Approaching the vaunted one hundred day benchmark, it’s clear the Republicans, not the Democrats or their faithful media allies, are the biggest threat to Donald Trumps’s presidency.
Lost in various ego and ideology-driven agendas, the GOP legislators are doing their best to elect Elizabeth Warren president in 2020. Perhaps they should turn over their donor lists to the Massachusetts senator and make things easier and more direct.
This may or may not speak poorly for Trump’s managerial skills. And it doesn’t account entirely for his poor poll numbers. But if there is a cancer on his presidency, it is coming largely from his own party’s inability to enact legislation when they have undisputed control of Congress and the executive branch.
It’s almost as if the Republicans have a death wish and don’t really want to govern, subconsciously preferring to be an opposition party that doesn’t have to take responsibility for their actions, only for criticism.
Beyond that, a number of the GOP congresspeople are cowardly, cowering before the overwrought hot heads who almost always populate town hall meetings or declining to align with Trump because of his poll numbers.
Worth noting, however, is that buried in those latest “record low” polls being trumpeted on the Sunday shows is the fascinating fact that Trump would now beat Hillary Clinton in the popular vote (43-40) as well as the Electoral College were the election to be held today. Does anyone doubt that his other “underwater” poll numbers would start turning around were tax and/or healthcare reform to pass Congress?
Ironically, this self-destructive behavior on the part of congressional Republicans is occurring at a time when Democrats are exceptionally weak. They have little or no strategy and almost no policies to offer the public. Shopworn liberal-progressive ideologies have less appeal than ever.
This leaves the Democrats and the media relying on such propagandistic nonsense as the president’s supposed collusion with Putin, which is nothing more than projection.
Further, the media’s endless nattering about internal bickering inside the administration, real and/or imagined, is of marginal import. Most people realize power struggles are normal. They experience them in their own lives.
Making matters worse for the Democrats and their media allies are the noxious “antifa” (actually pro-fa) anarchists in the streets acting like violent children on steroids.
With all this in their favor, it’s evident the Republicans can’t stand prosperity. More even then Trump and his administration, the victims of the GOP fecklessness are the American people who, as usual, are left out in the cold as those inside the Beltway indulge in their usual self-preservationist tap dance to nowhere.
Unless the GOP gets its act together, what we are looking at is one of the greatest squandered opportunities in American history. It could almost be read as a criticism of the democratic system itself — the ratification of E. M. Forster’s famous caveat Two Cheers for Democracy.
This time one might rephrase it as “two cheers for ideology” because a large part of the problem for the Republican Party is that some of its political leaders have become “drunk on ideology.” Having theoretical underpinnings is a good thing, but as we all know, there is a price to pay for “too much of a good thing.” In this case, it makes people intransigeant.
Again ironically, this resistance to compromise impedes these same people from eventually getting what they want. Short-sighted, they forget how incremental gains are useful too if they leave you free to continue to fight for your ultimate objectives over time. These same people seem to think that everything is permanently foreclosed if they make accommodations now.
It’s time for them to consider the wise words of the great Victorian designer William Morris, even though he was (eek!) a socialist:
… men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name….
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His latest book is I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already. Follow him on Twitter @rogerlsimon.