GOP must start sending president message he's losing party's support

Posted8/22/2017 1:00 AM

It's time for Republicans to pull the plug on Donald Trump. While some of his goals are the goals of the majority of Republicans in the U.S., many -- perhaps most -- of his goals and objectives are not the goals of mainstream Republicans.

This is not to suggest Republicans, especially those in federal offices, should try to have him removed or should support any impeachment effort that develops


No, Republicans -- especially office holders and party leaders -- must continue to acknowledge that Donald Trump was legitimately elected president of the United States with their help (most of them, at least) and that he has every right to act as an idiot, if that's what he wants to do.

Most Republicans, I would predict, have come close to making up their minds that they will not support Trump for re-election if he chooses to run in 2020.

There already are rumblings that campaign strategies and plans are on numerous Republican drawing boards for 2020.

That is good news. What would be even better news would be for likely prospective candidates to make their interest public so that GOP leaders and the party faithful will know that they will have viable, respected and creditable candidates in 2020.

Some of these Republican hopefuls may choose to seek office in 2018 -- particularly members of Congress who serve two- year terms and would be unwise to give up seats they already hold.

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How would an in-house Republican effort to replace Donald Trump work? How COULD it work?

There is no doubt that Republicans throughout the U.S. are frustrated by the performance of our president.

How, for example, can anyone have confidence in -- and respect for -- someone whose first task of each day is to send "tweets" on Twitter?

How can anyone have confidence in a president-elect -- and then a president -- who did such a poor job of hiring a White House and then saw several of the major staff people leave on their own accord or be fired? To be sure, Trump did not handpick each of his staff people but who did he rely on for advice and guidance, other than his own children?

Our national government has become a laughingstock around the world, even among our strongest allies, and it is certain that even those nations that have had reasons to heed U.S. warnings or cautions no longer consider us a force to be reckoned with or a force to be respected.


There is no doubt that Republican politicians and party leaders at the federal or state levels are concerned, probably more so than any have admitted, and a significant number of party leaders have spoken out already.

What they need to do -- sooner rather than later -- is band together and as one force, let Trump know that he cannot assume he will have their automatic support on all issues and that if wants and expects their support, he needs to talk with them in a civil and constructive way.

They also need to explain to him that they -- as individuals and as members of various Republican entities (state, county, Congressional caucuses, associations of governors, etc.) are not going to pledge their support to him for re-election simply because that's the way it usually works.

And they are not going to resist looking at other prospective candidates -- even seeking other prospective candidates for the Republican nomination for president in 2020.

They need to stress to him that while it has generally been assumed that a candidate elected president as a Republican is going to have the support of his or her party, and the various levels of the party hierarchy (federal, state, local) in the next election, that is not likely to be the case in 2020 because of his conduct in office during the first seven months of his administration.

Many of these discussions are likely -- certain -- to be going on in one form or another. Party leaders and activists are concerned -- but they are concerned just as much that Trump won't listen to them as they are concerned with his apparent lack of willingness to be a team player -- and even to acknowledge that there is a team and that he needs a team -- and sometimes he needs guidance.

Perhaps after seven months in office, Trump is learning that he's not the smartest person in the world and that he needs to work with legislators -- both sides -- and until he begins to act like an adult, he's not going to be treated like one.

So far, not many of us have seen that.

Ed Murnane,, of Arlington Heights, is retired president of the Illinois Civil Justice League and a former staff member for presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

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