Trump and Ryan have gone from adversaries to being as close as Blade and Striker
I have been saying for awhile, but today's Senate hearings confirmed it yet again: the Republicans have signed a blood pact with Donald Trump.
If you remember at this time last year, there was a great feeling of trepidation by the party leadership towards the Tangerine Terror. Few were willing to endorse him, many seemed to think him a threat to the party. At the Republican Convention last summer, however, the blood pact was signed. The Republicans realized that their philosophy of rapacious capitalism was not going to win them the White House, and that Trump's nationalism (don't you dare call it populism) would be their ticket to ride.
So we had the insane scenes of Ted Cruz, a man whose father and wife Trump had grievously insulted, carrying water for the Donald. In fact, when faced by evidence of Trump's wrongdoing in regards to Russia and Michael Flynn today, he preferred to grill Sally Yates about her unwillingness to enforce the Muslim ban. Trump insulted Lindsey Graham, and even gave out his private phone number, so people would harass him. He attacked John McCain over his years in a POW camp. While McCain has sometimes been critical of Trump, he still consistently votes with him. Reince Priebus went from having a testy relationship with Trump to being one of his biggest toadies. For the most part the conflict between Paul Ryan and Trump has disappeared.
Both Trump and the Republican leadership cannot survive without each other. Look at France and Le Pen and see what happens to a nationalist authoritarian when they don't have the support of a conservative party. Look at the 2012 election and see what happens when a Republican runs on supply-side economics. Their current relationship is one of mutual dependency. The Republicans need Trump to rubber stamp their horrible agenda, from destroying health care to ripping apart environmental legislation. Trump needs the Republicans to cover for this grifting.
He has not divested from his businesses. He takes many trips to his properties where the government essentially pays him for protecting him. He has brought his awful family in to feed at the trough. He has extremely troubling connections to the Russian government. While Trump is there to be the front man for conservatives, they in turn are honor-bound by their blood pact to defend him. They did their job today, and will continue to do so. Anyone who thinks that there's a smoking gun that will someone get Republicans to go along with impeachment is out of their minds. Without a win in 2018 for the Democrats, Trump could indeed shoot someone on Fifth Avenue without consequence.