Imagine a hypothetical. Let's say a tiny number of progressive votes in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania went Democratic a year ago and Hillary Clinton were president right now.
Let's also say, in this hypothetical scenario, nine months into her presidency, Hillary Clinton was unpopular in ways with no historical parallel, and her political operation was the subject of an ongoing federal investigation, suspected of cooperating with a foreign adversary's espionage operation, which was launched to help put her in the White House.
Then imagine, nine months into her first term, Clinton's former campaign chairman is indicted and one of her former foreign policy advisers pleads guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with the aforementioned foreign adversary.
What do you suppose congressional Republicans would say under those circumstances?
The point, obviously, is that GOP lawmakers were confronted yesterday with exactly these circumstances, except it's Donald Trump, not Hillary Clinton, who's in office. And while it's safe to assume Republicans would have hair-on-fire reactions to Clinton World indictments, they managed to offer a collective shrug yesterday afternoon in response to Trump World indictments.
"That really isn't our job," Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Ky.) told reporters, when asked about the criminal charges brought against members of Trump's campaign team. "That's not our wheelhouse." The top Republican in the House was similarly disinterested.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Monday said charges brought against members of President Donald Trump's campaign are not going to have any effect on Congress.
"I really don't have anything to add, other than: Nothing is going to derail what we're doing in Congress," Ryan said on conservative Wisconsin talk radio station WTAQ.
What they're "doing in Congress," of course, is pursuing massive tax cuts -- which for Ryan and his allies, have to remain the party's principal focus.
If that means averting their gaze, pretending not to notice the crisis overwhelming their own party's president, so be it.