So You’re A Republican Congressman Who Planned On Using The Debt Ceiling As Political Leverage

Rough day, buddy. Rough day.

Wednesday started out so promising. After your perfunctory daily blood sacrifice to Mammon, you attended a pancake prayer breakfast with your turtle friend Mitch and a dozen of his closest colleagues. “We’ve got a tough road ahead of us this September,” he intoned, jowls all aquiver, “But by gum, I’ve lubricated tax reform with our debt ceiling threat. We’ll be able to slide it through Congress to the president’s desk before month’s end.”

What callow youths you were this morning.

Apropos of nothing, the tangerine tyrant who roosts in your party like an obligate brood parasite smacked your best laid schemes upside the head.

President Trump, a man of few allegiances who seized control of the Republican Party in a hostile takeover, suddenly aligned himself with Democrats Wednesday on a series of key fiscal issues — and even gave a lift to North Dakota’s embattled Democratic U.S. senator.

Trump confounded his own party’s leaders when he cut a deal with Democratic congressional leaders — “Chuck and Nancy,” as the president informally referred to them — on a short-term plan to fund the government and raise its borrowing limit this month.

Trump’s surprise stance upended sensitive negotiations over the debt ceiling and other crucial policy areas this fall and further imperiled his already tenuous relationships with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.).

The episode is the latest turn in Trump’s extraordinary separation from his own party, as he distances himself to deflect blame for what has been a year of gridlock and missed opportunities for Republicans on Capitol Hill. It follows a summer of presidential stewing over McConnell and Ryan, both of whom Trump views as insufficiently loyal and weak in executing his agenda, according to his advisers.

After all you’ve done for the man, this is how he repays you and your party. After. All. You’ve. Done. You swallowed every pang of conscience, silenced every klaxon, stopped up your ears with candle wax so your party could take total control of Washington. You looked the other way when he groped other men’s mothers and daughters. You put up with his inane, embarrassing, counter-democratic blather on Twitter. You feebly defended his obstructions of justice. You turned off your brain and bowed so low your nose scraped the ground to get your way. For nothing. This cuckoo has offered only searing disappointment. And now he collaborates with the enemy?!

You realize you’ve grit your teeth so hard you’ve cracked a tooth. You wonder — and as you wonder, you know you’re not the only Republican congressman to be wondering this — has the time come for a 46th President of the United States? What do you need to do to get there? You hope Mike’s up for the job.

(Year Zero/Day Two Hundred and Thirty)