President Obama’s belated move against Russian interference in the USA election by expelling diplomats is deemed to have been undercut by Putin’s oily and scathing non-retaliation in anticipation of Trump’s coming. In reality it has thrown a spanner into the heart of the Republican Party, traditionally very anti-Russian, which it’ll be more than interesting to watch play out.
Everyone is playing games. Putin wants a Trump friendship since Trump is perceived to be anti-NATO/EU and thus won’t kick up a fuss if Putin makes further moves in eastern Europe and consolidates gains in the Ukraine/Crimea. Trump can’t admit the Russians interfered with the election since it would tarnish his glorious personal victory. But it’ll be harder to deny given that the Germans are now on high alert with evidence of Russian cyber interference in preparation for their forthcoming elections.
Obama has pushed Trump into a corner since any moves to forge closer ties with Russia is likely to meet fierce resistance from a bipartisan coalition in Congress, who have promised even tougher measures against Russia, with or without the President’s approval. Republican senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio would certainly go for an all-out confrontation with Trump. One commentator even went so far as to say that if Trump went too far off message that the Republican leadership (Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell) could get him impeached (no shortage of smoking guns), which would put the more traditionally conservative Mike Pence in situ in the White House. So it wouldn’t even need a Democratic majority after the 2018 elections.
Trump’s relationships with senior Republicans:
Paul Ryan – an irritable relationship at best with a composite Mars Saturn, it is sagging disastrously through 2017 with tr Neptune square the composite Saturn Mars from April 2017 to late 2019; with indications of a stand-off in 2018 as tr Uranus is conjunct the composite Venus, and opposing Neptune in 2019.
Mitch McConnell – marginally friendlier than Ryan, but power-struggling and not on a common agenda. Again 2018 looks like cutlery-in-the-air time with tr Uranus conjunct the composite Sun and then Venus; with a spat earlier in late April/May, November 2017.
Mike Pence, VP – simmering hostility with a composite Mars Pluto; suspicion and doubt from composite Sun trine Saturn Neptune; differing agendas from Uranus square Saturn Neptune. A high-anxiety, confused 2017 with tr Pluto square the composite Saturn/Neptune midpoint, worsening in 2018 with perhaps scandals emerging into an even more chaotic phase between them; with emotional outbursts and distancing from tr Uranus square the composite Venus.
John McCain – outright dislike and power-struggling with a Saturn (Uranus) opposition Jupiter square Mars Mercury Venus; and a controlling Sun Pluto conjunction. Will be jousting through 2017 with tr Pluto sextile the game-playing Jupiter; with some low blows from tr Saturn square the composite Neptune. And worsening dramatically in 2018 with tr Pluto trine Saturn and tr Uranus square the composite Sun.
Lindsey Graham – again active dislike and hostility from a composite Mars Pluto; and a disruptive Uranus conjunct Sun, Venus and square Neptune. Will sag through 2017, becoming even more pessimistic about damage in 2018.
Marco Rubio – aggravated through 2017/18 with tr Pluto sextile the composite Mars; and undermined with tr Neptune square their composite Sun through 2017/18.
Mitt Romney – again 2018 is highlighted as high-noon time; with tr Uranus conjunct the composite Venus (which is conjunct Sun square Pluto) and tr Uranus square Saturn.
A President at war with his own party? In politics there are always egos clashing but the Republicans have landed themselves with an enormous problem in Trump. And the Democrats won’t be shy about pointing out that the GOP own him and his nominees – and all their back stories. If it wasn’t so important it would be blackly funny and good spectator sport.