(CNN) “It seems to me a pretty bottomless well,” said Wehner, now a senior fellow at the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center, and a frequent Trump critic. “If there is some line Trump can cross that can cause them [congressional Republicans] to stand up to him, we haven’t seen it.”


Congressional Republicans spent last weekend huddling with President Trump at Camp David to frame their legislative agenda in 2018. But they have already placed the bets most likely to determine their fate in November’s midterm election, as a series of dramatic events late last week demonstrated.

Two of their biggest decisions over the past year already loom over the upcoming election.

The first has been to align more closely with Trump even as questions have mounted about both his basic fitness for the presidency and the potential legal exposure that he and his inner circle might face in the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller. The second has been to pursue a policy agenda, on issues from taxes to health care to the environment, aimed almost entirely at the preferences of their party’s conservative base, with strikingly few concessions to any voices or interests beyond their core coalition.

Before November, the GOP might modulate each of these choices. But Republicans have engraved the fundamental outline of each direction so deeply over the past year that they are unlikely to be significantly altered.

Click to continue reading. Analysis by Ronald Brownstein, CNN, Jan 9, 2018.

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