Reince Priebus was Donald Trump’s attempt to make nice with the GOP establishment. It was a colossal, dismal failure. In the end, the president was forced to fire Priebus, who, though nice, is weak, and may even have been responsible for some damaging leaks to the media. When the president brought in Gen. Kelly rather than another swamp creature to shape up the White House, he burned his last bridge to the establishment.
When he almost immediately took to rightly lacerating the inept and terminally weak leadership of the Senate for not getting rid of the grotesque fake filibuster - which allows a tiny minority of eight to dictate policy to the entire country - Trump declared open war on the establishment. And the GOP establishment declared open war on him in return.
Now, bizarrely, the swamp creatures who run the GOP establishment are actively teaming up with their political adversaries to submarine their own president. Republicans are now actively working with Democrats to cobble together some misbegotten “solution” to ObamaCare reform. This, instead of making any kind of good faith effort to keep their promise to repeal the monstrosity that is ObamaCare and replace it with something that allows the free market - at least in mythical theory a bedrock Republican value - to increase accessibility and lower prices for insurance coverage.
And in the face of a runaway special counsel investigation - which has never identified even a supposed crime somebody is supposed to have committed, and is stacked with Democrat donors looking for Trump’s scalp - the GOP establishment is again teaming up with their political enemies to undermine the president and tie his hands in the face of this Bob Mueller-directed snipe hunt.
Republican senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina is joining forces with noted Never Trump Chris Coons, a Democrat senator from Delaware, to make it harder for the president to fire Mueller, by placing any effort to remove him in the hands of the judicial branch rather than the executive branch where it belongs. To make matters worse, noted establishment Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is joining forces with that noted beacon of conservative principle, Cory Booker of New Jersey, to work on legislation to the same end.
Sen. John McCain, after vengefully poking his finger in the president’s eye over health care, is now actively working to revive his Gang of Eight amnesty bill the American people thought had long ago been buried somewhere in the Arizona desert. This “comprehensive” immigration bill, of course, will be flatly contrary to the immigration policies the president is now actively pursuing.
It is beyond obvious by now that the GOP establishment would much rather work with Democrats against the president than to work with the president against Democrats. What began as Donald Trump against the swamp has now become the ENTIRE swamp against Donald Trump. And the swamp wants to swallow him whole.
Nuking the absurd fake filibuster was the last realistic hope the American people had that our Republican elected officials would actually use the power we gave them to enact conservative principles into law. But Senate Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, flatly and defiantly resisted the President’s call for a return to the classic value of majority rule. Which means, if you are a Republican, your own senators are insanely committed to minority rule, mindlessly committed to allowing a tiny sliver of radical, regressive members of the opposition to block every single piece of good legislation. A more abject, obscene and grotesque failure of leadership and electoral responsibility would be hard to imagine.
Republicans told us they couldn’t save the Republic without control of the House. So we gave them the House. And they did nothing. Then they told us they couldn’t save the Republic without control of the Senate. So we gave them the Senate. And they did nothing. Then they told us they couldn’t save the Republic without the control of the Oval Office. So we gave them the White House. And they did nothing. Then they told us they can’t save the Republic without 60 votes. So we told them to nuke the filibuster. And they did nothing.
So what is left? There is only one thing that can save the Republic at this point, and that is the vigorous use of President Trump’s veto pen. The president should sign good legislation but immediately begin vetoing every misshapen piece of legislation the swamp dumps on his desk. One after another. And explain to the American people on Twitter exactly why. Trump should say, I’ll see your 60 votes and raise you. You want to make me find 60 votes, I’ll make you find 67.
If that means nothing gets done, how is that any different than what we have now? A liberal publication recently published an article that castigated this Republican-led Congress as the most inert, ineffective Congress in 164 years. And it even pointed to the fake filibuster as the primary reason.
A rat-a-tat-tat of vetoes could not possibly make things any worse, and holds out the prospect that it might actually get the attention of the GOP establishment because it certainly will get the attention of the conservative base. They will see clearly which Republicans represent the obstructionist forces in their own party.
President Obama famously said, “I’ve got a pen and a phone.” Well, there is a Trump corollary. Our message to the president is simple: Mr. Trump, you’ve got a veto pen and a Twitter account. Start using them to drain the septic tank that Washington has become.