The fresh start. It’s a soothing term, isn’t it?
The late musician John Lennon (gone forty years now, who could figure?) penned a song on what would be his final album that addressed the concept as it related to his marriage. The song, “(Just Like) Starting Over” was a lyrical tribute to his journey to find freshness and meaning in every day. As everyone knows, Lennon had been through a lot in his 40 years on earth. This isn’t the time or place to revisit the legendary Beatle’s emotional road trip, but suffice to say, if anyone needed to start again, it was Lennon. Though today’s Republican congressional leadership is worlds apart from Lennon’s rock music roller coaster ride, the notion that the party could use a fresh start is remarkably similar. Understandably, there’s been much said and written about former president Donald Trump’s struggles to unite the GOP under his Make America Great Again agenda during his White House years -- but the Capitol Hill ruling class wouldn’t allow it to happen. The need for change is drastically evident now more than ever, with the wishy-washy leaders wavering on Joe Biden’s and the Democrats’ ill-considered, mean, vindictive and unconstitutional (second) impeachment fiasco. With Minority Leader Mitch McConnell hinting that he’s considering voting to convict (thus opening the door wide for his sheep to follow the directionless shepherd) and the House heads having voted for it (well, at least one of them, Rep. Liz Cheney), new blood wouldn’t just be refreshing, it’s a necessity. Mollie Hemingway addressed Cheney’s treachery at The Federalist:
“The House Republican conference can tolerate a member who caters to the Democratic media complex in order to further her personal agenda. However, she can’t be in leadership. The party leadership must be unified in order to effectively fight against the left-wing assaults in the years to come. “This is a fraught time for the republic and for tens of millions of Americans. [Minority Leader Kevin] McCarthy, [Minority Whip Steve] Scalise, and the other leaders of the House Republicans need to show some leadership on behalf of tens of millions of voters who are genuinely worried about the left’s assaults on the Constitution, the economy, and rule of law. Cheney miscalculated the wisdom of histrionically joining with Democrats in their latest stunt. She should step down. If she needs help to step down, she should be provided that help quickly.”
How about painlessly? Reading Hemingway’s words, one envisions a Samurai second standing behind a seppuku subject with sword raised until the proper moment to strike in the ritual. Though Cheney certainly brought shame to herself and her party in recent times, such a dramatic ceremonial removal isn’t called for here. But it would be nice if the neoconservative dinosaur remnant of a disgraced era would simply agree to go gently into the good night, thus sparing her colleagues of the humiliation of banishing her.
It isn’t going to happen. Cheney’s said she isn’t going anywhere and the Republicans’ current House leaders expressed support for her to stay right where she is. One of only ten GOPers who joined nutty Nancy Pelosi to formally impeach Trump -- even as a private citizen -- Liz sticks out like a sore thumb. Over half her caucus indicated she should get out of Dodge, but thus far Cheney’s turned a deaf ear to the wishes of her own constituents (in Wyoming) and is practically daring everyone to do something about her.
But it isn’t just Cheney that’s the problem. Though McCarthy has won over the goodwill of some formerly skeptical conservatives (such as Jim Jordan) and did a pretty good job of increasing his caucus’s numbers in last November’s election, many liberty-lovers consider him too passive and, for a lack of a better way to put it, intellectually lacking, to combat the ruthlessness of an old hand (hag?) like Pelosi. With Democrats holding only a narrow lower chamber majority, it’s conceivable that an aggressive Republican counterpart could ensure the liberal party’s more damaging pipedreams never get off the ground.
Or at the very least, win the battle for public opinion. Gutless McCarthy even favors “censuring” Trump. What fortitude.
There may be no groundswell of support to ditch McCarthy, but someone in the House GOP caucus should keep the concept alive for perhaps the right moment to challenge him. The same goes for all the “leaders” who only give lip service to the party platform and the conservative grassroots’ demands for action on the agenda.
The same definitely applies to the senate side, where Mitch McConnell embarrassed himself and the conservatives under him by throwing Trump under the bus in the president’s critical hour of need. There was no political love lost between the two as Trump headed out of town, but still the bespectacled 78-year-old “Murder Turtle” could’ve given the populist president an appropriate send-off and proper thank you (The same carries for Senators John Thune and Roy Blunt).
Playing nice with the devil (in this case, “Chucky” Schumer) hasn’t won them a higher place in the hearts of the governed. No one’s suggesting that the senate GOP leaders start slinging pointed barbs like Trump always did (not always effectively), but the stodgy old good ol’ boys club decorum isn’t forcing the opposition to wilt -- or temper their own rhetorical excesses. Heck, is anyone afraid of getting on Mitch McConnell’s bad side?
Instead of stopping well short and commending the longtime GOP senate master for his good/great work on getting Trump’s judicial nominations confirmed, why don’t we make a switch and see whether more progress would be made in shrinking the size of government and restoring and protecting some semblance of traditional American culture? Leftist groups routinely show up at McConnell’s home residence. Just imagine how enraged the left would be if Republicans had a leader who really gave them all they could handle.
At current, the prospects for electing new Republican leaders aren’t promising, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk as though it will happen someday. Rather than allowing the establishment and the media to control the candidates, why not step forward and tout our own preferences? Josh Hawley? Tom Cotton? Marsha Blackburn? It’s more than just to dream. What’s wrong with starting over?