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Trump foments the Republican civil war of 2017


Rex Tillerson, the secretary of State, reportedly believes President Donald Trump is a moron.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has now warned the nation that the Republican president could start World War III.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has been repeatedly insulted and attacked by the Republican commander in chief while he defends without fear or favor what he believes is right for our country — as he always has and always will. 

{mosads}Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the GOP majority leader, has faced repeated attacks, insults and threats from the Republican president of the United States.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who has almost always voted with the Republican president in the Senate, has written a book harshly criticizing the Republican president who now seeks to politically destroy him.

Stephen Bannon, who is bidding to become the most powerful Republican in the nation, has declared political war against the GOP leaders in Congress and seeks to unseat a growing number of Republicans in the Senate and House who violate what he considers to be the proper party line.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who has courageously voted against Republican health-care plans that many observers believe would gravely damage the national health-care system, is considering leaving the Senate and running for governor, which would send shock waves through the Senate and endanger GOP control of what was formerly called the great deliberative body.

Former Republican Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush have spoken out forcefully for racial unity and justice after the current Republican president made bitterly divisive comments about the recent march of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va.

While Republican President Trump has called Republican-led congressional investigations of Russian attacks against American democracy a hoax, and compared the CIA to Nazi Germany, virtually every GOP member of the Senate and House has publicly disagreed with or repudiated Trump’s refusal to acknowledge and condemn the Russian attacks against our country’s democracy.

While a long and growing list of leading Republican and conservative opinion writers have harshly condemned the Republican president with one stinging rebuke after another, that Republican president continues his attack against the free press and what he falsely calls fake news, which includes the views of many leading conservative and Republican columnists of the nation.

In March, the Wall Street Journal editorial board, which can fairly be called a respected bastion of conservative Republican thought, harshly challenged the credibility of the current Republican president and charged that his “falsehoods are eroding public trust at home and abroad.”

Former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough, host of “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, has regularly offered cogent and biting critiques of Trump as a principled conservative on his show. A long list of leading corporate CEOs, many of them lifetime Republicans, resigned from Trump’s official business commissions after his divisive comments about Charlottesville.

At this moment, Stephen Bannon is reportedly trying to organize a series of primary challenges to defeat prominent Republicans who now hold elective office. Many Republicans privately believe Bannon is waging an ideological war against the principles of Republicanism that they have held dear for generations.

While official Washington is now consumed by the strange idiosyncrasies of the Republican president and the bitter national divisions he appears determined to create and exacerbate, an increasing and ominous number of respected Republican legislators are deciding to retire from their posts and end their service in Washington.

While the Republican president has not achieved one single victory on any part of his legislative program in the Republican Congress, the Republican president has reportedly asked Republican donors to stop giving support to Republican legislators who meet with his disapproval.

While the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee publicly warns about the danger of the Republican president causing World War III, there are persistent reports of back channels created among leading military commanders and senior Republican legislators designed to prevent or minimize the damage that they fear the Republican president will create for the security of our country.

If the case being offered is that the current Republican president is unfit for the office he holds, the witnesses for this case, presented here, are some of the most distinguished and respected Republicans and conservatives in the land.

While our public discourse is not immune to overstatement and hyperbole, it is neither overstatement nor hyperbole to suggest that the current Republican president appears determined to bitterly divide Americans against each other, and in the process, he is bitterly dividing Republicans against each other as well.

Someday, historians will write about the GOP civil war that began in 2017 and appears destined to continue through 2018 and beyond.

Republican patriots, Democratic patriots and politically independent patriots might say a prayer for the future of our country, until the matters discussed here are resolved.

Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), then-chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. in international financial law from the London School of Economics. 

Tags Bob Corker Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign Jeff Flake John McCain John McCain Mitch McConnell Mitch McConnell Political parties in the United States Republican Party Rex Tillerson Steve Bannon Susan Collins

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