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Republicans take note.

February 21, 2017

With the DNC poised to elect a new mouthpiece on February 23 we kind of already know where that party is headed for the 2018 midterms. In a word…Left.

What about the RNC’s  2018 strategy?

With members of Congress taking a week off (even though President’s Day is just a one day holiday) to celebrate …well presidents, what message should they take away from their vacation?

Perhaps it is that with voters feeling they have cleaned house in the White House, they could be set to do the same to long-serving senators and representatives next year.

Whether they do that is really up to the incumbents to decide.

For eight years, all we heard from GOP members was that they couldn’t get anything done while they only had one house of Congress.  So, voters gave them both houses.

Then it was well, it didn’t matter what they passed, because President Obama would just veto it. For that reason they simply gave up trying to pass anything.

In response, voters gave them the entire government, giving them the same advantage that Mr. Obama had in 2009-10.

And what have they done with it?  Apparently nothing of real substance, although it’s early yet.

To be sure, the party President Trump nominally represents did not think their 2016-2020 strategy would involve being the party on top. They were just as surprised as anyone else when “their” guy not only won, but carried the day for the party in congressional races as well.

That may explain why they were better prepared with excuses than plans.

Contrary to all the pre-election assurances that Congress could come up with a healthcare insurance replacement for Obamacare in a matter of days, or a couple of weeks at the most, there was no plan, just campaign slogans.

Also, contrary to the much ballyhooed GOP plan for economic growth, the GOP seems willing to block tax cuts, infrastructure spending and anything else President Trump is for, simply because they don’t think he is “presidential” enough.

Now the excuse for some is that they don’t like the man elected to lead the country, so they are content to let Democrats and the President take the blame for total gridlock for the next four years.

Only they don’t have four years.

Pruning the dead wood.

If there was ever a time for young up and coming Republican office seekers to start campaigning, it would seem to be now.

Senators must be 30 years old and representatives 25 to serve in Congress.

That means there MUST be some young college-aged Republicans out there who are either already active in local politics or who could at least point to college Republican groups they headed or had a strong voice in that could run in 2018.

Even more likely is that there are some older Republicans who, having raised their family and become somewhat financially secure, might decide that public service for a few years is one of the items on their bucket list.

There are only two possible outcomes to the balance of power in 2018. Either the Democrats, smarting from their recent loss and lusting for a win come roaring back with a vengeance in the midterms, or the GOP retains its statistical total control of the government.

That doesn’t mean that people will or should vote for the same Republicans they have retained for so long.

A case in point is Senator McCain.  Initially, even Trump supporters thought the candidate may have gone a bridge too far when he dismissed the senator’s service record, and they were willing to forgive the senator’s obvious animosity as one of those things that happen in life. Some people just don’t get along.

But they don’t seem as willing to forgive Senator McCain for his equating of false speech with  free  speech in the media, particularly when he does it by dissing an American president on foreign soil, their personal differences notwithstanding.

Not cool, and not unnoticed.

If Donald Trump accomplishes nothing else in the next four years, he has exposed voters to what it would be like to have people in the government who say what they mean and mean what they say, whether you agree with them or not.

One of the most life-altering moments for voters on both sides so far has been the revelation that people they have been taught to revere as patriots and heroes of the people may well have feet of clay.

Palace intrigues that have been sold as principled stands are being proven to be nothing more substantial than self-serving political gamesmanship.

There is always a danger that some truly decent people ( and there are still a few) will be swept out of office in a flood of voter dissatisfaction.

Still, the never-ending onslaught from the left not just against President Trump but also the members of the voting public who don’t buy into the socialist/globalist mantra suggests that perhaps the job has been left incomplete.

That could mean that GOP voters will enact their own form of term limits in 2018.

That isn’t necessarily a good thing. One party rule can and often does lead to tyranny of a different hue, but it is likely to be the inevitable consequence if the current personality conflicts don’t resolve themselves fairly quickly.

Ultimately, come the second Tuesday of November next year, President Trump’s record will be on display, just as was Barack Obama’s last year.

Any fair evaluation of the President’s style  has to acknowledge that he sometimes gets squarely in his own way, but the role of the establishment GOP in his self-protective stance has to figure into the mix as well.

The analogy of the alligators impeding the draining of the swamp comes to mind.

A even slightly objective examination of President Trump’s track record to date shows the hypocrisy and utter disdain for the truth regarding his accomplishments just 30 days into his term.

Regardless of your position on his executive orders and the two pieces of legislation signed to date, his is one of the busiest on record this early into his first term. One online source puts the total EO’s and executive memorandums at 18 in just his first 12 days, just one behind Barack Obama’s 19 combined total.  But then, who’s keeping score?  Only everybody.

If the President gets nothing of substance accomplished in his first 18 or so months, the GOP will pay for it and one or more of the houses will change parties.

Given his ambitious agenda, if he manages to hit just two or three of the highest profile  targets before the 2018 elections, the party in power might remain the same, but it is unlikely that all the faces will.

Of course there is also the last option.  Everybody on his side of the aisle starts to work together as a team, and then everybody, including the country, wins.

That really would be a novel development, but it’s still doable.

From → op-ed

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