We are witnessing an uprising in the Republican Party. With the rise of Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina, rank and file party members are making it clear that they’re completely dissatisfied with the status quo. Back in 2010, the Republicans were given control of the House of Representatives. This was a direct response to the Democrats forcing Obamacare down our throats. Americans have been consistently opposed to Obamacare, and stopping its implementation was the only reason that the Republicans were swept into power so soon after the unpopularity of the Bush years.
For four years, we heard that Republicans couldn’t actually do anything because they only controlled one-half of one-third of the federal government. We stupidly believed them. We gave them a stunning victory in 2014 that secured a solid majority in the Senate. Now the Republicans could get to work. Now we’d see some action to restrain the Democratic Party’s excesses… but it really hasn’t worked out that way. The Republicans have shown that they are more interested in being the Democrats’ junior partner than in being the opposition party.
Time and time again we see the Republicans bending to the will of Obama. Oh, they talk a good game, but when push comes to shove they fold on everything from the funding of Planned Parenthood to the use of continuing budget resolutions. They were specifically elected as a check on the Democrats, but all they do is repeatedly capitulate. In fact, President Obama is so emboldened by Republican weakness that he’s now saying that he’ll veto any defense spending measure that doesn’t close the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay.
Why are we still operating under continuing budget resolutions rather than an actual budget? Why does the Republican Party accept the narrative surrounding their (supposed) desire to shut down the government if they don’t get their way? They need to pass a real budget that reflects the desires of the people who sent them to Washington. They need to pass a budget that cuts spending, addresses the entitlement crisis of Social Security and Medicare, and funds the military so that it can fight the Jihadist enemy. They should follow Sen. Ted Cruz’s advice… craft a budget, pass it using reconciliation (if necessary), and send it to the President’s desk. If Obama won’t sign it, then it will be his action (or lack thereof) that will be responsible for any government shutdown. The people are sick of these feckless and timid collaborators. We’re looking for backbone in our elected officials.
Forty Republican members of the Freedom Caucus have defected over attempts to appoint Rep. Kevin McCarthy to replace the outgoing capitulator, Speaker John Boehner. As Boehner’s right-hand man, McCarthy was not a choice that would have represented any acceptable change whatsoever. Rep. Peter King is having a series of tantrums because he doesn’t like conservatives exerting influence in the corridors of power. According to him, we’re turning into a Banana Republic because we won’t support his entrenched buddies. The party elite is completely disconnected from the will of its voting base. This is why we see the rise of Trump, and to a lesser extent the rise of Carson and Fiorina. When the rare elected official has actually stood up for what the people wanted, senior members of the party have simply attacked them. (Remember Sen. John McCain‘s attack on Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, and Rep. Justin Amash in 2014?)
Donald Trump was quick to take credit for the insurrection in the House Republican ranks, and he’s not really wrong in this assessment. The same people willing to back a political outsider (like him) are the same people pressuring the conservatives in the party not to appoint another establishment candidate to run the House. The ruling elite of the GOP are doing nothing to address the major issues of the day. The party’s base is fed up and is quite eager to drive them from positions of power. The American voter has had enough of a de facto one-party system, and is willing to elect an outsider for President who at least seems to share their views on immigration, trade, and the Second Amendment.
As conservatives, we are not sycophantically wedded to the Republican Party or its ruling elite. We’ve had it with the life-long career politicians who are more interested in cooperating with the opposition than fulfilling conservative campaign promises. Maybe Trump isn’t a true conservative, but how many times are we willing to believe the lies of professional politicians who run as conservatives but govern as liberals?