Why are so many Republican officials working so hard to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation into Russia's influence in the 2016 presidential election and related matters, if they are not concerned that President Trump is in deep trouble?
That question was posed in this editorial in the Newark, NJ Star-Ledger, with the headline "Smearing Mueller Shows the Depths of Republican Fear." I'm not going to detail all of the points made in the editorial -- you can read it yourself, and I do think it very effectively raises valid questions and puts things into perspective pretty well.
But there was one passage near the end that I just had to pass on. After pointing out that Mueller, a Republican, was appointed by a Republican who was appointed by a Republican who was appointed by Trump, the editorial said:
"But this is no longer entertaining. It speaks of the irrationality that has poisoned the GOP. It is dangerous because the system of law and the credibility of our chief law enforcement agency are supposed to be buoyed and not rhetorically destroyed by a president and the chew toy he calls his political party."
I believe that's an apt description of what Trump thinks of the GOP. After all, he was a Democrat at one time. As a businessperson, he contributed to numerous Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton, whom he nicknamed "Crooked Hillary" during the campaign.
What Trump is, clearly, is an opportunist -- neither a Democrat nor a Republican by ideology. His ideology is Trumpism, one designed to feed his own ego and ideas of grandeur. No, Trump simply chose the Republican party because that's where he saw the greatest opportunity for success. He's played the GOP like a concert violinist plays a Stradivarius, and even his former Republican enemies, like South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham ("He beat me like a drum,") are sucking up to him.
Hey, Senator...how does it feel to be Donald Trump's chew toy -- in addition to being beaten like a drum?
But that's not the end of the story that will play out in 2018, which could be even more tumultuous than 2017. As the Star-Ledger's editorial concluded, "Trump's people, clearly cornered, are moving the game. It's up to truth-tellers not to let it happen, because the biggest questions are still unanswered."
Robert Mueller will be the truth-teller in chief. Let's just see where his investigation leads. And then we'll see who ends up being a chew toy.