Remember when Republicans used to make fun of Barack Obama for supposedly going on an “apology tour” of foreign countries? This argument was profoundly silly to rational people, which is why it was so popular among right-wingers. The “apology tour” nonsense was little more than an effort to gin up as much hatred as possible against Obama, to suggest that he didn’t believe in “American exceptionalism,” to brand him a skeptic about our country’s accomplishments.
If the 2018 midterm elections go disastrously for Republicans, we’ll bear witness to yet one more example of the right’s hypocrisy, as Republicans freshly ousted from their House and Senate seats will go on an actual “apology tour” of sorts, expressing regret for Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 GOP primary and his subsequent Electoral College victory. Those former Republican elected officials will finally acknowledge an obvious truth to the rest of us: that Trump was the destroyer disguised as savior for the GOP, and someone wholly unqualified to lead the country.
Remember how long it look for Republicans to acknowledge that George W. Bush was more trouble than he was worth? After the GOP’s epic losses in the 2006 midterms, Republicans essentially conceded that Bush was indeed a disaster:
Two consecutive elections — 2002 and 2004 — of Republican gains in both the House and Senate had caused some GOP members to think of themselves as almost bulletproof. With a perception that they didn’t need to look over their shoulders at their districts on tough votes, last fall’s loss of six Senate seats and 30 House seats, and the majorities they supported, changed all of that.
Now, the unrelenting bad news from Iraq has left the president in less-than-stellar standing with many Republicans on Capitol Hill.
Add to that the feeling among many Republicans that had Bush dumped Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld before the election, they would have been able to hold on to the majority — albeit diminished by scandals — and the commander-in-chief is left in low regard within the GOP cloakrooms…
Simply put, we might be entering into a two-year period in which only the president’s veto pen keeps him relevant on domestic issues, and his foreign policy effectively begins and ends with Iraq.
If Republicans lose their House and/or Senate majority because of Trump’s recklessness, they will take to the airwaves in the days following the 2018 midterms to lament the outcome of the 2015-16 primary campaign that made him the party’s leader in the first place. If both houses of Congress change hands, some newly unemployed Republicans may even call upon the new Democratic majority to go ahead and push for the impeachment and removal of Trump. After all, they will reason, what good did he ever do for them?
It will be morbidly amusing to see former House and Senate Republicans effectively join the Indivisible movement in the aftermath of the midterms, another example of Republicans doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. It was just fine for Trump to abuse minorities and Muslims. It was OK for him to denigrate our democracy and antagonize such countries as North Korea. However, causing the GOP to cede control of Congress? That’s just contemptible!
Honesty may come later for Republicans. For now, they’ll continue to pretend that the worst may not come.
Republicans are very good at pretending the worst may not come. A dozen years ago, they didn’t think the fallout from Bush’s mishandling of Iraq, or Social Security “reform,” or the Terri Schiavo case, or post-Katrina New Orleans would really hurt them…until the pain became unbearable. Then and only then did Republicans effectively concede that the left was right about Bush all along. Don’t be surprised if history repeats itself.