GOP shrugs with indifference in response to Trump's radical moves

Trump actually did learn a lesson: he learned that no abuse is serious enough to shake his party's indifference.
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US President Donald Trump walks after arriving on Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, April 28, 2017, following a trip to Atlanta, Georgia.SAUL LOEB / AFP - Getty Images

It was a week ago today when Senate Republicans acquitted Donald Trump in his impeachment trial, expressing great confidence that their party's president had learned a valuable lesson about the dangers of abusing the powers of his office.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), among several other GOP lawmakers, said that she believed Trump "has learned from this case" and that he would be "much more cautious in the future."

Ahem.

Over the last week, the Republican president has, among other things, ousted names on his enemies list from his administration, publicly condemned Justice Department prosecutors ahead of one of his felonious friends' sentencing proceedings, suggested a war hero who got in Trump's way should face disciplinary action from the military, lashed out at a federal judge, falsely accused Nancy Pelosi of a crime, and falsely accused Robert Mueller of a different crime.

And for good measure, the president claimed an "absolute right" yesterday to intervene with the Justice Department in cases involving his associates.

I'll go out on a limb and say that if a Democratic president were engaged in such over-the-top moves, congressional Republicans would be apoplectic. And yet, as the New York Times reported today, GOP lawmakers "were unmoved."

Asked about the developments on Tuesday, more than six Republican senators said they were not familiar with the Justice Department's position and could not comment.

"I do not have an opinion on that," Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, told reporters at his weekly news conference.

Heaven forbid.

A Washington Post report added that with his latest antics, Trump "provided fresh evidence that he feels emboldened and will say and do as he pleases."

Or put another way, those who declared that the president learned a lesson were partly right: Trump learned that his partisan acolytes in Congress will reject any attempts at accountability, and no abuse is serious enough to shake his party's indifference.