Are you tired of all that winning?
When Republicans initially gained control of the House in 2011, they promised to defund Obamacare, end funding for Planned Parenthood, and cut spending in the first budget bill in March. Even though they only controlled one branch of government, the understanding was that, buttressed by an electoral landslide, Republicans would stand their ground on at least half of their demands. Well, they caved immediately and then promised us they’d fight “the next time” in the fall budget. It became an inside joke among conservatives on Capitol Hill – “don’t worry, we’ll do it the next time” – even though the same rationale for the maniacal capitulation the first time would always persist in the subsequent iterations.
Now, with control of all three branches and a president who sold himself in the primaries as the antithesis of weak-kneed Republicans who don’t know the first thing about tough negotiations, we are in the exact same position. Last night, President Trump signaled that, after not even fighting on refugee resettlement and Planned Parenthood, he would cave on the final budget issue – the funding of the border fence. But fear not, he’ll resume his demand … the next time!
This degree of capitulation, with control of all three branches, is impressing even me … and I had low expectations of this president and this party. They have managed to get run over by a parked car. It’s truly breathtaking to contrast the performance of Democrats in the spring of 2009 with what Republicans have done today with all three branches. At this time in 2009, Democrats passed the bailouts, the stimulus, the first round of financial regulations, an equal pay bill, SCHIP expansion, and laid the groundwork for other, bigger proposals, such as cap and trade and Obamacare. Then they got everything they wanted in the March 2009 omnibus bill, and a number of GOP senators voted for it. We, on the other hand, are left with nothing.
GOP fighting now less with 3 branches than when they just had the House. They are actually using “next time” excuse. Trump is exactly same.
No Obamacare repeal, no repeal of iran deal, no repeal of amnesty, no defund of PP or refugee resettlement, full budget capitulation.no wall
— Daniel Horowitz (@RMConservative) April 25, 2017
Oh, and it was obviously hard to fit in the growing list of policy delays in just 140 characters, such as the Paris climate initiative and moving the embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
At this juncture, conservatives would be wise to ponder the following questions:
Finally, there is the most unsettling question of all: What does the GOP need to do for conservatives to finally learn that this party – its infrastructure, messaging, beliefs, and hierarchy – is irremediably broken?
Perhaps the next time.
Editor’s note: This piece has been updated to correct a typo and to embed the correct tweet.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.