President Donald Trump Declares War on the Freedom Caucus
The Freedom Caucus (aka the Tea Party, aka Reagan Republicans) is a group of the most conservative members in the House of Representatives. The Caucus has about 30 members in a House numbering 435 Representatives.
President Trump blames the Caucus for his legislative failure on ObamaCare. Angered by Caucus opposition, Trump is going so far as to declare war on The Caucus.
Republicans put themselves in the political Cuisinart by botching ObamaCare legislation: it was a classic Catch 22. If they passed it, they risked alienating the Republican base. When they did not pass it, they handed the Democrats a victory, and made zero progress, inviting intra-party conflicts. The Left pounced, asking the question: can Republicans govern?
As Robert Tracinski ably points out, Speaker Paul Ryan and President Trump basically ignored Republican voters who have demanded complete repeal, for years. That base of voters rightly fear a Republican version of ObamaCare with the ‘repeal & reform’ agenda set by the President.
Why do ears go deaf once elected? The People have spoken for years. Majorities consistently demand complete repeal, not compromise and reform, saying they want the federal government out of the healthcare business. Even Medicare and Medicaid are illegitimate intrusions and wasteful, lumbering, bankrupt violations of the Constitution, say more conservative members.
So the dust up ensued and lacking the votes, Ryan pulled the ‘repeal & reform’ legislation, angering the President to the point he has declared war on a few members of his own party!
A good question to ask at any intersection of conflict when considering a next move: “What purpose will this serve?”
What purpose is served by declaring war on The Caucus? If immediate reactions are indicative, the President’s war declaration has only served to strengthen Caucus resolve, encouraging Democrats, and NeverTrumpers who chant “told you so.” Such declarations only depress and discourage people supportive of the President.
Furthermore, if legislative success depends upon coalition building, Trump is working against himself. If he cannot even coalesce Republicans, what chance does the Republican agenda have in Congress? If the future of the country depends upon a successful Conservative agenda, what future can we expect if a Republican President attacks Conservatives?
And what better way to strengthen a decimated Democrat Party then to fracture your own?
Try as we might to support this President, he makes it very difficult when he engages in erratic behavior, sparking counterproductive battles, even within his own party.
Rather than declare war on Conservatives, there is a simple solution. Draft and introduce straightforward legislation that repeals ObamaCare, stem to stern.
In this way, with one stroke, you avoid war, unify your party, set the stage for true healthcare reform, defeat Democrats, silence critics at least for a day, and come out looking like a decisive, effective leader.
Why play the victim when you can achieve victory?
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