Back in early April, I blogged about the House Freedom Caucus and it’s disruptive, by plan, efforts in the House to drive home its members’ beliefs so far as the budget that was deadlocked as the result.
Here we are at June 10th and the House Freedom Caucus is still in that disruptive mode, and there is still no budget. Two months have passed. This is more and more detrimental to the country, to President Trump, to Republicans (especially leadership) in general and, frankly, to us conservatives since the Freedom Caucus is made up of conservatives. There is, admittedly, quite a distance from one side to the other of the basic beliefs in this fraternity of conservatives, as there is in the liberal nest, as well.
How is this possibly detrimental to the country? It plays to the Democrats who are only-too-happy to sit back and watch the circus. They are not objecting because this couldn’t help them anymore than it is already helping them. This is literally a freebie we’re gifting to the opposition. This is like an ice cream sundae with fudge topping and whipped cream and a cherry on top alongside the hearings the world watched over the past few days.
There comes a time when the factions must come together else there will be political repercussions that will hang over our heads for a long, long time. Newfound power can work exactly contrary to what those who just came into the zone of power think they’re achieving. I suspect that there are Republicans who see this as their opportunity to be rid of current Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, too, since he, while conservative, is apparently not conservative enough for the Freedom Caucus. Speakers are not always real popular with their party’s members since those members always want more than can possibly be gotten in the real political world in a single bite.
Supposedly the Freedom Caucus, as reported by the Associated Press this morning, would agree IF…
- they could win curbs on benefit programs such as food stamps and welfare to include work requirements
- they can cut domestic spending, and
- deliver that money to the Pentagon
As a conservative, I support those efforts. As a pragmatic conservative, I think we have to be able to see that we benefit more, and for a longer period of time if we can stay in power and take our time to reach the place we all want to be.
This lack of agreement is not only threatening to the Republican brand, it is also going to reflect very poorly on President Trump…which is all to the Dems’ liking since they are crying out for those kinds of footholds if they are to climb back into power. This was a devastating loss for the Democrats. Republicans need to show that they can govern if they are to remain the party in the majority.
Might this be the time when President Trump invites the Republican factions’ leaders, formal or informal, to the Oval Office for a reality check and to set-up an agreement for a near-future retreat somewhere? I think that would be good, and the sooner the better. This would show his abilities to facilitate and frame decisions across a spectrum of desires and that could only be a boost for his reputation as a capable ‘conservative’ politician. He has obviously made a fortune making deals. There is certainly a deal waiting to be made in this situation, and that is going to have to be a three-way deal. It is going to take a strong will to make this happen…and that means the various factions are going to have to give up on some of their demands in order to reach a middle-ground agreement.
This would begin with a simple Oval Office meeting with the apparent leaders of each faction to establish the ground rules. That could then be followed by a joint announcement of the decision to conduct the retreat and to outline the topics. This would serve all factions and it would serve President Trump well. President Trump would solidify his position, domestically, as his recent tour cemented his position to the rest of the free world.
If that can be accomplished in relatively short order, weeks not months, the problems can be converted into a solid approach to decision-making amongst the factions in the Republican caucus. If this is permitted to drag on and on, there is only more embarrassment for Republicans, and a sense of even greater power for the Freedom Caucus…and that would be a bad thing. There may be a bit of a power-drunk ‘thing’ going on already.
Conservatives need to be on the same page. There are problems enough when we who are branded as Republicans approach issues together. Those increase exponentially when we are a fractured coalition.