Face it: Establishment Republicans Hate Governing

The Evening Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

So, here’s our reality as of today, with the passage and presidential signing of the disgrace of a fake budget bill:  The GOP “establishment” is actively working to surrender its House majority, so that it can go back to being comfortable again.

Republican squishes like Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and the rest of the congressional GOP leadership are only “pretend” conservatives.  They are in their natural habitat when they are able to throw darts at governing Democrats while in Washington while never having to take any real responsibility for actually getting anything done.  They are incredibly brave and confrontational when in that mode, as they were for the 6 years in which they controlled one or both houses of congress while Barack Hussein Obama was President.

In those years, those brave GOP squishes in the house were able to vote 30-odd times to repeal the Obamacare monstrosity, and even the GOP senate managed it a few times.  Once they had a Republican in the White House, though, repealing Obamacare suddenly became a bridge too far, as McConnell could always find a few Republicans like McCain or Collins or Murkowski to kill it in the Senate.

Establishment Rs also love to pretend to be fiscal conservatives, just so long as they’re never required to actually get anything real done to prove it.  When they’re in the minority, they’re the first to run to the nearest microphone to squeal about Democrats leading the nation to financial ruin with their profligate spending.  But squealing is all it ever amounts to  – let them be confronted with a government shutdown as their only avenue for stopping the waste, and they become a pack of surrender monkeys.

Put them in the majority, and it’s even worse.  Now, their only excuse is the senate’s arcane filibuster rule, and its requirement of 60 votes to be overcome.  When that rule is all that stands between them and a government shutdown over funding Democrat spending priorities, again it becomes surrender monkey time.

Governing is simply not a Republican core competency.  Never has been, never will be.  So when they control all the levers of power, you end up with legislative atrocities like the bill the President signed into law today, because they are eager to give the Ds anything they want in order to avoid being blamed for shutting down 14 percent of the government by that nasty ol’ news media.

The bill enacted today represents complete capitulation by the GOP congress.  As what is likely to become the last major legislative action prior to the November midterms, its passage is going to have a terrible dampening effect on GOP voter enthusiasm, likely dooming the Republican Party to the loss of its majority in the house.

The truth is – and it may only be on a sub-conscious level – that is really the outcome that establishment Republicans prefer.  Lose the majority in the house, and the squish Rs can just go back to tossing darts at the Democrats.  So what if it means that the Democrats will get their way and impeach President Trump?  Most establishment Rs never supported the guy in the first place, and are not at all comfortable having to carry his water in the halls of congress.

Besides, they’ll still have the majority in the Senate (probably, anyway), so McConnell can surely muster up enough votes to prevent the President’s removal over there.  And they’ll all get to toss darts at the Democrats for being so irresponsible while it’s all going on, which is just an added bonus.

President Trump should have vetoed the bill, for his and congressional Republicans’ own good.  Shutting down the government with a veto would have been consistent with Trump’s persona, and you could tell at his press conference that he knew this.  Plus, a veto would have forced Ryan and McConnell to actually govern a little bit, against their own will.  They’d have simply had no choice.

But Trump promised during the campaign to rebuild the nation’s military, which had been neglected by his predecessor, and signing this bill ensured that he could keep that promise, even if it likely means he will never get the funding he needs for his also-promised border wall.  In the end, he chose to go with the pleas from Mad Dog Mattis, grab the military funding while he could, and hope to find some leverage point on immigration somewhere down the road.  McConnell and Ryan heaved huge sighs of relief, knowing they wouldn’t have to be bothered with doing any governing in any real way until at least 2019, and possibly never again if the Rs do lose the house.

At the end of the day, we all have to just face it:  Tossing darts at Democrats is really all that establishment Republicans go to Washington to do, because that’s fun, and it’s easy, too.  Governing, now that’s hard, and not fun at all.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

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7 thoughts on “Face it: Establishment Republicans Hate Governing

  1. Ebenezeer Jones - March 23, 2018

    I think the Republicans are happy being backbenchers who would rather criticize than do anything.

  2. Yo! - March 23, 2018

    “But Trump promised during the campaign to rebuild the nation’s military, which had been neglected by his predecessor, and signing this bill ensured that he could keep that promise, even if it likely means he will never get the funding he needs for his also-promised border wall.”

    Nah.This is funding through Sept – the summer. Trump is already using what funds he can to throw at the wall anyway. Some of this stuff is getting done, no matter what, even if it’s at a snail’s pace at first. As of this writing, he has just Tweeted out “never again.” You take that to bank, I think. Consider this the revenge of the Uniparty. They are going to want to do what they’ve done for almost decade and a half and this their “We’re still in charge and doing things our way, Mr. Upstart Swamp Cleaner.”

    Okay. No more Mr. Nice Guy Trump. They’ve been warned. 🙂

    I’m not sure a line-item veto is the way to solve it, but I’m willing to shut down the government for a very long time until everyone gets the message.

  3. snuskeeter - March 23, 2018

    POTUS took one for the military today while signing the obscene omnibus bill. Now that he’s stood up for them and gotten them more funding, we’ll see what happens next go round.

  4. Texian - March 23, 2018

    Howdy DB,

    It’s a Uniparty, they are on the same team – theirs. Both sides bought and paid for. They don’t serve the people anymore. They.serve the Fourth Branch.

    Lawyers from their corporate donors write the bills – all they do is go out to try and sell the tonic.. It’s all Kabuki Theater. They are nothing but carpetbaggers..

    They are selling out their own Country for a few pieces of silver..

    This is a very big and dangerous problem..

  5. Jeff S. - March 23, 2018

    I disagree. Establishment Republicans love governing. They love the power, prestige, fame, money… where else can a guy earn $125K/year while maintaining multiple residences and retire a multimillionaire just a few years later? The Republicans’ problem is they’re terrible at looking like they hate governing. They want us to believe they’d rather be home running businesses, farming, fishing, or damn near anything else instead of governing. Make no mistake. Republicans love governing (i.e. having power over people) every bit as much as their wretched counterparts, the Democrats.

    1. David Blackmon - March 24, 2018

      Jeff: I think you and I are kind of on the same page, but our definitions of “governing” differ. I agree with you that Republicans love all the trappings of being in congress (they actually make more like $200k now), and being in Washington. But that is serving, not governing in my mind. Governing means actually taking responsibility for getting real things done while you’re in Washington. And when it comes to taking responsibility for getting anything done, congressional Rs are seldom anywhere to be found.

  6. David McMillan - March 23, 2018

    TAKE THIS TO THE BANK.
    The way is now clear for Trump to form a party of unity. picture an elephant with his trunk round a donkey. this is the only way forward. get the rino’s off his back and bring thinking Democrats into the middle ground. It may take a while but to truly MAGA it needs to be done

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