Decision Time for the GOP Elite

As flummoxed Democrat pundits and pollsters struggle to find an excuse for their being so humiliatingly wrong about the outcome of Election ’16, party bosses and their media mouthpieces instinctively revert to their default position whenever the people speak out against them. Again, they propose the victorious Republicans, this time in the form of the reviled Donald Trump, are obliged to sooth their fears and reach across to aisle in pursuit of common ground. Translation: enact their agenda despite the will of the governed. 

The Democrats are showing their good will by hiring cadres of professional protestors ($15 an hour, overtime and all you can shoplift) to beat suspected Trump supporters to a pulp, assault police officers, and rampage through the streets of major cities that actually supported Miss Hillary.   

Alt-Left bagman George Soros already has met with other members of the liberal mega-donor class and the remnants of the tattered Democratic Party leadership at the oh so exclusive Mandarin Oriental Hotel in D.C. to plot their strategy for sabotaging the Trump administration from its outset.

Donald Trump is wise enough to know what awaits him from the Democrats, but he would be prudent to peer over his shoulder with some regularity to check on what his friends are up to. After all, Trump is president-elect precisely because the voters of 30 states emphatically repudiated the entrenched leadership of the GOP every bit as much as they rejected the manifold failures of the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton’s lifelong crime spree. 

Various political think tanks, left and right, routinely track the performance of Congress based on its members’ votes on what these organizations deem as being the most consequential bills. Each organization has its own rating protocol, but each consistency demonstrates that Democrats are far more likely to adhere to their leftist orthodoxy while many Republicans are quick to abandon promises made to conservative constituents during the campaign season.

For example, the conservative Heritage Foundation identified about 100 bills of most significance brought to a vote by the 114th Congress.  The organization found that House Democrats voted the liberal position 84 percent of the time while the average Republicans voted in support of conservatism at a rate of only 66 percent. In the Senate, matters were even worse. Democrats were liberal on 92 percent of their votes, Republican Senators average a conservative score of 57 percent.

Put another way, there are 17 Republican senators who can be expected to vote with the Democrats more often than in support of their own party. Another 14 have conservative ratings below 60 percent. Just three Republicans senators have conservative scores above 90 percent, while 35 Democrat senators vote the liberal position more than nine of ten times. Still, the mainstream press continues to insist it is the GOP that is ideologically entrenched and obstructive. 

The “pragmatists” who dominate the Republican leadership might insist that those from Democrat-leaning states must go along with the accepted social order in their respective states in order to get re-elected.  But isn’t it fair to wonder what good Republican Senators Mark Kirk (Illinois) and Susan Collins (Maine) are doing for their party when they consistently vote to the left of Bernie Sanders? Both aggressively assailed Trump throughout the long campaign. And did the magnanimous approach to governance keep Kelly Ayotte from being kicked to the curb by her New Hampshire neighbors this year? 

Even if we accept the sage advice of those in the know, how do they explain the case of long-time Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander?  The Heritage Foundation demonstrates that Alexander has clearly aligned himself with the Democratic agenda with the fourth most liberal voting record among Republicans senators, while his home state has moved profoundly to the right over the last decade. Trump won 92 of Tennessee’s 95 counties, but Alexander continues to falsely present himself as a reliable conservative each election cycle with cover provided by the state party bosses. 

This pattern repeats itself throughout the Republican-controlled Senate. Ohio’s Rob Portman (29% conservative voting record according to Heritage), South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham (31%), Mississippi’s Thad Cochran (31%), West Virginia’s Shelley Capito (33%), Utah’s Orrin Hatch (34%), Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski (35%), Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell (41%), North Dakota’s John Hoeven (41%), North Carolina’s Richard Burr (41%), South Dakota’s Mike Rounds (45%), Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson (46%), North Carolina’s Thom Tillis (48%), Texas’ John Cornyn (48%), Missouri’s Roy Blunt (49%), South Dakota’s John Thune (51%), Arizona’s John McCain (51%), Tennessee’s Bob Corker (51%), Louisiana’s Bill Cassidy (51%) and others have compiled tepid voting records while their home states stood resolutely behind president-elect Trump.  Most refused to campaign alongside the Republican Party nominee or actively worked for his defeat. Going forward, how reliable will they be in helping advance the sweeping changes their voters demand?

Remember that the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress during the presidency of George W. Bush and yet nothing was done to control the size, scope, or cost of the federal government. Will the 115th Congress finally do the things it has promised? 

If not, a disgusted electorate may have more surprises in store in two years.   

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