Like most arranged marriages, the blessed union between Donald Trump and the Republican Party turned stormy even before Ms. Daniels arrived on the scene. The bride and groom were barely acquainted, had little in common and truth be told, didn’t much care for each other. The engagement period featured fights, insults, accusations of infidelity and salacious hand measuring.
Outside of that, it was a match made in heaven.
So it seems a bit disingenuous that the GOP claims to be shocked, shocked to find itself in a world of hurt a year after stumbling down the aisle with their fair-haired groom. Even clashing couples are compelled to abide by that whole “for better or worse” proposition. And lately, the emphasis has been on the latter.
The upside included the honeymoon of controlling the House, Senate and Oval Office for the first time since George W. had to ask Dick Cheney for a hall pass to use the West Wing lavatory. But that blissful period had a shorter life than the Harvey Weinstein Defense Fund Kickstarter campaign.
The downside was being unmasked as the race baiting, xenophobic, misogynistic hypocritical party of the rich they’ve spent decades trying to disguise. Our current president didn’t ruin the Republican Party, he lifted the rock they were hiding under. The evangelical community even gave him a mulligan for a porn star payoff. #MeToo.
And neither do any of the maids of honor or groomsmen seem happy with the in-law situation. Everybody is supposed to be nice to them, but nobody can figure out what Jared and Ivanka do, except loot the gift table and make withering suggestions on which of their new colleagues need eyebrow sculpting. Many suspect their sole function is emotional support. They’re the White House therapy dogs.
A few who stood proudly next to Donnie John at the altar in November of 2016 are suffering from a tertiary case of bridal remorse. They regret climbing into bed with a notorious serial abuser, especially considering their entire pre-nuptial agreement consists of Mike Pence.
But most supporters are making such incredible ethical contortions they’ve probably sparked interest from recruiters at Cirque du Soleil. These tortured explanations run the gamut from claiming that Obama was worse to the charge that Hillary would have been worser.
There’s little talk of annulment; they go out of their way to excuse his unacceptable behavior and blatant ineptitude. They know how vindictive he is and shudder at the kind of alimony required to shut him up. Also, there will not be joint custody of his base.
The list of rationalizations are as recognizable to the staffs of battered women shelters as skunk scat is to urban gardeners. “He’s new at this.” “But he loves me.” “He didn’t say that and even if he did, he didn’t mean it.” “You can’t judge him by his hair.” “That’s just Donald being Donald.” “Doesn’t sweat much for a fat guy.”
Problem is, the midterm elections are looming eight short months away and the entire wedding party has to weigh whether to trot out rehearsal dinner photos to demonstrate fealty in the tradition of “love, honor and obey” or risk a primary opponent from the right with a malicious hankering to introduce them to that whole “til death do us part” part.
Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former sod farmer in New Berlin, Wisconsin.