Can the GOP’s Shotgun Marriage Be Saved?

By Pat Buchanan : Opinion

GOP No more excuses
Can the GOP's Shotgun Marriage Be Saved?
Pat Buchanan
Patrick J .Buchanan

USA –  -(Ammoland.com)-  Wednesday morning, Nov. 9, 2016, Republicans awoke to learn they had won the lottery. Donald Trump had won the presidency by carrying Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. All three states had gone Democratic in the last six presidential elections.

The GOP had won both houses of Congress. Party control of governorships and state legislatures rivaled the halcyon years of the 1920s.

But not everyone was jubilant. Neocons and Never-Trumpers were appalled, and as morose as they had been since the primaries produced a populist slaughter of what GOP elites had boasted was the finest class of presidential candidates in memory.

And there was this sobering fact: Hillary Clinton had won the popular vote. Her margin would rise to near three million, making this the sixth in seven presidential elections that the GOP lost the popular vote. Trump had cracked the Democrats' “blue wall,” but a shift of 70,000 votes would have meant a third straight GOP defeat.

Seven months into the Trump presidency, the promise of a new Republican era has receded.

It is not because Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have proven to be such formidable adversaries, but because the GOP coalition has gone to battle stations — against itself.

John McCain
The decisive vote to kill the bill came from John McCain, who, for his own motives and to media cheers, torpedoed McConnell's effort and humiliated his party

Trump has taken to disparaging Senate Leader Mitch McConnell for failing to pass health care reform, though the decisive vote to kill the bill came from John McCain, who, for his own motives and to media cheers, torpedoed McConnell's effort and humiliated his party

And as Allan Ryskind writes in The Washington Times, McConnell is responsible for Neil Gorsuch being on the Supreme Court. Had Mitch not kept his troops in line to block a Senate vote on President Obama's election-year nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, there would have been no vacancy for Trump to fill with Gorsuch.

McConnell is also indispensable to the Trump-GOP effort to repopulate federal appellate courts with disciples of Antonin Scalia.

What purpose is served by the coach trashing his quarterback — in midseason?

Undeniably, Congress, which the voters empowered to repeal Obamacare, reduce tax rates and rebuild America's infrastructure, has thus far failed. And if Congress fails to produce on tax reform, the GOP will have some serious explaining to do in 2018.

As for Trump, while public approval of his performance is at record lows for a president in his first year, he has fulfilled some major commitments and has had some major achievements.

He put Gorsuch on the court. He pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris Climate Accord. He persuaded NATO allies to put up more for defense. He approved the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.

Border security is markedly better. The economic news has been excellent: Record run-ups in the stock market, near full employment, growth approaching the 3 percent he promised. The coal industry has been liberated, and the Trump folks are renegotiating NAFTA.

Yet the divisions over policy and the persona of the president are widening. Trump is disliked and disrespected by many in his own party on Capitol Hill, and much of the Republican media proudly despise him.

And that form of bribery so familiar to D.C. — trashing one's president at the coaxing of the press, in return for plaudits to one's “courage” and “independence” — is openly practiced.

More critically, there are disputes over policy that again seem irreconcilable.

Free-trade Republicans remain irredeemably hostile to economic nationalism, though countries like China continue to eat our lunch. In July, the U.S. trade deficit in goods was $65 billion, an annual rate of more than $780 billion.

Interventionists [John McCain again] continue to push for confrontation with Russia in the Baltic States and Ukraine, for more U.S. troops in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, for scrapping the nuclear deal with Iran.

On social issues, the GOP seems split, with many willing to soft-peddle opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion and wait on a Supreme Court that ignited the culture wars to reverse course with new Trump appointees.

Even Cabinet members and Trump aides have let the media know they sharply dissent from Trump's stand in the Charlottesville brawl. And the coming clash over statues of Confederate soldiers and statesmen is likely to split Northern and Southern Republicans.

The white working class that provided Trump's his margins in the Middle West wonders why affirmative action, reverse discrimination at their expense, has not been abolished.

As for Speaker Paul Ryan and others committed to entitlement reform — paring back Social Security and Medicare benefits, while raising the contributions of the well-to-do to ensure the long-term solvency of the programs — they have not been heard from lately.

What seems apparent is that the historic opportunity the party had in January, to forge a coalition of conservatives and populists who might find common ground on immigration, trade, border security, spending, culture and foreign policy, is slipping away.

And the battle for the soul and future of the GOP, thought to have been suspended until 2020, is on once again.

 

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

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Michael Westmarc disabled vetJSVE Veteran - Old Man's Club Recent comment authors
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Michael West
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Michael West

The republican party’s word is worth anything any more for the last elections running on the repeal of the ACA.
When they have control of all 3 bodies they fail. Why did the leadership of the Republican party have a bill ready to go. They had six years to get their shit together. they need to have someone to get them fired up and do their job. If it wasn’t for local politics I would become an independent .

marc disabled vet
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marc disabled vet

Get rid of the Old Dead weight .
The Old Cronny-isum Business as Usual ,
Doesn’t work ( except in their wallets) .
We need new Ideas and Younger (un-dead brains)
people who understand todays issues .

JS
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JS

I would like to say Ryan, McConnell, McCain should be voted out but the conservatives are just as bad as the democrats when it comes to keeping these people in office. As history shows, their states will re-elect them and all that does is continue to eviscerate the Republicans agenda. The Democrats just need to sit back and watch as we flail about tearing us apart.

VE Veteran - Old Man's Club
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VE Veteran - Old Man's Club

And Antifa , the Dems, Deep State, and every other anti – American asshole is cheering this news because the Republican squishes have successfully thrown a Monkey wrench into what the voters wanted on Nov. 16th. If conservatives don’t smarten up and draw the hardline when it comes to American values, we as a Free People ARE FINISHED. McCain should be frickin’ recalled! People of Arizona WAKE UP – he ain’t your friend! Am I pissed off – uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh YEAH! Is it any wonder why we are on the cusp of Civil War Part Deux! Its going to take that… Read more »