Will GOP victories in November turn out to be a disaster for conservative Republicans suddenly faced with having to accomplish something? Party leaders are on the hook for undoing presidential actions that are proving spectacularly difficult, if not impossible to get rid of. If they are going to beat Obama, GOP members will have to agree with each other. That’s a problem. The party has shown time and again that it is a gathering place for conservatives bound together only because they have nowhere else to go.
Mitch McConnell and John Boehner just proved again how adept they are at playing political games with Democrats. The joke has been on the people all along. Compromise means no progress and more of the same, but with majorities in both houses next year the whining about Democrats blocking everything the GOP tries to do must come to an end. That is, unless Obama’s craftiness at doing things his way blocks efforts to move Washington to the right.
Does America know what it wants?
How screwed up is this country? Did the voters not get what they wanted, do they not know what they want, or are they not getting what they are told they need? Americans were angry at Democrats so they voted them out of office. Now protesters are marching in Washington to support liberal law enforcement. Illinois just elected a Republican governor but also voted yes to Democratic ballot initiatives. Republicans in the Senate just helped stop conservatives Ted Cruz and Mike Lee in their effort to defund amnesty. Ironically, the one group that doesn’t seem conflicted is illegal immigrants. They got what they wanted without casting a vote.
Next year the political tables will be turned. Will the next joke be played at the expense of conservative Republicans, an increasingly scarce commodity in America and on Capitol Hill?
Conservative Republicans in crisis
An incredible effort has been made by the left to turn Americans against this country. The fruits of that campaign can be seen in mindless protests against racism and inequality that will go nowhere because those who have the time to spend marching are already at the margins of society. They don’t have much clout.
Conservative Republicans just got their clout back, but the list of things to get rid of or fix keeps growing. Obamacare is still on the books. What did we add? A lot, it turns out. For instance …
The DACA steamroller keeps cranking out new legal aliens. 632,855 applications have been approved as of this fiscal year, including 22,480 renewals. 152,795 more applications are pending and 99,027 are under review. There have been only 32,400 denials.¹ Two years have passed. Republicans have not been able to stop the momentum. Now they have a new order to deal with. The longer the party waits to do something, the more courage it will take to say no. Circumventing an order is one thing. Telling an illegal with a new work permit to get out is quite another.
Republicans just proved again how fickle they can be when conservative principles bump up against playing the politics of compromise. Party members in the Senate helped shoot down efforts to stage a vote on defunding Obama amnesty because it intersected with another political game, voting on Obama nominations. In retrospect, Ted Cruz’s comments on his anti-amnesty vote could be the death knell for a party that is too fragmented to show commitment:
Second, it allows Republicans to also show they are committed to ending Obama’s amnesty once and for all in the next Congress. If we agree it is indeed unconstitutional, we have no business funding it when the GOP controls Congress next year.²
Speaking of political jokes, a beast called CRomnibus just bit the people in the backside. Both Republicans and Democrats will call what just happened with $1.1 trillion in spending a bipartisan compromise. More committed conservatives will call it failure, selling out, and a host of other pejoratives. The fact is that debt held by the public this fiscal year is double what it was in 2007³ and Americans have spent the past six years being told they are not getting enough from their government. How does the GOP plan on telling them they deserve less?
National security and the war on terror
How did America go from being the arbiter of freedom and rights to being a racist, torturing nation? We finished 2014 with an apology for torture and a vow to never do it again while we battle ISIS and other groups that seem to be coming out of the woodwork. We got out of Iraq. Now we’re sending people back. The White House has set the stage to escalate a battle that we’ve just told everyone we won’t fight so hard anymore. Can conservative Republicans convince their party to turn back the clock?
Does anyone know what law enforcement means anymore? As much as he likes to talk about the law, the president doesn’t pay much attention to his duty to enforce it. Efforts to prevent crime just took an incredible hit because Democrats at a loss to explain why their minority flock isn’t going anywhere resorted to inflaming a race war (see: Rewarding Criminals and Scorning the Will of the People). When too many people believe race, not crime is the issue, how do Republicans go about law enforcement without being racists?
Congress hasn’t passed laws cracking down on schools. It didn’t have to. The Departments of Justice and Education took up the call, going the non-congressional route and putting school systems on notice for disciplining minority students (see: Equity in Education is Not What School Taxes Pay For). The Obama administration has warned colleges to reign in tuition and Arne Duncan has told them to crank out students who can get good jobs or put their federal loan dollars at risk. Common Core is here to stay. Does the GOP have any ideas on how to fix what has less to do with education spending and more with fighting another facet of Obama’s inequality war?
These issues are just the start of an incredibly well executed set-up that spells disaster for conservative Republicans looking at 2016 with no likely winner in reserve. With an uphill battle to fight despite their majorities, party leadership has to show it has the resolve to fight this one to the death, which is the only way to beat the president at his own game. Obama fights dirty and he wins. In a few weeks we’ll find out whether conservatives have the will and the smarts to best him and make good on their compact with voters, or whether the label “Republican” is just another name for right-leaning Democrat.