Former President Donald J. Trump is correct. Again.
Detractors and doubters of the outsider New York real estate developer-turned-politician-turned president-turned establishment antagonist shouldn’t be upset by my declaration. I’m not referring to the results of the 2020 election or the various audits and ballot integrity investigations making their way through states that had questionable counting methods… though chances are, he’s right there too.
I’m speaking of the impasse over the so-called “bipartisan” infrastructure bill supposedly being hammered out in the backrooms of the senate between a group of politically advantageous Democrats and the soft-underbelly of the Republican Party, the personified RINOs that everyone realizes only do what they do to maintain an appearance of impartiality and therefore gain favor with the establishment media. Like insecure kids in high school, they act out so liberals will say nice things about them, at least until the next time they show backbone and stand up to the leftist onslaught.
Trump feels no such compulsion to comply and be agreeable -- unless you’re talking about with the conservative grassroots, which he clearly adores. The affection is mutual, for sure. But the other day, Trump let his opinion be known concerning the progress of the “talks” between the moderates (a badly misapplied term) on both sides. Why sugarcoat it? Trump said that Republicans shouldn’t let themselves be suckered by the left -- and they also should wait until they’re in the majority to negotiate on infrastructure from a position of strength.
Sounds like common sense to me. Brett Samuels reported at The Hill:
“Former President Trump on Monday urged Senate Republicans to abandon talks on a bipartisan infrastructure deal until after the midterm elections or when the GOP retakes majorities in Congress. ‘Senate Republicans are being absolutely savaged by Democrats on the so-called 'bipartisan' infrastructure bill,’ Trump said in a statement as Senate negotiators work to finalize an agreement this week.
“Trump claimed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Republicans working on the deal, such as Sens. Rob Portman (Ohio), Susan Collins (Maine) and Mitt Romney (Utah), were merely interested in proving they could work with Democrats.
“’It is so important to [McConnell] that he is agreeing to almost anything,’ Trump said. ‘Don’t do the infrastructure deal, wait until after we get proper election results in 2022 or otherwise, and regain a strong negotiating stance. Republicans, don’t let the Radical Left play you for weak fools and losers!’”
Brilliant, isn’t it? Can you imagine any of the weak-kneed Bush clan calling their own congressional leaders “weak fools and losers”? Language is so often underutilized or abused in today’s world, where there’s an unwritten rule that one must be “civil” and “work with others” and give away the store so someone in the elite class or the consultants on K Street will like you. But not Trump.
The prior White House occupant recognizes that the GOP has little to gain by capitulating now, and it could even be disastrous politically. A bad deal is a bad deal, after all. With inflation concerns rising, senile Joe’s approval ratings noticeably falling and Americans skittish about the future of the economy because of the reemergence of a rash of COVID-19 cases -- and the clamor over getting vaccinated -- this is no time to be going along to get along.
Trump knows exactly who he’s addressing and what he’s trying to accomplish at all times. If he can sway public opinion against the bad bargain in the upper chamber, he might be able to stop it in its tracks. Peeling a RINO or two off the compromise infrastructure bill is all it would take to sink the whole deal. It's about time that Republicans dropped the cooperation nonsense and looked to the long-term, like Trump always does.
By even continuing to work on this “bipartisan” farce, Republicans are tacitly granting their permission to the Democrats to bypass them entirely and push through their real goal -- the massive $3.5 trillion budget resolution -- without a single GOPer giving his or her thumbs up. This isn’t about the simple matter of appropriating money for “infrastructure” or selling the concept of a functional Congress to the public. It’s about winning vs. losing.
It doesn’t take a genius or an economist to see nobody but the left wins by passing this “deal”. Liberals, led by president senile Joe Biden, will present it as their first great cooperative “victory” and claim, once again, that they’re unifying the country and can work with Republicans on issues where theoretically there is common ground. Who’s against better roads and bridges, or the electric grid or internet service for rural communities? Biden calls Republicans racists and Jim Crow pushers in one breath and then spouts off about how malleable and “moderate” he is in the next.
Then Democrats will embark on their pre-August recess mission to “save” the country by passing a lifting of the debt ceiling and load up the larger proposal with pork and welfare money -- the infamous “human” infrastructure -- while simultaneously crowing about saving the planet from climate change and the uncaring Republicans. It’s more than predictable, it’s certainty.
In poking at the senate Republican leadership in these otherwise calm summer days, Trump sent out notice that he’s watching what is going on and acting as the GOP’s de facto leader and shadow president. At a rally in Phoenix last weekend, Trump let it be known that he doesn’t intend to fade into the background. And his contention that the election was stolen… that doesn’t look to be going away either.
The 2022 midterm elections are drawing nearer by the day and it’s time Republicans provided additional reasons to vote for the party. Simply being the “party of no” or serving as non-Democrats isn’t good enough. Conservatives want victories, not warmed-over slightly scaled back liberalism. Biden and his faction have screwed up the border, fostered hyperinflation and divided the country more than ever along cultural lines. This is the moment to stand your ground, not surrender the field.
Besides, the bipartisan deal isn’t necessary. A number of conservatives have pointed out that there’s plenty of unspent money from the COVID “relief” package that could just as easily be diverted to infrastructure if there was political will to do it. Biden and Democrats are working the separate bill angle to generate positive publicity for their candidates next year. It’s pretty obvious what they’re after, and it ain’t a kumbaya session with Republicans.
By going after McConnell publicly (Trump called him an “Old Crow” in Phoenix), the former president fired the latest shot in a rhetorical war that’s lasted since he first announced his run for president. Mitch didn’t pull punches last December and earlier this year when he announced that not only did Trump lose the election, his president’s rhetoric was responsible for the January 6 “mostly peaceful” protest at the Capitol.
True, McConnell voted against Trump’s impeachment for the second time, but seemingly only because he would’ve lost the support of the majority of his caucus if he’d joined the RINO contingent to convict the man who’d received more votes than any other Republican presidential candidate in history. As it is, McConnell has maintained fairly tight discipline over his fifty members. But if the Kentuckian starts digging at Trump, all bets are off on him keeping his position.
Killing the infrastructure plan would be fairly easy if there was the gumption to do it. Liberal Democrats have repeatedly said they won’t go along with any plan if there aren’t tax hikes included. McConnell could simply draw the line at no new taxes, and the package probably wouldn’t have the sixty votes necessary to move it.
Senate Republicans aren’t really doing much these days other than trying to stay together to thwart Chucky Schumer and the Democrat drive to socialism. Agreeing to an infrastructure package -- especially a pork-laden “green energy” bill that Biden approves of -- would take away one more salient issue that GOP candidates have to run on next year.
Trump was right to speak out at this particular time since there will be pressure on McConnell to cave to the Democrats so as to demonstrate his “bipartisan” bona fides. The Republican party must stand for something. If the GOP can’t oppose the “spend now” travesty that’s occupying so much of the press’s attention of late, then what are Republicans good for?
Take it to heart, “Old Crow” McConnell.
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