Trump’s Idea of Loyalty Is Blind Obedience or Suffer

 

By now it is evident that the secondary requirement, after being a proficient liar, for employment in Trump’s administration is unwavering loyalty; not to the Constitution, not to America, not to the Republican Party, but to Trump. It is just what tyrants with low self esteem demand as a matter of course whether it was Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Mussolini, Saddam Hussein or Russia’s Vladimir Putin; fealty to the dictator is demanded and anything less is grounds for extermination.

Although Trump hasn’t yet put out a hit list on people he regards as disloyal, at least not that anyone knows about, he has no qualms terminating his allies and punishing his supporters if he even suspects they are being disloyal. And it is noteworthy that in Trump’s tiny mind, disloyalty entails a wide range of actions unique to tyrants.

A normal person would expect someone that demands loyalty without question would reciprocate naturally, but that is not and never has been Trump. As an accomplished hypocrite, Trump refuses to reciprocate loyalty and despite his devoted acolytes and the preponderance of congressional Republicans staying loyal to the Trump, the Oval Office cretin is lashing out at members of his own staff and party like a vindictive spoiled child. Of course members of his staff are powerless to do anything, but one seriously wonders when the GOP cowards will start pushing back against what any sane person should call a traitor to the Republican movement; many Americans know Trump is a traitor to America.

Trump’s demand for loyalty is, at this point, legend. He demanded it from former FBI Director James Comey and fired him for doing his job that Trump regarded as disloyalty. Over the past two weeks he has lashed out at his own attorney general for doing his job and Sessions’ termination is likely a foregone conclusion at this point. Regardless Trump’s lies about why he fired Sean Spicer and Reince Preibus, it was down to Trump’s twisted belief their disloyalty was manifest in “not protecting their president.” And according to an article in the Washington Post, Trump describes himself as a “loyalty freak.” It is a truly freakish idea that entails a simple-minded and black-and-white interpretation of the concept: you are either with him or you are his enemy. There is no such thing as in between. And “no in between” means blind obedience or else. As an aside, all of Trump’s “private sector” employees have been forced to sign a non-disclosure document pledging to never talk about Trump, his family, or his business; doing so means immediate and summary termination.

Although Trump is powerless to terminate members of Congress, that doesn’t mean his evil mind can’t devise a means of punishing members for what he regards as disloyalty. In the most recent instance, Senate Republicans are disloyal for not succeeding in taking healthcare from 20 to 30 million Americans and Trump reacted with a swift threat for disloyalty.

When Trump threatened to punish the American people and the insurance industry because Senate Republicans failed to deliver a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act repeal and replacement, it was a vicious threat, but Trump is a vicious beast. However, when he threatened to withhold the employer’s portion of members of Congress’ healthcare insurance, both Republicans and Democrats and their staffs, he revealed that he has no loyalty whatsoever to the members of his own party who were taking a politically dangerous gamble to show their loyalty to Trump and take healthcare away from millions of their constituents. And, it is a serious gamble for Republicans according to a recent poll showing the GOP replacement farce is the single most unpopular piece of legislation in several decades. In fact, there is not one state that supports the GOP legislation, and yet Republicans loyal to Trump are pushing it on his behalf.

What is curious is that Republicans are not enraged that Trump is threatening them for perceived disloyalty and is going to punish them and their constituents as well as the insurance industry. One Democrat, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), responded to Trump’s threat in dumb Don’s favorite form of communication, Twitter. Murphy tweeted:

This is a clear threat to Congress: pass my health bill or as punishment I will end health care for you, your staff, & your constituents.

No matter how one looks at this issue, Trump is threatening members of Congress, including loyal members of his own party, for what he regards as disloyalty; or in Trump’s mind disobedience. It still boggles the mind that Republicans are not in open revolt against Trump and one would think that these idiots that call themselves the “real Americans” would take umbrage that despite their unwavering loyalty to a worthless malcontent for the sake of the party, they are being publicly threatened by a two-bit reality television celebrity. This is particularly true when an overwhelming majority of the population is adamantly opposed to the GOP’s healthcare “reform.” Republicans were not looking forward to facing their constituents if the repeal effort reached fruition, but out of loyalty to Trump and the Party they laid their political careers on the line; and then got publicly threatened with losing their healthcare in the process.

No real president would ever think to publicly threaten to punish members of Congress, especially his own party’s members and their families; but then again no president has ever defined loyalty as “you’re either with me or you’re my sworn enemy.” If Republicans were half the “real Americans” they claim to be, they would begin impeachment proceedings immediately because if Trump is willing to eliminate their healthcare over a failed vote, there is no telling what actions he will take when Republicans oppose any of his bonehead ideas.

Threats Failed to Sway Heroic Women Who Saved Healthcare

After the late-night defeat of the GOP’s attempt to take healthcare away from who knows how many millions of Americans, there is a fair amount of praise being heaped on Senator John McCain. If one listens to the typically patriarchal platitudes for a male – courageous, committed, maverick etc – it might appear that he was the only Republican interested in saving the lives of many of those untold millions who still have healthcare, for now. McCain’s vote was important, but no more important than, and certainly not as courageous as, those of two female Republican Senators.

What is woefully being under reported is the heroic action of two Republicans, Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and it is down to sexism. Their votes to preserve healthcare for millions of Americans did not come without extreme pressure from Trump that makes their break from the cruel Republicans much more courageous, brave, and “mavericky” than John McCain’s. As an aside, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that McCain’s no vote was a vindictive and pointed “f*ck you” to Trump for his comments last year disparaging Senator McCain’s military service record including being held captive in a North Vietnamese prisoner of war camp for five years.

So as it turns out, the two Republican ladies drew the wrath of more than just the bully in the Oval Office for not toeing the party line and voting with their consciences according to their regard for Americans they were elected to represent.

Last week this “really big” man representing Texas in the House of Representatives, Blake Farenthold, lashed out at the Senate’s lethargic effort to repeal “Obamacare” and leaving tens-of-millions without healthcare.  But instead of blaming the deliberately secretive process, massive outcry from the public, and cruelty to millions of Americans, he naturally attacked Republican women.

According to this “extraordinarily big” man, if those “repugnant” female Republican senators were men, they would be facing him in a gunfight out in front of the capital. That is the kind of pressure Senators Collins and Murkowski faced and yet they still did what only one Republican man had the “courage” to do; serve the people and preserve medical care for tens-of-millions of Americans.

What really incited “big” Texas Farenthold to want a shootout with other Republicans was his claim that any Republican senator who failed to vote with the barbarians was breaking their 2016 campaign pledge. Farenthold said:

[It was] “repugnant that the Senate does not have the courage to do some of the things that every Republican in the Senate promised to do. Some of the people that are opposed to this … are some female senators from the northeast. If it was a guy from south Texas I might ask them to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style.

Something Farenthold may not be aware of is that not only is the state represented by Murkowski not in the Northeast,  no Republican in the House or Senate, including himself, or the punk in the White House, campaigned on a promise to take healthcare away from upwards of 30 million Americans – they just didn’t.

And in Murkowski and Collins’ cases, they certainly didn’t campaign on stripping healthcare access and reproductive choice from low-income women; something that has always been a major evangelical goal behind all seven years of the Republican Obamacare repeal effort.

Ms. Murkowski’s no vote was particularly courageous after being publicly harassed and threatened by Trump and his sycophant running the Interior Department, Ryan Zinke. The top man at Interior threatened Murkowski that the Trump administration would withhold funding for infrastructure and energy-related projects important to Alaska if she didn’t vote the way Trump demanded. The message from the Trump administration was that there would be punitive retribution against Alaska residents for Senator Murkowski’s vote against the GOP’s health care repeal legislation.

Predictably, the tough guys in the GOP would not speak up in Ms. Murkowski’s defense for voting her conscience, or call out Trump for what any sane person would deem bullying, “extortion” and “blackmail.” Where the men in the Republican ranks failed, Democrats in the House stepped up and are seeking to initiate an investigation and lawsuit into Trump’s “hit man” Zinke for calling Senator Murkowski to warn her that the administration’s support for energy projects in the state are now at risk because she failed to vote as ordered.

The House Democrats led by Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources committee, were joined by a pair of conservation groups, the Center for Western Priorities and the Western Values Project, to alert Zinke and Trump that they “crossed the line” with their threats of political blackmail. Representative Grijalva said:

Running a department of the federal government means you serve the American people as a protector of their rights and freedoms. It doesn’t mean you serve the president as a bag man for his political vendettas. Threatening to punish your rivals as political blackmail is something we’d see from the Kremlin.

The Western Values Project filed a “Freedom of Information Act” request seeking all internal documents related to Secretary Zinke’s calls to Murkowski as well as any others that he made to other GOP senators for the purpose of “political blackmail.” The executive director of the Center for Western Priorities, Jennifer Rokala, said in a statement:

Ryan Zinke is revealing himself as Trump’s hitman. He’s now threatening to hold public lands and energy policy hostage over a health care bill. This is the U.S. government, not the Corleone family.”

Plenty of Americans would argue that under Trump the government is a veritable mafia crime organization, except that typically organized criminals would not target women for attacks, blackmail or extortion, or Aaron Burr-style gunfights.

It is notable that John McCain did the right thing in voting to preserve healthcare for tens-of-millions of Americans, but it was not heroic or courageous as no small number of media outlets claim. However, the two Republican women, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins were courageous when one considers the undue pressure and threats they absorbed from the thugs in the Trump administration, and the veiled threat from the “big man” from Texas. What reveals the level of cowardice, and patriarchy, in the Republican ranks was a gross lack of support for two of their own who voted like no small number of Republicans wanted to, but were too terrified of the punk in the White House and his thugs.

If the media has to hand out praise to any Republican for stepping up for the people they represent, then they have to first acknowledge the courage of two Republican Senators for standing up to the bully in the White House and voting according to their conscience; something only two Republican women were willing to do under duress and threat and something Senator McCain did not have to endure.