There was an on-line article in The Hill this week entitled "Five Republicans Who Could Buck Trump in 2017." The crux of the piece was that with the reality of a slim Republican majority in the Senate (52 to 47 with one Independent who caucuses with the Democrats), just a very few Republican defections on serious matters could tip the scales against Trump. The five United States Senators named in the article who already have various issues with the incoming administration were: Susan Collins of Maine, John McCain of Arizona, Mitch "the tortise" McConnell of Kentucky, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Ben Sasse of Nebraska.
Surprisingly, the author failed to mention Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, the man who famously chose to spend the past summer and fall mowing his yard rather than working for Trump's election. The President-Elect does not like Flake, and regardless of how much orange butt the junior senator from Arizona chooses to kiss in the next two years, chances are excellent that the petulant Prez will jet out to Arizona in Air Force One and campaign against him in 2018.
If Jeff Flake wants to save any face at all, he needs to initiate a preemptive strike, claim the high moral ground, and switch parties - just as Jim Jeffords of Vermont did in the first year of Dick Cheney's administration. Jeffords' bold move shifted control of the Senate from Republicans to Democrats.
Flake and two others could do the same thing. McConnell, of course, no matter how mad he is at Trump's woman-shaming and locker room talk, could never switch - because, as Majority Leader, it would cost him his big corner office. But Susan Collins could become a Democrat without killing her political career, and so could Rand Paul. Such a move might cost Ben Sasse his job in the Senate, but the outspoken Nebraska Republican has the moxie to do it. And John McCain, despite the fact that he would lose the chairmanship of the Armed Services Committee, is an eighty-year-old curmudgeon who has the cajones to do whatever he damn well pleases.
And as McCain goes, so goes Lindsey Graham.
The Pumpkin Fuhrer had best keep a close eye on his supporters in the Senate because if he gets indelicate with any of them during some martini-fueled, late-night Twitter tirade, he does so at his own peril. And if the Senate turns blue, not even the Putin Bear will be able to save him from political ignominy.