Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

The Hill characterized it as the president spending Christmas Eve morning busily handing out lumps of coal to his critics and adversaries, plus those whom he blames for problems he’s caused himself. Truthfully, it has been a sickening and depressing display from someone who should be doing his best to spread yuletide cheer and joy.

But I’m still focused on Trump’s soon-to-be jurors in the United States Senate. For example, there’s crusty Pat Roberts from Kansas who is 82 years old and currently contemplating retirement. He’s a Republican from a very pro-Trump state but he’s in the news today quoting a Democratic president.

While the president’s stance has emboldened some conservative allies, other Republicans have grown exasperated with what they believe is a gambit that has little chance of success.

“This is my fifth shutdown,” Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) said on CNN. “I’m beyond frustrated.”

“[Former President Lyndon Johnson] said sometimes you just have to hunker down like a jackass in a hail storm and just take it. That’s about where we are,” he added.

When Senator Roberts says that’s where “we” are, he really means that’s where the Republicans in Congress are, because they seem paralyzed. Stock market trading Monday was the worst for any Christmas Eve on record, and that’s just more stinging hail for the jackasses. After all, Trump basically goaded his Treasury Secretary into causing a panic on Wall Street.

Here’s another potential juror for Trump’s impeachment trial.

Lamenting that President Donald Trump doesn’t share the foreign policy views of many Republicans, Sen. Pat Toomey said Sunday on NBC that [Defense Secretary] James Mattis‘ resignation letter “put his finger on“ those differences.

“I think General Mattis has put his finger on where the president has views that are very, very distinct from the vast majority of Republicans and probably Democrats, elected and unelected,” Toomey (R-Pa.) said of Mattis’ letter resigning from his position in Trump’s Cabinet.

“I strongly disagree with this decision to withdraw, prematurely in my view, from Syria.”

Of course, Trump responded to this kind of criticism not by reassuring people like Pat Toomey but by forcing Mattis out by New Year’s Day, a month and a half before schedule. Senator Toomey represents Pennsylvania and will have a hell of a time getting reelected in the best of scenarios, but he clearly doesn’t need convincing about Trump on the merits.

This isn’t a comprehensive list at all. I plan on throwing up these kinds of remarks as I see them, because Trump is spoiling his jury pool as quickly and thoroughly as he can.

They are standing around like jackasses in a hail storm right now, but they won’t just take this forever.  What they need is Mueller to give them the justification that they’ll need to stand up to the base of the GOP.  And that’s coming soon to a theater near you.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at