The Corner

White House

You Would Have More Luck Trying to ‘Rein In’ a Hurricane

(Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

Politico: “Many Congressional Republicans are done trying to defend President Donald Trump after he said he was the victim of a lynching on Tuesday — but that doesn’t mean they’re trying to rein him in, either.”

Former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus could not “rein in” Trump’s words, nor could John Kelly, nor can Mick Mulvaney. Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and Kellyanne Conway have not been able to limit the president’s tendency to lash out with the most incendiary rhetoric he can imagine. Melania Trump’s call to “be best” has clearly had no impact on how Trump tweets.

If Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell had his druthers, Trump would make different decisions and say different things, but obviously the president does not check with McConnell before blurting out what’s on his mind. Judging from the account of former secretary of defense James Mattis’ speechwriter, Guy Snodgrass, Mattis could not get the president to even pay sustained attention in briefings, much less alter the way he speaks about U.S. allies. And while many seem to believe the relationship between President Trump and Fox News is symbiotic, Trump will hop onto Twitter and complain about any host or guest that he deems excessively critical of him.

Furious criticism from the media, Congressional Democrats, Democratic presidential candidates, and others has not altered the president’s rhetoric. Republican loss of their House majority did not spur any discernible change in the president’s tone or attitude after the midterm elections. The real threat of impeachment by the House has not changed the way the president speaks, thinks, or behaves.

None of these individuals or institutions have managed to even come close to “reining in” what President Trump says. What on God’s green earth does Politico think the average congressional Republican is going to be able to do about it?

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