For the last couple of weeks Republicans in search of a win have been working in good faith with Democrats (no, seriously) to put together a spending bill they could all sign off on. It does some of what Republicans want and some of what Democrats want. In other words, it's a normal piece of legislation that will easily pass.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on Monday said he expects "a lot of conservatives" will oppose the new spending bill."
Money goes to Planned Parenthood, as you said. Money continues to go to sanctuary cities, but no money for the border wall," he said during an interview on CNN's "New Day."
"I think you're gong to see a lot of conservatives be against this plan this week."
Well there's a huge shock. The most extreme members of the Republican Party are outraged that the GOP had to compromise to get anything done. If they can tank it, they'll do it in a heartbeat and shut the government down in the process, consequences be damned. But, ironically, the fact that Republicans control Congress and the White House has, for once, forced them to govern like adults. Sure, shutting down the government under a Democratic president is a lot of fun, but when you control the levers of power, blaming the other side doesn't get a lot of traction. Combine this reality with Trump's inability to accomplish anything other than sign executive orders and you have a Republican Party that needs to reach across the aisle.
Here's the fun part: Now that they've done it, going back to their old "my way or the highway" shtick is going to be more difficult. All Democrats have to do is point to the spending bill and repeat ad nauseum, "Unlike Republicans, when we were the minority party, we absolutely worked with the party in power to pass a budget that gave both sides some of what they wanted. Washington DC is only broken because one party wants it broken."
It's true that the Democrats got a lot more out of this deal than Republicans did but that's only because the GOP has allowed itself to be taken hostage by its radical sort-of fringe in the House Freedom Caucus. That put pretty much all the power in the hands of the Democrats who ruthlessly exploited it but, frankly, it doesn't have to be this way. If Republicans would turn their backs on the shrieking loons and craft real legislation to fix real problems instead of imaginary ones like nonexistent hordes of immigrants from Mexico or the believe-me-any-second-now collapse of Obamacare, they would find, gasp!, Democrats more than happy to give them some of what they want. It's called "governing" and we used to do it all the time.
Donald Trump, the spineless "leader" that he is, would sign anything put in front of him as long as the public would see it as a win, especially if the press said nice things about him. Toss in a glowing endorsement from The Washington Post or The New York Times and Trump would gladly double the EPA's budget.
As of this writing, I haven't taken the temperature yet of the hard left and I'm wondering how they'll react to this spending bill. On the one hand, it really is an amazing victory for the Democratic Party, on the other, it allows Republicans to increase military spending (by half of what they wanted), reduce the EPA's funding by 1% which is more than symbolic ($86 million ain't nothing to sneeze at) but less than serious and money is going to fix up already existing infrastructure on the southern border. The reflexively anti-Democrat left could just focus on the these "losses" while ignoring the overwhelming good accomplished or they could simply give a thumbs up to the Democrats for holding the line where it counts most. The latter would be a sign of maturity, the former would be pure demagoguery. We'll have to wait and see how that goes. I'd like to take a moment to remind people that we are the minority party and getting anything we want, much less most of it, should be counted as a solid win.
In the meantime, I look forward to the GOP delivered a solid "Fuck you" to the House Freedom Caucus that's been making their lives miserable for the last 7 years. Maybe they'll get a taste for it and continue working with the Democrats like grown ups if for no other reason than to strip the radicals of their power. Sooner or later, Republicans are going to figure out that the the lunatics run the asylum for only as long as you let them.
There are 553 days left to the 2018 elections.
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