Republicans have been winning elections for more than seven years on the mantra they will repeal and replace ObamaCare, rebuild the economy and put money back in everyday Americans’ pockets. They have largely failed.
Since the November elections, the GOP has repeatedly fumbled the ObamaCare football and the surging economic measures and dwindling unemployment rates have little to do with Republican actions, outside of the president’s decision to roll back federal regulations.
President Trump has delivered blows to job-killing regulations via pen, pulpit and Twitter account. However, without a slam dunk tax cut by Thanksgiving, congressional GOP members and the party could be looking like turkeys and ripe for a coup.
The Bannon Insurgency
The mainstream media had been calling every GOP-Dem square-off since November a “referendum on Trump.” Pres. Trump-backed candidates won each special election handily. But the not-so-curious case of the Alabama primary race between Mitch McConnell’s favored candidate Sen. Luther Strange and far-right former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore took an ominous turn when Steve Bannon got into the fray. The former Trump campaign strategist and Breitbart editor declared a “season of war” on GOP insiders.
In many ways, Bannon’s Alabama win over the GOP elite and even Pres. Trump furthers the populist movement that put a DC outsider in the White House and has working class Americans armed to the teeth with ballots.
In a powerful speech, Bannon appropriated Scripture saying, “There’s a time and season for everything, and right now it’s a season of war against the GOP establishment.”
“It’s not my war. This is our war, and you all didn’t start it,” he said. “The establishment started it.”
Bannon’s pledge to cultivate grassroots candidates committed to doing the people’s business means that GOP politicians that fail in their duty to provide tax relief could face an uphill battle in the primaries. Bannon has brought the populist barbarians to the GOP gates and he already has a like-minded president.
Get ready for a fight.
GOP Members Flake Out And Become Un-Corkered
While every election sees its share of turnover, a pair of key Republicans seem to be opting out before they are summarily shown the door. Trump critics Sen. Bob Corker (Tennessee), and Sen. Robert Flake (Arizona) have all but checked out.
Sen. Flake confirmed that he would not seek re-election based on his in-fighting with Trump and his supporters on Capitol Hill. He also indicated that he couldn’t win a primary battle in the current upheaval many call the Republican Party. Flake’s revelation comes as a veritable shockwave to the Washington elite who thought his young incumbency had legs.
But Flake isn’t blind to the insider thinking that has run smack into the bare-knuckled politics that Trump and Bannon are more than ready to slug.
In a recent interview, he reportedly said that “there may not be a place for a Republican like me in the current Republican climate or the current Republican Party.” He went on to base that on his disagreements over trade and immigration reform, keenly leaving out the need for immediate tax reform and relief.
In 140 characters or less, and now-classic Trumpian bare-fisted bravado, the president took aim at Sen. Corker, tweeting “Bob Corker, who helped President O give us the bad Iran Deal & couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Tennessee, is now fighting Tax Cuts…”
Beer and Tax Cuts
For those who don’t YouTube every White House presser, the White House’s Sarah Huckabee may have said it all with her recent beer and tax cuts anecdote. Yes, she said all this live on TV in front of the White House press corps.
The analogy begins with a group of reporters and a beer tab. The percentage of payment is distributed by how much each earns. Following “beer tab reform” and cuts this is what happens.
“But once outside the bar, the reporters began to compare their savings. I only got $1 out of the $20 saving, declared the sixth reporter. She pointed to the tenth reporter, and he got $10. Yes that’s right, exclaimed the sixth reporter. I only saved $1 too. It’s unfair that he received 10x more benefit than me.
“That’s true, why should he get $10 back when I only got $2? The wealthy gets all the breaks.
“Wait a minute, yelled the first four reporters (who paid zero), we didn’t get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor.
“The nine reporters yelled at the tenth (the wealthiest) and made him feel bad so the next time the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks and the nine sat down and had their beers without him. When it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They no longer had enough money between them all to even cover half of the bill.”
She went on to laugh that the tenth, and wealthiest reporter, moved overseas where the Beer Code is more evenly distributed.
While Sanders may get a laugh, the underlying reality is that the GOP has failed to deliver the goods. Health insurance costs continue to rise, coverage gets worse and the president (not Congress) delivered on the jobs and economy promises. Senators such as Flake and Corker continually moaned about Trump’s rough style of tearing up international deals that were hurting American workers.
Come the 2018 mid-term elections, Americans will start asking “what have you done for me lately?” People like Steve Bannon will have that answer ready: “nothing.”
Either the GOP will start playing the MAGA tune or nationalist barbarians will drain that swamp. Tax Reform could be make-or-break GOP legislation.
~ Liberty Planet