In Trump, Republicans have come up against a president who refuses to tolerate any semblance of opposition, even for the greater good of the party. Having leeway to vote against the president on certain issues in order to preserve voter support back home has been common under past administrations. According to Larry Sabato, director for the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, there's good reason for that.
“It’s practical,” Sabato told Newsweek last week. “It’s the obvious thing to do. Other presidents have had good sense, He doesn’t have good sense, he doesn’t understand politics.”
Last week, Trump delivered his most stinging rebuke yet to a Republican who dared to cross him. In a sharply delivered tweet, he described Senator Jeff Flake as “toxic” and, to the dismay of the Republican establishment, threw his support behind the Arizona senator's primary opponent.