Watch Out, Trump

New Republic’s Brian Beutler makes a good point: Once Congressional Republicans get an acceptable (to them) Supreme Court nominee, and some tax and regulatory cuts, they have vastly less need for Trump, no? They are likely to stop defending him and maybe even go on the attack. The outlines of a paranoid-but-plausible Ryan restorationist strategy now seem pretty clear: Step 1) Take up all available legislative space with tax reform, regulatory reform, the SCOTUS nominee and Ryan’s wildly unpopular grand plan to turn the bedrock Medicare program into a “premium support” (i.e. voucher) plan. No room for any controversial Trump legislation that would need the “100 days” honeymoon to push through; Step 2) Once SCOTUS and tax cuts are in hand, and Medicare voucherization bogs down or dies, declare that the country has been saved,  turn on Trump, and effectively end his presidency one way or another. **… The upshot is that if Trump wants to pass any legislation that Ryan/Pence/Priebus/Singer/Senor/Norquist don’t want (i.e. relating to immigration and trade) he’d better do it quickly, before he lets them achieve their two immediate goals. …


** — It only takes a majority to impeach. But Republicans could simply not pass anything Trump proposes, while launching investigations into his executive actions.