Republicans have been busily shaming themselves by defending Donald Trump's clear-cut obstruction in some of the stupidest ways imaginable, and Sunday morning was no exception. Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel appeared on Fox News Sunday, and despite a relatively easy ride from the fitfully-effective Chris Wallace, managed to further damage the party's already Jared Fogel-esque brand.
After a recent streak of toughness, Chris Wallace disappointed by repeatedly allowing McDaniel to claim, unchallenged, that former FBI Director James Comey's conversations with Trump were covered by executive privilege, which Trump waived in a number of spectacular ways.
It didn't take tough questioning, however, to get McDaniel to offer one of the more absurd political comparisons you're likely to hear, at least this hour. In an effort to cast Trump's clear directive that Comey drop the Flynn investigation as merely a voluntary suggestion, McDaniel wound up essentially proving Comey's point:
Say has version is true, and he said the president said “I hope you let this go.” Listen, I'm a mom of kids, there's a difference between saying “I hope you do your homework,” and “Go do your homework.”
This, of course, precisely the point Comey was making in his testimony, unless McDaniel's intent is to create the mother of all loopholes for kids blowing off their homework. The relationship between parent and child creates the force of a “directive” that Comey described in his one-on-one meeting, and I guarantee you that any kid trying to use this defense will find himself on the wrong end of impeachment proceedings on his behind.
McDaniel's performance also boldly illustrates the peril that Republicans now face and eagerly embrace like a mouthful of Blue Velvet. At one point, Wallace asked McDaniel if it was appropriate for the RNC to be launching political attacks on Comey, and McDaniel gave a telling, and fateful, response:
The RNC will always defend the president.
That defense even included McDaniel openly calling for an end to the Congressional investigations into Trump campaign collusion with Russia, a dicey proposition for what McDaniel calls “the political arm of the White House.” That, too, sounds an awful lot like a directive to end investigations.
As Wallace later noted, Trump's approval was at 34% before Comey's testimony, testimony which Eve Wallace admits was “very damaging” for Trump. Even if Republicans eventually decide to unhook themselves from Trump's flaming garbage wagon, things like this will stick to them like hairspray on Trump's combover. They have already defended too much, and history will not be kind to them 17 months from now.