What’s the Deal With Congressional Republicans?

Written by Brian C. Joondeph

Every few months, Republicans behave stupidly, causing their voters to again ask themselves, “Why vote Republican?”  Supporting congressional Republicans seems an exercise in futility – Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown, ready to kick a conservative field goal, only to have Lucy pull the football away at the last second.  I have asked this question several times

We all know the words to the Republican song we have heard every two years for the past decade.  The first verse was written in 2010, when Republicans claimed they needed to win the U.S. House so they could repeal Obamacare and cut taxes.  The band played, and America gave Republicans the U.S. House.  Obamacare marched on, and taxes weren’t cut.

The second verse came in 2014, when Republicans told voters they needed the U.S. Senate, too, since their conservative agenda was being stalled by Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer.  The band played again, and America gave Republicans the U.S. Senate.

What happened after that?  Nothing but more excuses.  Congressional Republicans, afraid of Obama’s veto pen, not to mention the media and even their own shadows, accomplished little.  They told us they needed the White House, too.

The third verse played in 2016, but with a few sour notes.  Republicans did indeed capture the White House, but it wasn’t the Republican the establishment wanted.  Never mind that their choices for president flamed out in the primaries, and even if they had won the GOP nomination, they would have been slaughtered in the general election, following the script of Mitt Romney and John McCain.  Instead of a third Bush or a mailman’s son, the GOP got a bigmouth from Queens, much to their dismay.

Here we are in 2018, and the fourth verse of the song is playing.  Republicans control the White House and Congress.  Obamacare has not been repealed, and Mexico has not had to pay for a wall since there is no wall.

The omnibus spending bill sailed through Congress.  One point three trillion dollars in spending passed by the party of fiscal restraint.  Sure, there is increased military spending, but there’s only chump change for the border wall, enough funding for only 33 miles on the U.S. southern border.  Instead, Ryan’s and McConnell’s spend-a-thon provides $500 million for a 274-mile wall on Jordan’s border with Syria and Iraq, along with a wall for Tunisia, too.

Planned Parenthood is funded, as are sanctuary cities, with catch and release alive and well.  Didn’t Republicans run on defunding all of this?  It’s Lucy holding the football, and Charlie Brown taxpayers are left holding the bill.

Omni means all, which is what the congressional bill funds – all things near and dear to the Democrats.  No wonder praise is flowing from the lips of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.  The bus in omnibus is short for “busting,” which is what this bill does to the deficit.

Obama, with help from both parties in Congress, doubled the national debt in eight years.  It looks as though Ryan and McConnell are trying to double it again.  I would have thought Pelosi and Schumer were in charge of Congress with this level of spending that makes the drunken sailor look like a cheapskate.  This is a Democrat spending bill, plain and simple.

Republicans should know better.  Some of them, like Rand Paul and Louie Gohmert, do, but most Republicans, including the leadership, are happy to go along to get along.

Stupidity or deliberate?  Republicans must know that their perpetual cheap talk and empty promises, culminating in a terrible spending bill, will not help their electoral prospects in the 2018 midterms.  Many potential voters, including yours truly, will channel our inner Hillary Clinton and say to ourselves, “What difference does it make?”  We will stay home on election day – or else vote only on local issues, leaving Congress out of sight and out of mind.

To me, this is a deliberate poke in the eye to Trump-supporters.  This spending bill put Trump in a box: if he signs the bill, it becomes his; if he vetoes it, the government shutdown becomes his fault.  It’s a no-win situation for Trump, and a clever way to make Trump-supporters doubt their president, dispiriting them, disengaging from the midterms.

It turns out he did sign the bill.  His press conference was morose, with nothing to celebrate.  Not the confident Donald Trump we see at campaign rallies.  Why did he sign it?  He caved, signing the death warrant for much of his MAGA agenda as well as his popularity.  Yes, it’s only the second year of his presidency, but I’ll bet that today, he lost a lot of his supporters.  Bigly.

What happens if Trump supporters don’t turn out for Republican congressional candidates in November?  Democrats potentially take over the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate.  What happens to Trump’s agenda at that point?  Judicial appointments, border security, immigration reform, and the rest of President Trump’s agenda grind to a halt, not to mention the prospect of impeachment.

Good news for the establishment, the media, Democrats, and the donor class.  What a clever way to derail the Trump express by Republicans joining with the Democrats legislatively to thwart his agenda, the very reason why he was elected.  Matt Drudge tweeted last May after another budget deal, “Paul Ryan victory.  He blocks Trump revolution indefinitely!  All that is left is the illusion.”

The Republicans act stupidly even at the expense of losing seats in Congress, perhaps even their majority.  Are they really that stupid, or is there an agenda at play?

Russian collusion accusations were supposed to stop Trump, as were Robert Mueller and Stormy Daniels.  So far nothing has worked.  The easiest way to stymie Trump is to separate him from his supporters.  This spending bill, signed by Trump, however reluctantly, will do exactly that.

If Republicans really wanted Trump to succeed, they would be supporting him and his agenda, acting like the majority party in Congress.  They stay silent while Robert Mueller’s witch hunt continues.  They say nothing critical of Mueller, not a word about the wasted time, effort, and money chasing Russian leprechauns.  They stay mum about the great economic news of record low unemployment and rising consumer confidence.  It’s almost as if they are embarrassed by Trump’s successes and want to keep their distance.

Again, I ask: why vote Republican?  The GOP opposes its own president and his agenda.  These Republicans have more in common with Democrats than with Donald Trump.  Through incompetence or purpose, they are sabotaging their party leader.  How different would things be with Chuck and Nancy in charge?  The spending bill would look the same – worthy of Obama or Clinton in the White House.

Why do the Democrats get what they want, even when they are in the minority?  Even Chuck Schumer acknowledged, “In a certain sense we were able to accomplish more in the minority than we had the presidency or were even in the majority.”  Why vote Republican?

Trump held his nose and signed a crappy spending bill rather than vetoing it and punching back at the establishment in typical Trumpian style.  Don’t expect Republican voters to do the same this coming November, holding their noses and voting for politicians who continue to legislate against the will of their voters.  I wonder if this is what the Republican congressional leadership wanted all along.

Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based physician and writer.  Follow him on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.

This article was originally published at AmericanThinker.com