When Democrats talk to Republicans here in D.C., they rarely use gentle tones. The bitter feud between the two major parties was made no better by the vicious 2016 election and the Democrats' electoral collapse. Accordingly, ever since Inauguration Day, Dems have flung relentless curses at their political opponents – even if decorum has kept most of the profanity muted.
But now from Capitol Hill to K Street, an unexpectedly gentler call is echoing. It is faint, but day by day, more Congressional Democrats are pleading with any Republican who will listen: Help us.
Help with what, you say? The Dems want help getting a net around the Trump administration and this whole nasty mess about the Russians meddling in the election. They want GOPers to join their campaign for an independent counsel to oversee the FBI investigation. They want their colleagues across the aisle to let the president know he will effectively be a man without a party if he does not cooperate with the probe. In short, in political terms, they want the moon and the stars.
And they might – just might – get it.
With each new revelation (and denial by Team Trump), you can feel the tremors rattling through Republicanland. Sure, they enjoy holding the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House, and they know that gives their party immense power. But they also know the punishment from voters could be extremely damaging if they are perceived to be helping cover up some screwy cloak-and-dagger scheme.
Mind you, I said, “perceived.” We have no proof yet that the Trump group, writ large, did anything wrong. But the drumbeat for a fair, open and thorough investigation is getting louder and could soon be deafening – drowning out all attempts by the president or his party to talk about anything else. And let’s face it, President Trump has not exactly charmed his own party’s rank and file.
Given those circumstances, yeah – some Republicans are showing some inclination to listen to the Democratic pleas. And if enough do, this storm may not easily pass the White House – but could rage and rage.