Trump's betrayal of GOP leaders should surprise no one | Eugene Robinson

President Donald Trump leaves after attending services at St. John's Church in Washington, Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017. The president last week named today a National Day of Prayer for victims of Hurricane Harvey. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

By Eugene Robinson

Chuck and Nancy and Donald and Ivanka seemed to thoroughly enjoy their meeting at the White House the other day. Mitch and Paul, not so much.

Does it really surprise anyone that President Trump betrayed the Republican leaders who have been trying their best to carry water for him on Capitol Hill -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) -- and is playing footsie with their Democratic rivals? It shouldn't.

One thing that should be blindingly obvious by now is that political loyalty, for the president, is a one-way street. Yes, McConnell and Ryan embarrassed themselves and squandered precious political capital in a long, fruitless attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Yes, the Republican leaders have held their tongues time and again when Trump has manifested his unfitness for office.

Yes, they have pretended not to notice the glaring conflicts of interest between Trump's private business affairs and his public responsibilities.

Still, there was something brazen about the way events unfolded Wednesday. First, Ryan tells reporters that a short-term, three-month extension on the debt ceiling, tied to relief funds for Hurricane Harvey -- an idea supported by Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) -- was "ridiculous and disgraceful."