February 20, 2024

Fox News host confronts Republican senator over Trump’s ‘brainwashing’ of the party

Fox host Shannon Bream sparred with Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton on Sunday over whether or not the GOP had handed Joe Biden and Democrats a messaging victory by bowing to Donald Trump’s needs and killing a bipartisan piece of immigration laws negotiated in the Senate.

Mr Cotton defended Republicans together with himself who had voted in opposition to the laws, which died in the Senate this previous week after just some Republicans (together with the lead Republican negotiator for the compromise, James Lankford) crossed party strains to vote in favour of it. The transfer served to hold Mr Lankford out to dry whereas capitulating to Mr Trump and his loyalists who didn’t wish to see Republicans hand Mr Biden an election-year messaging victory.

But it additionally served to throw into query whether or not Republican elected officers are severe about addressing border security, or merely want to use the immigration system in America as a political cudgel. By killing Mr Lankford’s compromise with Democrats, Republicans successfully misplaced their shot at passing what may have been the first actual piece of laws addressing unlawful border crossings in a decade whereas additionally giving up the alternative to realize a quantity of their very own supposed priorities — together with the development of fencing alongside the US-Mexico border. The chance of such laws passing underneath a Trump presidency is way slimmer.

Democrats, in the meantime, have turned on the offence and attacked their Republican colleagues for negotiating in unhealthy religion and being unserious after they declare to wish to tackle unlawful border crossings.

“So President Biden not only gets to blame you guys about the border, but he gets to blame President Trump, who he says tanked this whole deal, saying he wants to keep it alive as a campaign issue and that basically, he’s running the GOP at this point,” mentioned Bream.

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Then, she quoted a GOP strategist and former chair of the Nevada Republican Party interviewed by Politico: “I don’t know how to explain it… It’s completely mind-boggling to me, the type of brainwashing that has been done.”

Mr Cotton’s defence on Sunday revolved round a typical Republican chorus: that the border compromise didn’t go far sufficient.

“Not all, Shannon. What President Trump saw about this bill is what most Arkansans saw about it, what all but four Republican senators saw, which is that it does not solve the problem,” mentioned Mr Cotton.

“What I want to do, what most Republican senators want to do, what President Trump wants to do is stop the border crisis.”

But Mr Cotton’s rebuttal ignores one clear truth: the chance of the Senate passing significant laws addressing immigration in any means is now even much less seemingly than earlier than, because of Republican antics which have thrown into query their capability to stay to guarantees made to their political opponents. Most laws requires 60 votes to move the higher chamber; Republicans are at present in the minority, and are nearly sure to not choose up the quantity of seats required for a fillibuster-proof majority; acquiring a majority of any variety shall be a tough combat this fall.

And Democrats are far much less more likely to be prepared to dole out political concessions to Republicans underneath a Trump presidency. The solely motive they have been prepared to this time round stemmed from the party’s want to move a international assist supplemental boosting support for Israel (amid its brutal siege of the Gaza Strip) and Ukraine, which is combating an more and more determined battle in opposition to Russian invasion forces.

Those motivating components will not be more likely to nonetheless exist underneath a hypothetical second Trump administration, particularly given the risk that Mr Trump would reduce off assist to Ukraine totally have been he to be elected president.

Over the weekend, many of those self same Republicans discovered themselves answering new, uncomfortable questions about the 2024 GOP frontrunner after Mr Trump threatened to violate Article 5 of the Nato constitution.