You Break It, You Own It

You might want to take out the tiniest violin in the world to play for the sad, sad Trump-supporting Washington staffers and consultants who are getting shunned by their peers.

Take this guy:

A senior House Republican staffer who works for a committee chairman doesn’t tell his colleagues that he likes Trump or that he has informally advised the campaign.

“Basically nobody knows what I’ve done,” said the staffer, who asked for anonymity for fear of the impact his views could have on his career. “It’s not something I talk about openly at work, because there are a lot of strong feelings, still, among the staff. People talk openly against the guy.”

He worries it might harm his reputation if colleagues discover he’s a major fan of Trump.

This whole article from The Hill is constructed around similar stories of Trump lovers hiding their enthusiasm for Trump or lamenting that they’ve been treated as pariahs for being open about it.

And the story is always the same:

Another Trump loyalist to feel that divide is Jeffrey Lord, a veteran of the Reagan administration and a Trump campaign surrogate on CNN.

Home in Pennsylvania, people who’ve seen Lord on TV stop him in the grocery store and say nice things about Trump.

When Lord attended the glitzy White House Correspondents’ Dinner, however, he got a different reception.

A Republican from a prominent think tank — Lord won’t say who — attacked Lord, telling him he’d “betrayed conservatism and Ronald Reagan” by supporting Trump.

Sen. David Perdue, a freshman Trump supporter, says “the positive reactions he gets in his home state of Georgia are unrecognizable from what he hears inside the Beltway.”

As I wrote this weekend in a piece on why Trump always seems to win his pissing matches, people inside the Beltway do not understand that virtually Trump’s entire appeal is based on their lack of credibility. And they don’t realize that they earned this lack of trust and deference.

That’s why everyone keeps blaming either the people or the media.

However, that doesn’t mean Trump is the remedy, nor does it mean it’s wrong to look askew at Trump supporting staffers and consultants who surely should know better.

You shouldn’t have empathy for anyone who feels ostracized at DC cocktail parties because they express an opinion that Trump would be an acceptable president.

It’s just that if you undermine our government with disastrous wars of choice based on lies and then grind the legislative process to a halt with obstruction and fear-mongering ridiculousness, and you don’t even issue your promises in good faith before you break them, then people will stop caring what you think or deferring to your good judgment or wanting to see you continue on in your job.

Trump might not be the right or appropriate middle finger, but a middle finger is what a lot of people want delivered right now.

So, yeah, travel outside the Beltway, and suddenly it’s not a sign of mental deficiency and apostasy to support Trump.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.