Weeks before the Inauguration of Donald Trump, I was already are experiencing controversy fatigue until the first day of the GOP Congress. Consider the almost daily brush fires kindled by Tweets and walk-by press conferences. The President–elect is rooting for Putin against his own Country, picks a fight with the Chinese, suggests that sensitive documents be hand-written and delivered because no computer is safe, attacks his own intelligence agencies, falsely claims job creations… the list goes on.
However, the Congressional crash and burn over gutting the ability of independent investigations of ethical violations was a bit of a curve ball. Up to that point, everything Trump did was consistent with someone who cared little about facts, ethics, or the effects of his Tweets. Then came the Tweet questioning the timing (not the propriety or the process) of the late night, closed door, anonymous Congressional vote. The next day, the vote was reversed. Of course the Tweet had less to do with the reversal than the massive flooding of complaints by citizens, but Trump deserves some credit for the momentum to reverse the scurrilous vote.
Trump has more apparent and hidden conflicts of interests than any President in modern times, but that just makes the whole episode even more interesting. The undercurrent of the ethics office vote could be a harbinger of a very ambivalent relationship with the GOP Congress. No doubt some Congressmen looked at the lack of transparency and obvious conflicts of interests of Trump – failing to produce tax returns, failing to identify assets, failing to establish a blind trust, taking money from foreign governments for rentals of his D.C. hotel, etc., etc. – and figured they could also get in on the action. The ethics office was a major obstacle to unfettered corruption, so in a manner revealing the true priorities of the GOP their first official act was to meet behind closed doors, literally in the middle of the night and cast an anonymous vote to end independent ethics investigations.
GOP Congressmen obviously thought that Trump would look out for them. They learned very quickly that Trump only looks out for himself. Well, maybe for Putin too, but that’s it.