Republicans Don’t Know What Trump Wants and Nobody Trusts Him

This is an extraordinary statement by the Republican Senate majority leader about the Republican president:

Less than two days before a potential government shutdown and McConnell doesn’t know Trump’s position on a legislative fix for DACA.

Politico reports that Trump is in the midst of a credibility crisis on the hill.

The now-weeklong “shithole”-countries controversy is more than another Trump flap blown out of proportion by cable TV and the Trump-obsessed press corps.

It demonstrates once again to Democrats — and Republicans — that Trump is an unpredictable, unreliable partner who cannot be trusted to keep his word. To lawmakers on Capitol Hill, there may be no greater crime, since all members and senators know their word is their bond. Once you lose that credibility, you’re done as a deal-maker.

Who saw that coming? One person who did was Jill Lawrence. She wrote an article back in April titled, “Trump is a nightmare negotiating partner.”

The only constants with Trump are unpredictability and expediency. These are not, suffice it to say, the traditional cornerstones of getting to yes in politics. The real pillars are trust and discretion…

Fragmentation in Washington, between Republicans and Democrats but also among Republicans themselves, means we’re in for months of intensive negotiation to get anything done…

But no amount of talking will get anyone anywhere if members of Congress can’t trust Trump to stick to a position, forgo revenge and threats, and demonstrate convincingly that he’s interested in more than his own polling, branding and wealth.

I’m also reminded of the fact that one of the things Trump did regularly on the campaign trail was to quote the poem “The Snake” by Oscar Brown, Jr. and suggest that it is those dangerous immigrants that will bite us. But at the end of this compilation, Brown’s daughter Africa suggests who her father would say is the snake.

In other words, Trump’s use of “The Snake” was a classic case of projection.

I’ve pretty much given up hope that Republican congressional leaders will ever admit that trying to work with Trump is like taking in that snake. It seems that no matter how many times he bites one of them, they always come back for more because they are terrified that the president controls what is left of the Republican Party’s base. If that ever changes, the bottom falls out of the whole enterprise.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.