Monday's HOT MIC

Monday's HOT MIC

A fascinating discussion today among three very smart, very thoughtful people -- Steve, Paula, and Roger -- about the fate and future of Republicanism and where Trump may be taking it.

It seems to me that we're dancing around the real issue. Is there one Republican Party bound by immutable principles, united by a common vision of governance, and animated by a shared historical understanding of the party's past?

Well, now that you put it that way...

Actually, all of that could be true and has been in the past. What's needed is a dominant personality -- a Taft, an Ike, a Goldwater, a Reagan -- who, by sheer force of will, pulls the various factions of Republicanism together and has them marching in the same direction.

The previous eight years were a mirage. What united the party was opposition to a Democratic president. Obviously, that's not enough. And the Ryan-McConnell idea of "leadership" has been an exercise in trying not to offend anyone who isn't a conservative. The rickety coalition of moderates and career conservatives they've constructed is, quite simply, unable to govern and has failed in offering a coherent vision of what the people of the United States need.

The people are crying out for leadership. They want the vision thing. They want to be inspired.

And not just the activists. In fact, those individual politicians who inspire activists scare the hell out of many of the rest of us.

For the record, the Democrats are in worse shape than Republicans. But again, opposition to a Republican president is masking the true dire straits of their party. Democratic leaders are old, tired social democrats whose ideas have been rejected time and time again. The danger is that Trump will make Republicanism so odorous and toxic that whatever radical candidate the Democrats nominate in 2020 will win -- Trumpism in reverse.

Would that really be the end of the republic? As Roger mentioned, Trump's singular achievement in office has been the rollback of dozens of regulations -- so far. He's not going to eliminate the regulatory state, nor should he. The point is, much of President Obama's legacy was not built on legislation, but on executive orders and regulations. Both have been curtailed, rolled back, or eliminated under Trump, proving that America is a lot more resilient than her cynics give her credit for.