It’s no secret that Congress, specifically Republican Leadership, has been President Trump’s “Achilles Heel” since his administration began. The issue of illegal immigration is the best example. The President alluded as much during his immigration emergency declaration, saying he wasn’t happy “with certain people…a particular one…for not having pushed this faster.”
Indeed, that was former Speaker Paul Ryan.
Trump also criticized Ryan by name back in October 2018 for Ryan’s opposition to ending birthright citizenship. Replacing ObamaCare is also at the top of the issue list, as well as codifying the President’s very popular Executive Orders into permanent law. All remain glaring missed opportunities.
So how is Leadership spending most of their time? Tucker Carlson posited the correct theory last night in his much-anticipated monologue following the release of those ten-year-old audio tapes. Beginning at the 2:20 mark:
“One side is deadly serious. They believe that politics is war. They are not interested in abstractions or principles, rules or traditions. They seek power, and they intend to win it with whatever it takes. If that includes getting you fired or silencing you, or threatening your family at home, or throwing you in prison, okay. They know what their goal is. If you are in way, they will crush you.
What’s interesting is how reliably the other side pretends that none of this is happening. Republicans in Washington do a fairly credible imitation of an opposition party. They still give speeches. They tweet quite a bit. They make certain noises about how liberals are bad.
But on the deepest level, it’s all a pose.In their minds, where it matters, Republican leaders are controlled by the left.They know exactly what they are allowed to say and believe. They know what the rules are. They may understand that those rules are written by the very people who seek their destruction, but they ruthlessly enforce them anyway.
Republicans in Washington police their own with a never-ending enthusiasm. Like trustees at a prison, they dutifully report back to the ward, hoping for perks. Nobody wants to be called names. Nobody wants to be Trump.
How many times have you seen it happen?Some conservative figure will say something stupid, or incomplete, or too far outside the bounds of received wisdom for the moral guardians of cable news? Twitter goes bonkers. The mob demands a response. Very often, the first people calling for the destruction of that person are Republican leaders.You saw it with the Covington Catholic High School kids. You see it all the time.
Kevin McCarthy spends half his day telling Republican members not to criticize progressive orthodoxy. Paul Ryan did the same before him.A couple of years ago, the entire Democratic Party decided to deny the biological reality of sex differences, an idea that is insane as it is dangerous. Republican leaders decided to not criticize them for it. They might get upset.”
Carlson is absolutely correct. Republican leaders’ first instinct – what’s in their D.N.A. – is to tell their colleagues and their voters what they CAN’T do, instead of selling the American people on what they CAN do.
“We don’t have 60 votes” and “Show me 60 votes” are common refrains of Leadership. “I’m waiting for the President to tell me what to do” is another. Go meet with a Republican Member of Congress. I’ll bet money at least one of those lines is uttered.
So, instead of being in the solution-providing business, Leadership spends its time bowing to the “Outrage Mob,” in the hopes of squeaking by in the next election. We’re in an endless loop just watching the Republican majority fade away because of inaction.
Tucker is right to point his finger at Leadership for how it prioritizes their time. It is why they fail. It’s up to conservative activists, donors, and voters alike to follow Carlson’s lead and demand nothing less than a course correction.