Even Newt Gingrich, who’s been urging patience with Congressional Republicans, told Sean Hannity, “I surrender.” He said his patience is at an end; they had six months to come up with a plan, and the time for failure and excuses is over. Newt said Republicans need to pass a plan, even if it’s more modest than they’d like, at least to start moving away from the failing Obamacare model. They also need to take action on other items the voters were promised, such as a start to the border wall and tax cuts to get the economy growing at a non-anemic rate, which is the best thing they could do if they want to be reelected next year.
Matthew Continetti of the Washington Free Beacon put a finger on how Republicans could have spent seven years promising to repeal Obamacare, and then when they won the House, Senate and Presidency, seem paralyzed and unprepared with no agreed-upon plan to move forward. As Continetti explains, they never made a plan because they never expected Trump to win. They bought into the media bubble-think that Hillary was a shoo-in, and she’d never sign off on replacing Obamacare, so they could just go on giving lip service to repealing it without having to worry that they’d ever be expected to keep their promise and do something.
I think that makes a lot of sense to explain their actions (or lack thereof), but it doesn’t excuse them. Where were they when I was warning them to listen to the people outside the coastal/DC media bubble (I even wrote a book about it), pointing out the blatant dishonesty of the poll samples and predicting a Trump win (something I never wavered on, even as TV hosts smiled indulgently at me, as I were a dotty grandpa who thought Ike was still President)? Even if they didn’t expect to win, they shouldn’t have made promises they had no plans to keep. After six months in power, they’ve had more than enough time to accept the reality of the election results and get back to work (they aren’t liberals, after all).
I also have little patience with this argument that “We didn’t expect to come into power, so don’t expect us to get anything done.” I didn’t expect to become Governor of Arkansas, either. I was only the second Republican Lieutenant Governor since Reconstruction, and I suddenly became Governor when the Democratic Governor was convicted of felony fraud. I came into office in the middle of both a political crisis and a budget crisis. My party didn’t hold both the executive and legislative branches; I had to deal with a hostile, nearly 90% Democratic legislature. But there were problems that urgently needed to be solved for the people of Arkansas; it was the responsibility of all of us, Republican and Democrat alike, to do something; and we did. Yes, I had make some compromises I didn’t like, but I got a lot of what I wanted, and as the voters saw my conservative policies working, I won reelection twice and was able to get more and more of what I wanted. None of that ever would have happened if I’d come into office saying, “I never expected to be here, and the Democrats are saying bad things about me, so I guess I’ll just curl up in the fetal position and do nothing.”
Frankly, I’m tired of hearing not just Democrats and liberals in the media but also some Republicans criticizing Trump as unqualified or floundering or not keeping his promises. He’s slashing regulations (see the multiple Dow record closings for the result), appointing strict constructionist judges, slaughtering ISIS, deporting criminal illegal immigrants, untying the hands of the Border Patrol, renegotiating or leaving treaties that put America or American workers at a disadvantage, firing hundreds of VA employees who desperately needed to get the boot, and trying to keep terrorists out of the country, when federal judges aren’t blocking him. In other words, he’s doing just about everything he promised voters he would do that he can do with no help from Congress. Congressional Republicans had better realize that they are in power now, stop bickering and get to work, before GOP voters start to suspect that President Trump is not the one who’s unqualified, floundering and failing to keep his promises.