If you are inside a burning building, you go into overdrive rescuing what you can and getting out. If the fire is coming down the hallway and you are in an uber-emergency situation, you scramble to the nearest staircase without regards to anything but alerting as many as possible and getting out. On the on the other hand, if you smell smoke, you will poke around at a leisurely pace to see if there is any imminent threat. You won’t rush out, you won’t even call for help until you find a fire.
That is the difference between the establishment GOP and the base of the Republican Party.
The establishment GOP or congressional party views things through the prism of maintaining power and risk avoidance because all can be made well when one of their preferred Republicans win the White House.
The GOP base that lives outside the Washington, D.C. Beltway sees the U.S. Constitution being ripped to shreds by a President with no regard for Congress or the courts for that matter.
They see environmental regimes being put into place that destroy their jobs and the future of their children. They see a wholesale assault on their values by a government that demands tolerance from them, but rewards intolerance toward them. They see the country being flooded by illegal aliens from south of the border, and a new floodgate of Islamic refugees from places that don’t like us very much being welcomed with open arms into our nation.
And they see their tax dollars being used, with the authorization of a Republican Congress, to fund what is a national suicide and few of their elected officials battling to stop the Obama administration.
The irony is that the establishment GOP fuels these concerns every time they send out a fundraising letter to their former small donor base talking about how they are going to rein in Obama, which is juxtaposed by their failure to fight to that end.
House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is the prime example of the “eventually we’ll do something that limits government” crowd. In the recent omnibus spending bill, Ryan continually expressed his own disengagement, instead looking forward to using 2016 as an almost think tank seminar discussing tax reform and the need for Congress to reassert its authority. Meanwhile, Congress gave the President his wish list getting precious little in return and effectively funded Obama’s agenda for the remainder of his term.
Ryan was and is looking to a better time in a post-Obama 2017 ignoring the damage that is being done to the country in the last thirteen months of his term.
Those outside the Beltway screaming at the Republicans to fight for them are scared to death over the permanent damage being done, knowing full well that the GOP establishment will likely accept what Obama has wrought as the new normal, and simply seek to fix it rather than rip Obama’s legacy out by the roots.
To them the house is fully engulfed in flames and their family is inside, there is no time to wait and heroic measures are needed now. In 2016, Republicans in Congress will need to demonstrate that they share that urgency by using every power at their disposal to slow Obama’s roll. Wait ‘til next year may be a great slogan for the Chicago Cubs, but when your country is being deliberately destroyed by an unchecked President, it is unacceptable.
And in this new political world being carved by Donald Trump and Ted Cruz failure to fight is not an option.
The author is president of Americans for Limited Government.