George Will is correct: The Republican Party is unworthy of your vote.
Unfortunately, though, the alternatives are worse than what America is presently made to endure. And, naturally, George Will’s insight about how the Republican Party shouldn’t get your vote in 2018 is overshadowed by Will’s bizarre support for the Democratic Party in 2018. Talk about jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire!
Fact is, George Will, like most other “conservative intellectuals,” does not support the GOP because he and they (wrongly) believe that the Republican Party has become the “party of Trump.”
If only that were true.
Since the 2016 election, it should be clear that the elected Republicans in Congress do not share the same values as their voters. Consider this: despite having been given control over the executive and legislative branches of the federal government, Republicans on Capitol Hill continue insisting that they simply cannot enact the Trump agenda.
But, how could this be?
Sure, the Republicans don’t have overwhelming control over the Senate — and the Republican Party in the House is far too eclectic for its own good (compared to their rivals in the Democratic Party). But, the GOP still holds the reins of power — and has since 2016!
Many have argued that the numbers are simply not in the Republicans’ favor on the Hill. After all, while the House may be more sympathetic to the Trump agenda, whatever they pass will be killed by the Senate. Senate Republicans argue that the Progressive-era 60-vote requirement for any bill to pass the Senate is the reason for the gridlock. You see, while the Republicans control the Senate, their dominance is precarious, and they, at best, have 52 votes.
We all know a majority of the Republicans in Congress never supported the president — even after he became the nominee. We also know that, since taking office, the Republicans in Congress have done everything in their power to stymie the most controversial bits of the president’s plans for the country. Everything other than tax cuts and wars has been sidelined.
Working Against Their Own Interests
If all that stood in the way of pushing through Trump’s legislative agenda was overcoming the 60-vote majority in the Senate, why hasn’t the Republican Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, simply called for a vote to overturn the Progressive-era 60-vote majority?
McConnell believes that overturning the 60-vote rule is a non-starter. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) worries about what would happen the next time the Democrats have the majority — and were not restrained by the 60-vote majority requirement. The same that would happen if the Republicans controlled power without the onerous 60-vote requirement: more things that the voters wanted would get done!
Besides, we all know the real reason that the Republicans who control the Senate won’t allow for a vote ending the requirement for a 60-vote majority: they worry it just might pass.
For presidents to have the lasting impact that they (and their voters) desire, legislation is needed to codify their agenda into law. When a president has a friendly Congress, accomplishing such a herculean task is made easier. And, whenever a president’s agenda is put into law by Congress, it puts the president’s political opponents on the defensive (which is good for the president and his party). Yet, the Republicans in Congress continue resisting Trump through any means available.
Follow the Money
In order to win their elections (and remain in power), the Republicans on the Hill, unlike President Trump, require large amounts of money donated to them by special interests. Few — if any — of the major donors to the Republican Party are actual supporters of the president’s agenda.
Just recently, the Koch Brothers took out biting ads against President Trump’s tariffs. Behind-the-scenes, other major Republican donors are universally beholden to the neoliberal economic model of open borders, “free” trade, and loose money. These are policies that the president overwhelmingly disapproves of (and was, in fact, elected to end). Yet, these policies remain completely supported by the Republicans in Congress.
This explains why the president’s Obamacare repeal was squelched, but his tax cuts were overwhelmingly passed. Sure, Republicans in theory opposed Obamacare from the start. But, they were not going to spend their time and political capital overturning it (not when there were more wars to fund and taxes to be cut!). Their special interests could have cared less about something that most middle class voters wanted.
Fact is, the Republican Party on the Hill is terrible. Its members lie about what they are capable of, in order to avoid the hard task of implementing the president’s policies. Elected Republicans do not oppose the president because they necessarily disagree with him. The GOP in Congress opposes Trump because they personally dislike him, and because the president’s middle-class-friendly policies threaten the interests of the GOP’s corporate donors.
That’s who is representing you in Washington, D.C.
The GOP Is Stupid, But the Democrats Are Evil…
Despite this, though, the Democrats would be far worse than the current crop of clowns controlling Congress. If given any real power in 2018, the Democrats will impeach the president, regardless of whether he’s done anything illegal or not. Over the next few election cycles, then, the trick going forward will be for GOP voters to primary all of the proverbial dead weight in the Republican Party — without empowering Democrats.
Remember: in politics, no defeats are final. Things like overturning Obamacare might be dead right now, but that death is only temporary. With enough votes in Congress, Republicans will have no choice but to do that which their voters have elected them to do: govern according to the interests of the Right. What’s more, the weak Republicans in Congress will have no excuse to give if they fail to pass even the most controversial elements of the president’s legislative agenda.
In that case, it’s best that the GOP retains power, since it will be more answerable to the voters than the Democrats will be — especially if voters force the elected GOP members to stand firm with the president or be voted out during the primaries.