People really thought bombastic promises that Donald Trump made during the campaign trail of 2016 presidential elections would be meticulously enacted and the businessman-turned-politician would effectively rise to the dignity of the presidency. But the chaos in his administration after the tenure of four-long years in power has been an eminent showdown of the outgoing president's general nastiness and divisiveness.

And probably, this may have been a major reason why netizens weren't shocked when veteran journalist Carl Bernstein, who exposed the Watergate Scandal against Richard Nixon, in a trio of tweets late Sunday, reported that 21 Republican members of the US Senate have repeatedly if not publicly expressed "extreme contempt" for Trump, and went on to name them. In an earlier CNN appearance, he had put the number at 15 who "disdain or even despise" a president from their own party. (There are 53 Republicans in the Senate as presently constituted.)


"I'm not violating any pledge of journalistic confidentially in reporting this: 21 Republican Sens–in convos w/ colleagues, staff members, lobbyists, W. House aides–have repeatedly expressed extreme contempt for Trump and his fitness to be POTUS," he wrote.

"The 21 GOP Senators who have privately expressed their disdain for Trump are: Portman, Alexander, Sasse, Blunt, Collins, Murkowski, Cornyn, Thune, Romney, Braun, Young, Tim Scott, Rick Scott, Rubio, Grassley, Burr, Toomey, McSally, Moran, Roberts, Shelby."

"With few exceptions, their craven public silence has helped enable Trump's most grievous conduct—including undermining and discrediting the US the electoral system," Bernstein said further in the Twitter thread.

Trump has failed

Why people who hate him stick to him?

Not only the political dismissals but also his own aides in the White House have had to face troubles owing to the president's lies regarding the information about the pandemic surge in the country, the economic fallout related to the covid-induced lockdown, a racial crisis exacerbated by divisive rhetoric and other reasons.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters during a news conference inside the James S. Brady Briefing Room at the White House September 27, 2020 in Washington, U.S. REUTERS/Ken Cedeno
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters during a news conference inside the James S. Brady Briefing Room at the White House September 27, 2020 in Washington, U.S. REUTERS/Ken CedenoReuters

But most of them even planned to support him for the second time. What makes one who thinks things are going badly—stick around? In the simplest terms, those who are abandoning Trump are doing so because they place most of the blame for the state of the country on the president. Those who are sticking with him, despite their expressions of discomfort with him personally, are driven by even deeper scorn for the president's criticism. Even they are dismayed by the chaos, the tweeting, his general nastiness, and divisiveness.

Senators Lindsey Graham and Mitt Romney are clear examples of the above. Both Graham and Romney had presidential ambitions; Graham staged his own short-lived presidential campaign in 2015. Both men were loyal members of the Republican Party, skeptical of the party's radical and conspiratorial fringe. Both men reacted to the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump with real anger, and no wonder: In different ways, Trump's values undermined their own. Graham had dedicated his career to an idea of US leadership around the world—whereas Trump was offering an "America First" doctrine that would turn out to mean "me and my friends first."

Romney was an excellent businessman with a strong record as a public servant—whereas Trump inherited wealth, went bankrupt more than once, created nothing of value, and had no governing record at all. Both Graham and Romney were devoted to America's democratic traditions and to the ideals of honesty, accountability, and transparency in public life—all of which Trump scorned.

Both were vocal in their disapproval of Trump. Before the election, Graham even called him a "jackass," a "nutjob," and a "race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot." But Trump did become president, and so the two men's convictions were put to the test.

Through the tenure, it was Graham who made excuses for Trump's abuse of power. It was Graham—a JAG Corps lawyer—who downplayed the evidence that the president had attempted to manipulate foreign courts and blackmail a foreign leader into launching a phony investigation into a political rival. It was Graham who abandoned his own stated support for bipartisanship and instead pushed for a hyperpartisan Senate Judiciary Committee investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden's son. It was he who played golf with Trump, who made excuses for him on television, who supported the president even as he slowly destroyed the American alliances—with Europeans, with the Kurds—that Graham had defended all his life. His reversal caught both parties by surprise and sparked much media attention.

By contrast, it was Romney who, in February, became the only Republican senator to break ranks with his colleagues, voting to impeach the president. "Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office," he said, is "perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one's oath of office that I can imagine."

To sum up, sensing that the time is running out the president has become despondent, falling upon his knees and asking his aides to protect him from further impeachment, any more accusations of sexual misconduct, or financial lawsuits.