|Image via The Vintage Laundry|
Trump tweets create confusion on GOP plan to avert shutdown; Ryan tries to calm Republicans https://t.co/TbUmR0p5mb— montag (@buffaloon) January 18, 2018
GOP lawmakers had spent the morning trying to make sense of Trump’s early-morning tweets, which seemed to directly contradict the Republican legislative strategy by calling for the separation of a long-term extension of the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) from a short-term spending bill to keep the government open through mid-February.
While Republicans like Ryan suggested that the president was endorsing the GOP’s approach, others found the tweets inexplicable and unhelpful ahead of a possible election-year shutdown.
“We don’t have a reliable partner at the White House to negotiate with,” said Graham, entering the Capitol building on Thursday morning.
It's one thing to stage meetings between the Emperor and his legislators, preferably public, so he'll be able to refrain from using expressions like "shithole", giving him the opportunity to appear stern, thoughtful, and engaged in the legislative process, but Congressional Republicans really need to figure out ways of preventing him from actually participating, and especially through Twitter, which the entire nation at risk of being captured by whatever fascist blowhard is addressing Trump through the Fox cameras at the moment. He is too "uninformed" (General Kelly's word) and too self-involved to play any useful role other than signing the bill when it shows up at the White House and telling his base how great it is. Sometimes, as in this case, he threatens to torpedo the whole process and endanger the lives of millions of children out of pure ignorance.
If they're afraid he won't sign, in some fit of pique, and they really need to know what Trump thinks, General Kelly (who Trump seems to genuinely fear, even more than he fears Sessions and Tillerson) is a much better guide than the Twitter feed.