For eight years, Republican lawmakers promised voters that GOP control in Washington would bring about a conservative revolution in the United States. And voters delivered. Unfortunately, the old party just ain’t as grand as it used to be.
Republican leaders are furious, it’s been said, that President Donald Trump struck a sweetheart deal with Democrats Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) to temporarily raise the debt ceiling this week.
Those who believe that the GOP leadership is upset with Trump are claiming the debt deal took away a Republican bargaining chip that could’ve been used to achieve tax cuts down the road while simultaneously abandoning any semblance of the party’s dedication to reducing the nation’s reckless spending.
But ask yourself if you really believe that. You believe GOP leaders in Washington have a dedication to– and, more importantly, a plan for– cutting spending or taxes?
Did you believe a powerful and unified Republican Party in Washington would repeal Obamacare? Did you believe a Republican administration would use executive power to reverse President Obama’s executive fiat immigration policies– and that it would do so with full support of Republican leaders in Congress?
If you did, you must be sorely disappointing right now. And if you still do believe the past eight years of Republican promises are going to be fulfilled, you must also be one of those folks who believes the current president is some sort of next-level strategist– you know, four dimensional chess and all that crap.
The truth is, Republican leaders aren’t upset with Trump.
Republicans currently have the numbers to get done the tough work of repealing Obamacare, securing the border, cutting taxes and reducing spending. They have for months. But the operative words here are “tough work.” The reality of government is that it is far better at creating welfare and spending money on make-work initiatives than it is at reducing spending by cutting programs already in place. If the Republicans who ran race after race on “repeal Obamacare” and “cut spending” actually ever got around to doing so, the pain period would create some real headaches. And they didn’t go to Washington for headaches.
That’s why the GOP establishment is so relieved right now. When they couldn’t make happen a legitimate Obamacare repeal, the GOP leadership claimed it was because they didn’t have the numbers. They did– and they looked pretty stupid claiming otherwise. Now, they can go to voters with a different message: “We really want to get this done– but the president is taking away all of our leverage.”
And Trump’s relationship with the Democrats is only going to improve in the months ahead. Even the White House is saying so.
Asked whether Americans can expect more Trump/Schumer/Pelosi schmoozing on Friday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders replied: “I think the goal is to have bipartisan efforts and certainly legislation where you’ve got Republicans and Democrats both working towards it. That was something that the president talked about during the campaign and certainly something that I think the American people expect and one of the reasons they voted for him. I certainly would expect to continue to see that.”
Sanders added that the president is currently asking Democrats what they have in mind for re-working Obamacare. You know, since the GOP couldn’t make anything happen.
“The president is committed to moving legislation through,” Sanders also said. “He wants Congress to act. He’s happy to have Democrats be part of that. Tax reform is a huge part of the agenda moving into the fall. Infrastructure is something we would love to see. He had meetings on that yesterday. We’re going to continue to work with anyone willing to sit down at the table and focus on those pieces of legislation.”
The roles are reversed– but this is Trump administration’s Obama/John Boehner golf buddy moment.
Remember how tough the GOP got on issues like spending cuts, border security and tax reform after that?
It’s important that we again recap what’s happened over the past several days. Trump
ended punted on Obama’s DACA program, giving Democrats and left-leaning Republicans time to come up with a “compromise.” That compromise, by every indicator, will just be congressional approval of what was formally an unconstitutional policy. Trump “made the decision” that billions of dollars needed to help clean up Harvey– money that will flow through some of the government’s most inefficient agencies– is so important that he jumped at the opportunity to grease a Democrat preferred spending increase. That temporary debt ceiling hike will be revisited in December, just as the American majority is focused mostly on holiday plans and lawmakers are eager to approve anything on their way out of town for recess. And now Trump’s White House is declaring this the new normal.
The president’s most vehement supporters are claiming it’s all part of a bigger plan to make Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan look weak so that the RINOs get purged come election time. But there are problems with that theory. First, if the president wanted Ryan and McConnell to look foolish he could do so without becoming a Democrat himself. There are plenty of Freedom Caucus members and harsh Senate conservatives dying to drain the swamp. Second, if Trump is working to dismantle the weak GOP leadership via some master strategy, why would he, as he did with Senate contender Luther Strange in Alabama, endorse candidates who have the Ryan McConnell seal of approval over actual conservatives?
Trump’s not trying to oust the RINOs, he’s working with them. And they’re working with Washington’s most powerful Democrats. One Party Washington– the swamp– is alive and well.
But by all means, keep waiting for that “aha” moment when the hidden conservative Trump strategy begins to pay off big time. Sadly, the guy is such an outstanding marketer, many of his supporters will.
And in North Korea, Kim Jong made the sun rise today.