Mitch McConnell Caves - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Mitch McConnell Caves
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You can almost see Ronald Reagan rolling his eyes and saying, “There they go again.” Republicans in the Senate are ready to cave. Yes, they promised something different when they were running a few months ago. If voters just put them in charge, boy would things be different! But hey: now they’re going to fund the Department of Homeland Security and pretend they’re actually living up to their campaign promises to oppose the president on amnesty. Call them the “tacticals.” It’s all about the tactics, you see? 

Over at Breitbart was this quoted from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:

“My hope is that the Senate will act. I don’t know what the House will do but I do think we have a responsibility to act here. We have a solution to the problem that deals with both things: number one giving senators an opportunity to express their disapproval of what the president did in November and some Democrats — as you know — have already announced they agree with me on that,” McConnell said, adding that the second aspect, funding DHS with a clean bill, is exactly what Democrats have requested.

“I don’t know what’ not to like about this,” he added.”

Really? Well, there’s at least one unnamed Republican senator who felt differently, the story goes on: 

“This is a total victory for the Obama position,” said a GOP senator unhappy with McConnell’s plan. “The House hasn’t passed it yet, so they might could come up with something. But that’s a grim prospect.”

There were three other notable reactions that agreed with those of the unnamed senator. The first two were senators themselves, and neither was afraid to put his name on a statement. Texas Senator Ted Cruz was not about to hide behind anonymity. Nor was Alabama’s Senator Jeff Sessions, another constitutional watchdog. Richard Viguerie’s Conservative Headquarters reported their reaction this way:

Cruz released the following statement regarding Department of Homeland Security funding:

“It is both reckless and irresponsible for Democrats to continue to filibuster funding for the Department of Homeland Security in a misguided attempt to preserve President Obama’s executive amnesty, which has already been rejected by the voters and declared illegal by a federal court. The federal court injunction was a major victory for the rule of law, and we need to hold the Administration accountable to comply in every respect. Leadership’s current plan — to pass clean DHS funding and separate legislation barring executive amnesty — is a mistake. Congress is obliged to use every constitutional check and balance we have to rein in President Obama’s lawlessness, and that includes both our confirmation authority over nominees and the power of the purse.”

…”The most potent power of Congress is the power of the purse,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican, adding that lawmakers have “a duty not to fund anything that is unconstitutional or illegal, which this [executive action] is.”

And the third reaction? That came from Tea Party Patriots chair Jenny Beth Martin, who said in a statement:

Throughout the election cycle Republicans vowed to do everything they could to stop the President’s overreach. Now, the Republicans in the Senate under Majority Leader McConnell’s guidance are playing games. Today we have learned that Sen. McConnell’s plan is to bring a bill to the Senate floor that would fully fund the Department of Homeland Security without defunding executive amnesty!

Congress has the “power of the purse” and is responsible for serving as a check on the President’s actions. We have a very narrow window of time to put a stop to President Obama’s executive amnesty, and Congress needs to act now!

The Martin statement was followed by an appeal to members to call or contact their House and Senate members.

All of this would be stunning…if not in any way shocking.

It’s just like those Bush 43 years when the GOP-controlled Senate and House cooperated to “get something done” on education by collaborating on No Child Left Behind — aka expanding the Department of Education instead of abolishing it. Republicans lost both the House and Senate by 2006 this tactic was so clever.

Or, to reach further back, the McConnell cave-in resembles the Bush 41 cave-in on taxes, when in the name of what establishment Republicans love to call “governing” or “realism” the Bush White House went along with breaking the president’s pledge that when Democrats wanted to increase taxes he would say “read my lips, no new taxes.” The results of that little dalliance led to a humiliating defeat for Bush, who lost his re-election bid to Bill Clinton with a mere 37 percent of the vote.

Will Mitch McConnell lose the Senate GOP majority in 2016 as it was lost in 2006? And the presidency along with it? Saddling the GOP nominee for the White House with a reputation that telegraphs to voters the idea that even if elected that new president will quickly abandon campaign pledges and start being “tactical” or “realistic” so that he can “govern”?

The GOP has a serious problem here — again. “Again” because in fact this last roundabout is just a reprieve of the seemingly endless problem. The establishment never wishes to fight the current fight because it can always fight at a later time. The later time arrives and, lo and behold, there’s no time to fight now because…yes indeed…they will fight later.

What this is really all about, as discussed in this space many times, is Margaret Thatcher’s perceptive take on conservatives who really aren’t conservatives. Always unwilling to move the government in a conservative direction when they can just acquiesce to whatever the left has done and promise simply to manage the results better.

This time around the issue is the president’s flagrantly unconstitutional executive order on amnesty. After making a huge fuss on amnesty during the election, the McConnell-led GOP in the Senate has already — barely two full months in to their majority tenure — caved in to Mr. Obama on the issue. Terrified — utterly terrified — of standing up for their own rights as a Congress much less the Constitution. And not a small thing? They are also terrified of the liberal media. So instead, the Senate GOP leadership is placidly rolling over. 

In the words of Senator McConnell? “I don’t know what’s not to like about this.”

Indeed he doesn’t. They don’t call the GOP the “stupid party” without reason.

Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com. His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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