If Republicans Want to Win, Commit
This past Friday, Kevin McCarthy and other GOP U.S. House leaders unveiled the long-awaited “Republican Commitment to America.” It didn’t disappoint. The plan was fittingly announced in Washington, Pennsylvania, not Washington, D.C. It addresses the mounting concerns of America’s hard-pressed majority: the working- and middle-classes.
That’s most of us -- whatever race, color, or creed. We’re daily struggling under the spreading policy and governance failures of our shady, witless president, Joe Biden, and congressional Democrats. Let’s not leave out Joe’s handlers and department and agency chiefs for ample rations of blame.
The Commitment was modeled after Newt Gingrich’s uber-successful 1994 “Contract with America.” The Contract was instrumental in securing the U.S. House for the GOP for the first time since 1956. Republicans were swept in with 56 seats. The GOP took the Senate, too, gaining an impressive eight seats. The takeover was termed the “Republican Revolution.”
House Republicans today need only gain five seats to win the majority. But why stop at five? With Biden and Democrats ruining the country, Republicans need to do everything possible to run the table. Why in heavens name leave anything for the Democrats?
But wait, say you. You’re holding your nose just saying McCarthy’s name. If he has anything to do with the Commitment, it’s got to be a nothingburger. After all, McCarthy is a “RINO,” a “puke,” a “sellout,” and whatever else can be thrown at him, including heaping handfuls of elephant dung.
The midterm contests are larger than McCarthy or Mitch McConnell, the truly odious Senate leader. The challenges we’re confronting are greater than the personalities. Before you say, “Yeah, I’ve heard that before,” understand the Commitment is a tool for GOP House candidates, who, as a group, contain the biggest number of America First hopefuls ever assembled.
Donald Trump -- who put the “First” in America -- has endorsed 150 House incumbents, challengers, and open-seat contenders. Add 19 U.S. Senate incumbents and open race candidates. The former -- and, perhaps, future -- president is too savvy to hold his nose and then walk away. McCarthy, Trump calculates, is a man he can work with if enough America First candidates are elected and comprise the GOP House caucus. A robust contingent of Trump-supported House Republicans would exert all sorts of pressure on McCarthy to play ball or risk losing the speakership.
McConnell, on the other hand, is a backstabber whom Trump is trying to end-run.
Florida senator Rick Scott -- who deserves a huge shoutout for his 12-point “Rescue America” plan – would make an outstanding Senate Majority Leader. Scott was a successful businessman and Florida governor whose beginnings were humble. McConnell knows to worry about Scott. Scott would work closely with a future president Trump or DeSantis. Mitch only cares about playing the D.C. insider’s game, with plenty of benefits accruing to himself and Elaine Chao, his backstabbing wife.
Cynical Mitch prefers a Republican Senate minority if that helps him retain top-dog status. Trying to stay top-dog, McConnell has publicly disparaged Republican Senate candidates and pulled $9.6 million in super PAC money from Blake Masters’ Arizona fight with two-faced Mark Kelly. In his elegantly passive-aggressive way, Mitch is signaling that America’s future matters a whole helluva lot less than his future. All the more reason to send a few bucks to Masters and other Trump- and Scott-backed Senate candidates.
Critical is a word that’s overused, but does anyone doubt the importance of this year’s elections? A Republican Congress can provide all types of roadblocks to the Biden administration. The key is to stymie Biden’s handlers to buy time through the momentous 2024 elections. The hope is that Trump or DeSantis wins while the GOP retains congressional majorities.
Until then, not just Congress but red states must play an increasing role in pushing back against aggressive federal overreach – not just from Biden and Democrats, but from the leviathan federal bureaucracy, which acts as a guardian and promoter of the state. Big and bigger government, as a rule, is a friend of bureaucrats, whose concern for paychecks, bennies, and job security outweighs the nation’s welfare.
The federal bureaucracy needs to be roped in (and whittled down). Trump, if president again, needs a Republican Congress to push his ambitious “Schedule F” federal workforce initiative.
The former [Trump administration] officials and current [Trump] confidantes are, through a network of Trump-loyal think tanks and public policy organizations, creating lists of names to supplant existing civil servants.
The endgame of a Schedule F strategy? Says Government Executive:
They [Trump loyalists] have identified 50,000 current employees that could be dismissed under the new authority they seek to create, Axios reported and Government Executive confirmed, though they hope to only actually fire a fraction of that total and hope the resulting “chilling effect” will cause the rest to fall in line.
That aim dovetails with the Commitment’s stated goal of holding Washington accountable and under Rescue America’s Point 6, the subheading that reads: “Many government agencies should be either moved out of Washington or shuttered entirely.” Rick Scott doesn’t fool around.
Nearing a crossroads is cliché, but it works, because if we’re taken down the road that statists -- whatever the stripe -- and wealthy exploiters want to take us, a cliff awaits -- a cliff over which is a far drop to the bottom.
A Republican Congress -- for two agonizing years -- will face the daunting task of bottling up the Biden administration and battling rogue federal departments and agencies. The FBI’s outrageous actions are notable but not isolated. The absurd SWAT team takedown of Pennsylvania pro-life activist Mark Houck is thuggish injustice. It was done to intimidate. Democrats are priming the IRS with 87,000 new agents who will carry sidearms and be ready to shoot to kill.
Biden’s handlers, who are executive-order crazy, won’t always bother issuing them. They’ll simply issue directives in defiance of law. Think back to the brazenly unlawful rent moratorium. The COVID pandemic (that dark, dark winter) that was used as pretext to relieve renters of their obligations while sticking landlords with the costs. It was unashamed fiat. It took SCOTUS to end the overreach. A Republican Congress will need to work overtime checking the Biden administration’s abuses of law.
It’s now down to mere weeks before the 2022 midterm elections finish. GOP congressional candidates must make compelling cases to voters that not only are Biden and Democrats wholly responsible for the wreck and ruin we’re experiencing, but that Republicans have answers -- solutions consistent with American principles and values… solutions that are practical and proven. Dipping toes in the water won’t win anything. Now is the time to jump in with both feet and swim like hell. The House and Senate GOP plans are feet-in approaches. Early voting is underway in some states as this is written.
Counting on wins being automatic -- voters rejecting Biden through Democrat candidates, hence, no need for GOP candidates to do much more than smile and chat up their resumés -- is courting folly. While voters are primed to throw out the bums, they’re bound to ask: “What do Republicans have to offer in the way of ideas and leadership?” Furnishing voters with smart answers to that question will lock in their support.
The Republican Commitment to America and Rescue America supply those answers. But neither plan can speak for itself. Republican candidates need to fully commit with confidence, taking solutions to voters who sorely desire a way out of America’s growing mess.
J. Robert Smith can be found regularly at Gab @JRobertSmith. He also blogs at Flyover.
Image: Gage Skidmore