Brian Beutler, writing earlier this week at The New Republic before the GOP’s Trumpcare bill collapsed:
If Trumpcare dies (in the House Thursday night, or in the Senate next week), congressional Republicans will have to reckon with the possibility that their bargain with Trump is unraveling, and that they’re getting stiffed. Some of the difficulties Republicans are encountering in the health care process will surely spill over into their grander project of cutting taxes. “Without this bill, I don’t know how you do tax reform,” one Republican congressman told the New York Times.
Meanwhile, Trump’s cover is in danger of wearing thin. The Republican appetite for his antics will weaken if their agenda falters. Which key Republicans would be willing to debase themselves as faithfully as Nunes did if Obamacare repeal is a dead letter? If the FBI’s investigation of Trump’s campaign continues to dominate headlines, who will volunteer to be Trump’s human shield until the tax cut process really gets moving?
I think the Trump/GOP relationship is better characterized as a con man stiffing yet another creditor than as a traditional political alliance.
By letting Trump be their nominee, Republicans extended him a line of credit when he had exhausted all his other sources. He has, as he always does, exploited that credit to his own advantage with no intention of ever making good on it.
The question now is what the Republicans do. I suspect it's an in-for-penny-in-for-a-pound situation. They are too heavily invested in Trump at this point to back out.