(CNN) As President Donald Trump continues to live out his revenge fantasies against his critics, the reactions are predictable: Democratic outrage and Republican evasion.
No matter. The President understands all too well exactly where he is: in charge of a Republican Party afraid of his vindictive and unrestrained attacks, and unafraid of critical Democrats who could not remove him from office.
Trump unbound is not a pretty thing. Craven and vindictive firings of his putative enemies, blatant signals to the Department of Justice that it’s his way or the highway. His fearful minions salute; his critics punch jello.
The result? He has bullied the political system into paralysis on both sides of the aisle. It’s not complicated. No Democrat would try to repeat the exercise of impeachment now. They’ve used their strongest weapon and the target remains intact, perhaps even strengthened.
And that’s why Republicans cower, at least most of them.
A fun sampling of GOP answers when asked about the potential pardon of Roger Stone
, courtesy of my colleague Manu Raju:
- Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina: “I’m not the President.”
- Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana: “I’m not somebody who is going to tell the President what to do.”
- Sen. John Cornyn of Texas: “Well, he hasn’t said he would do it, so we’ll have to wait until that happens, if it happens.”
As for Democrats, there’s the unvarnished “the President has no respect for the rule of law” from the House speaker and countless others. But they’ve barked up th