There is a line in the new book “Citizen Newt” by Craig Shirley that explains why Donald Trump turned to Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to make a deal on debt ceiling and hurricane relief cash.
Actually it’s more than a line. It’s a 120 word sentence that takes a full four inches of the page.
Shirley is explaining why Ronald Reagan was having trouble corralling Republican votes in the 1985 era. In this monster sentence he delineates the many distinct varieties of Republicans: “Reagan Democrats, neocons, theocons, libertarians, globalists, isolationists, Police State Republicans, Vichy Republicans, intellectualists, moralists, abolitionists, country club Republicans, bowling league Republicans, Ivy League Republicans, prairie league Republicans, sell out Republicans, access-selling Republicans, lapsed Republicans, pink elephant Republicans, teetotaling Republicans, preppy Republicans, blue collar Republicans, K Street Republicans, Main Street Republicans, Wall St. Republicans…” and he goes on to name another sixteen discreet types of Republicans.
Perhaps Shirley was being a little mocking, but he definitely hit on a truth that is facing Republicans even right now.
When the President deals with Republican leaders–McConnell and Ryan–can he count of either of them to round up all the stray cats who call themselves some kind of Republican?
Trump wandered into that briar patch with health care. Democrats march in lockstep, Republicans splitter like dry wood.
Mitch McConnell gave two Republican Senators a pass to vote no on health care repeal and replace. They were Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins. That left McConnell with no wiggle room and depending on John McCain to not be a dick. But McCain was a dick. He wasn’t going to give Donald Trump a win, so health care went down the drain.
Now here’s Trump–perfectly aligned with the country– looking to get hurricane relief money in line quickly and with no fuss. And he’s looking to get the debt ceiling deal done and over (if only for the moment). And he can see the whining coming from the Republican side: pay for hurricane relief with spending cuts, extend the debt ceiling past the ’18 midterms, do this, do that.
So Trump said ‘screw it.’
All he had to do was turn to Schumer and Pelosi and say, “You in?”
Of course they jumped at it.
First it made McConnell and Ryan looking like monkeys. That’s a win for the Dems.
Second, it gave them another shot at thumping the Republicans in December when the debt ceiling comes due again.
I think I predicted this. I wasn’t the only one, to be sure. But beats me why McConnell and Ryan didn’t see it coming.
Trump is a Republican In Name Mostly, meaning he’s not loyal to Republicans who frustrate him and tie him in knots over their sacred principles. No need for me to name names. They know who they are and they have the bruises to show for it.
Trump is looking to get things done and if the Republicans won’t fall in line and help, he’ll turn to the Dems.
The Freedom Caucus and the other cats who can’t be herded in the Republican Caucus should now be thoroughly warned.
The Republicans could lose their President. They may not like him everyday in every way. But he’s the only one they got.