Bannon intends to make it happen. He's got his "weapons" back, he's leveled on his targets, and he's blasting away at the Republican establishment. McConnell, bam! Ryan, boom! He intends to take them and others down. Trump is the party now. You cannot oppose Trump. There are consequences.
|Sen. Bob Corker|
Now Corker is very publicly wondering if he'll even run for his Senate seat. It would only be his third term. He seems smart, level-headed, fair (though I don't prefer his votes). But he stood up to The Leader, and that makes Corker an untouchable.
Didn't Bannon just say on some Sunday interview show that Gov. Chris Christie got pushed out of Trump's inner circle because Christie didn't react well to the "Access Hollywood" tape? You remember, you do -- Trump struttin' in the locker room for the much younger Billy Bush. For the record -- and because I think we're mature enough now -- here is the unedited, unexpurgated transcription of part of what Trump bragged to Billy Bush:
“I moved on her and I failed – I’ll admit it. I did try and fuck her, she was married. And I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said: ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.’ I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phoney tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”Christie had faced a camera back when that tape came out and said he couldn't support Trump unless he apologized. Trump didn't apologize, and Christie "didn't make the plane."
You know who else is gone who just coincidentally also denounced Trump over the "pussy-grabbing"? Jason Chaffetz of Utah. He said at the time, "I'm out. I can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for president." Strangely, "I'm out" proved prophetic in another way. Chaffetz left Congress suddenly, earlier this year. One of the most active and ambitious of House Republican conservatives ... retires mid-term. That's strange. There's been no hint that Trump/Bannon bullied him, but makes you wonder.
And look at the other battlefield casualties -- representatives of what may eventually be called "The Republican Party" again, refugees from Trumpland who finally got fed up with the wrongheadedness, the ignorance, and the bullying. I count four House Republicans, three in the last five days, who've backed out of running for reelection, four members who would have had a decided edge for reelection, but who are fed up:
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida. When she announced her retirement back in April, she made a point of insisting, in front of cameras, that she’s not leaving Congress "because of her differences" with President Trump or with the direction of the Trump administration. But note: Ros-Lehtinen has been "one of the most vocal moderate Republican critics of the White House and the conservative House Freedom Caucus. Ros-Lehtinen, who said she didn’t vote for Trump last year, has disagreed with the president on deportations, transgender rights and budget cuts, and with House Republicans on healthcare" (Miami Herald).Rep. Dave Trott (R-Mich.). Trott just announced yesterday. He's always been a so-called moderate. He's rich, from a suburban district that leans Republican, but he's had a "rocky relationship" with Trump. After Trump's equivocation about the "many fine people" who had associated themselves with neo-Fascism in Charlottesville, Trott said Trump should perhaps "stick to golf." Trott ... gone, after only two terms. He would have had the incumbent's advantage next year, unless he got primaried. (Dum-dum-DUMB)
As the Republican Party splinters, there'll be more sudden retirements. Watch for it.