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Image: Doug Ducey
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey speaks at a roundtable during an event to salute U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents in the East Room of the White House in Washington, on Aug. 20, 2018.Andrew Harnik / AP file

Trump finds yet another Republican governor worthy of his rage

Trump doesn't want governors to be loyal to the law; he expects them to be loyal to him.


A couple of weeks ago, after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) acknowledged that Joe Biden is the president-elect, the Republican governor found himself in Donald Trump's doghouse. In fact, the outgoing president suggested DeWine's political future is in doubt following the perceived betrayal.

"Who will be running for Governor of the Great State of Ohio?" the outgoing president tweeted, shortly after a Fox News segment on DeWine's acknowledgement of reality. "Will be hotly contested!"

A few days later, Trump turned his attention on Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), lashing out at the Republican governor as a "RINO" -- Republican In Name Only -- who "will never make the grade."

This week, the president turned his attention to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R), telling Fox News on Sunday that the Republican governor is "a disaster." Trump added, "He's done absolutely nothing. I'm ashamed that I endorsed him." Yesterday, the president described Kemp via Twitter as "the hapless Governor of Georgia."

And now, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, another conservative Republican and traditional ally of the White House, is on the list. Yesterday, the president apparently called the governor's cellphone while Ducey was certifying his state's election results -- which included victories for Biden and Sen.-elect Mark Kelly (D) and the governor ignored the interruption.

It was around the same time that Trump started raising the volume on his anti-Ducey criticisms. TPM noted:

"Why is he rushing to put a Democrat in office, especially when so many horrible things concerning voter fraud are being revealed at the hearing going on right now," Trump complained with his standard lies about fraud via Twitter. "@OANN What is going on with @dougducey," he continued, apparently looking to the pro-Trump media outlet to explain the governor's actions. "Republicans will long remember!" Trump also tweeted "TRUE!" in response to a tweet from an OANN personality claiming Ducey "has betrayed the people of Arizona."

In context, the "betrayal" was the governor's decision to certify his own state's election results, in accordance with Arizona law.

Indeed, Ducey published a Twitter thread of his own last night, and while it didn't explicitly reference the president or his whining, it did culminate with the Arizona Republican explaining, "That's the law. I've sworn an oath to uphold it, and I take my responsibility seriously."

And therein lies the point: Trump doesn't want governors to be loyal to the law; he expects them to be loyal to him. The president is outraged by the governors' reluctance to engage in anti-democratic corruption on his behalf.

Time will tell what, if anything, comes of these intra-party tantrums. Maybe Trump's followers will follow his lead and end the careers of these Republican governors; maybe the president's mindless outbursts will soon fade from memory.

Either way, if Trump thinks his enraged reactions to governors from his own party are doing him any favors, he's mistaken.