If there is one thing I learned from my recent trip to CPAC, it’s that the fickle fringes of the Republican Party are coming together. Some grudgingly, some enthusiastically, but almost all embracing the notion of “winning,” over personal litmus tests for their own brand of puritanical conservatism. It was a pleasant and enduring surprise to witness in person, punctuated with a dazzling and inspiring speech by President Trump. It was a well deserved moment, too, for all of us to pat each other on the back and dole out kudos, where they were warranted. As fulfilling as the experience was, it will need to be a cemented mentality going forward, or we will have one hell of a short-lived victory dance.
For all the harmony I noted above, there was also an obvious lack of congressional vocals in that harmony. A full month into the Trump presidency, here is what we know for certain: The media and the democrats have joined together to form a cacophonous blob of opposition, and the congressional republicans are, well, they’re not quite sure what to do. They remind me a lot of the players on those interesting New York Yankee teams in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Bear with me…
If you recall, their fiery and bombastic owner, George Steinbrenner, would repeatedly chide his players publicly when the team struggled. The players, by and large, would grumble quietly and try to up their game for fear the fans would isolate them as one of the Steinbrenner’s targets. Others, like Reggie Jackson, would push back and use the media to deflect and grow their own narrative. Most congressional republicans, for this comparative exercise, are the run-of-mill players on the roster who only care about one thing: staying employed. Others, like John McCain, are 80 years old and newly elected for a final term in office, with nothing to lose. All apologies to Reggie Jackson, who actually had talent, but most registered republicans wish Trump had the option Steinbrenner had and trade away McCain for something even remotely useful.
The point of the metaphor is to paint the portrait as it exists today politically. The only relevant parties on the political field today are the republicans in Congress and Trump. The media are the same tool of ire and conspiracy they always were, in sports or politics. The fans are us; we are the ones that can swing the hammer of opinion to the players or the owner. Who’s the boss? In exactly 12 months, the process to determine just that comes into play in the form of Primary Elections. Chances are, this will need to be another reckoning. If these elected Yankees on the field can’t do the job for our elected Steinbrenner up in the box, it’s our job to trade them for better options. It shouldn’t come to that, but it probably will and we need to plan for it, regardless.
It’s called Revolution ’18, and it should have every republican Senator up for re-election, ahem Jeff Flake, nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Every Representative in a Trump won district should find the line and toe it, because we are not bluffing. We want results. We don’t want your excuses, or your qualifiers on parliamentary hurdles, just the results we were promised when we delivered you along to DC to help President Trump. You are not independent review mechanisms to check and balance our executive vote, that’s not why we put you there. Repeal Obamacare, pass tax reform and build the wall. Do it, get it started by next year, or risk being replaced. It’s up to us, not you, and certainly not the media or paid town hall protesters.
It reminds of a story when I was teaching my daughter to use the potty. “Daddy, where does the kitty-cat poop?” In a box, I replied. “But doggies poop outside?” That’s right, I said. “Where do birdies go poop, daddy?” On my car, usually, I told her. “But people use the the potty, right, daddy?” Yes, dear…everyone but congress, where they tend to do it right in their beds.
My wife has since taken over the toilet training. Win, win.