Commentary: Trump’s criticism of Sen. Mike Lee is a cheap shot

It’s hard to fathom why Donald Trump would tear into Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, two of his most reliable allies in the U.S. Senate. Graham has defended Trump hundreds of times on TV news shows. Lee has been a solid Trump supporter as well.

Their apparent sin is that they haven’t be willing to totally buy into Trump’s 2020 election conspiracy claims. Lee has stated many times that Congress had no choice but to certify the election results as submitted by the states. So Trump is now calling them names and saying they “should be ashamed of themselves” because they haven’t been fighting to overturn the election.

Much of Trump’s time since his election defeat has been spent asserting that the presidency was stolen from him via massive voter fraud. I know Trump likes to have an issue to rally around and energize his base. But I can’t see how the months-old election fraud accusations help him now – especially criticizing those who have been remarkably loyal to him.   

Trump isn’t going to somehow be miraculously declared the 2020 winner and relieve Joe Biden of the presidency. We’re now almost 11 months past the election. It’s done and certified. It’s cooked. Biden is serving (albeit badly) as president. Most everyone else has moved on, but Trump can’t let it go. He would do much better to focus on issues and jettison his obsession with the 2020 election. Even a lot of Trump supporters are getting tired of his adamant assertion that the election was stolen.  

I’ve written a lot of columns defending Trump (to the dismay of my wife and many friends). I think Trump was (and is) treated very badly by the liberal mainstream media and I think he deserved more credit than he received for the excellent shape the country was in before the pandemic hit.

But today, Trump’s 2020 election obsession and his treatment of those who supported him are getting really old. I don’t doubt that a lot of irregularities occurring in the pandemic-impacted election. But I trust local election officials across the country, including a lot of Republicans, who say not enough happened to change the election outcome.  

One of Trump’s most irritating character flaws is that he demands absolute devotion to his every whim and political position, while he does not reciprocate that same loyalty. No one agrees with anyone on everything all the time, but Trump can’t abide any dissent.

So Lee and Graham are in Trump’s doghouse. He risks alienating his supporters with such ingratitude. Most elected Republicans won’t say much, because they don’t want to offend Trump and incur his ire. But they really wish he would go away and they really, really, don’t want him to run for president again. I believe his support is slipping away.