing out?
Him: Going totally bananas. Paranoia. You want to know why he fired Priebus, wants Sessions out, and is now gunning for Tillerson?
Me: He wants to shake things up?
Him (chuckling): No. The way I hear it, he thinks they’ve been plotting against him.
Me: What do you mean?
Him: Twenty-fifth amendment! Read it! A Cabinet can get rid of a president who’s nuts. Trump thinks they’ve been preparing a palace coup. So one by one, he’s firing them.
Me: I find it hard to believe they’re plotting against him.
Him: Of course not! It’s ludicrous. Sessions is a loyal lapdog. Tillerson doesn’t know where the bathroom is. That’s my point. Trump is fritzing out. Having manic delusions. He’s actually going nuts.
Him: Well, it’s downright dangerous.
Me: Yeah, but that still doesn’t tell me what Republicans are planning to do about it.
Him: Look. How long do you think it will be before everyone in Washington knows he’s flipping out? I don’t mean just weird. I mean really off his rocker.
Me: I don’t know.
Him: No all that long.
Me: So what are you telling me?
Him: They don’t have to plot against him. It will be obvious to everyone that he’s got to go. That’s where the twenty-fifth amendment really does comes in.
Me: So you think…
Him: Who knows? But he’s losing it fast. My betting is he’s out of office before the midterms. And Pence is president.