This Dog does NOT buy into the idea that Republican Conservatives and others in Donald Trump’s adopted party are gonna roll over for President Trump….
Will Donald Trump coopt conservatives on Capitol Hill, or will he be coopted? This tug of war will be one of the most important storylines of 2017, and after a week of caving to the new president, there were glimmers yesterday that at least some principled conservatives in Congress will assert themselves after all.
The differences appeared on two issues that are definitional to modern conservatism: spending and trade.
Trump is unabashedly not conservative on these matters. He’s a nationalistic populist who believes in big government, as long as it’s doing what he wants (think eminent domain) and he’s the one who controls the spigot (e.g. a trillion-dollar “infrastructure” package designed to reward his cronies).
The president even told Fox News’s Sean Hannity last night that balancing the budget is no longer one of his priorities. “A balanced budget is fine, but sometimes you have to fuel the well in order to really get the economy going,” Trump said.
Imagine how Republicans would have responded if Barack Obama said that.
As Bill Buckley put it when he launched National Review in 1955, “A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling ‘Stop,’ at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.”
That’s what we saw last night after the White House floated (and then awkwardly walked back) a 20 percent tax on all imports from Mexico. The ambiguous announcement from Sean Spicer, described as a way to force our southern neighbor to pay for a border wall, was rushed out in order to retaliate against the Mexican president for canceling his trip to Washington next week.
The president’s tax plan must win approval in Congress. It should go without saying, but just because Trump has Republican majorities does not mean his agenda will make it through. Recall that George W. Bush had GOP majorities in both chambers when his pushes for Social Security and immigration reform failed….
…This from the Conservative Red State Blog…It takes ‘issue’ with a NY Times piece today that implies that Republicans are caving to Trump’s wishes…
The New York Times claims they are. In an article titled Republicans Now Marching With Trump on Ideas They Had Opposed, the Gray Lady paints a picture of a compliant GOP, abandoning core principles willy-nilly to conform to Trump’s policy views:
Republican lawmakers appear more than ready to open up the coffers for a $12 billion to $15 billion border wall, perhaps without the commensurate spending cuts that they demanded when it came to disaster aid, money to fight the Zika virus or funds for the tainted water system in Flint, Mich. They also seem to back a swelling of the federal payroll that Mr. Trump has called for in the form of a larger military and 5,000 more border patrol agents.
They have stayed oddly silent as Mr. Trump and Senate Democrats push a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, larger than one they rejected from President Barack Obama. Once fierce promoters of the separation of powers, Republicans are now embracing Mr. Trump’s early governing by executive order, something they loudly decried during Mr. Obama’s second term.
I’ve worried since May 3 that the Republican party would fall in line behind Trump’s policies, even when they contradicted their own past positions. But the reality is not quite the way the Times portrays it…