Congressional Republicans create a one-man third party
Not since President John Tyler was abandoned by his own party has a major political party abandoned its own president – until now, that is.
Back in 1841, Tyler, after the death of President William Henry Harrison, became the first vice president to succeed to the presidency. Remarkably, because he differed with the Whig Party he represented, the party's congressional leaders actually managed to expel their own president from their party. This was due in part to Tyler's belief in a strong president – one who sets national policy rather than following Congress's lead.
President John Tyler
The Whig Party's repudiation of its own president led directly to the demise of the Whig Party and the rise of America's only successful third party, the Republican Party.
Once again, history is repeating itself.
Specifically, by abandoning the man who gave them the White House, today's congressional Republicans are repeating the mistake made by congressional Whigs 175 years ago. In the process, they are creating a de facto third party, forcing their own president to either go his own way or to support congressional and senatorial candidates who – regardless of party affiliation – will support him.
With the Republican-fostered collapse of the bills to repeal and replace Obamacare, the RNC's abandonment of Trump is now complete. Never a traditional "party man," Trump nonetheless ran and decisively won as a Republican. He had electoral coattails as well, ensuring that the party retained control of both houses of Congress. With that decisive majority, the president and his party should have been able to not just repeal and replace Obamacare, but implement many – most – of the sweeping changes candidate and President Trump has promised the American people. Instead, it's been Congress as usual – with the Republican congressional leaders either actively or passive-aggressively blocking changes, even those promised to and expected by their constituents.
It is not too late for congressional Republican leaders to come to their political senses and start supporting their Republican in the White House. However, this will require a major change of heart by those leaders. Absent such a dramatic turnabout, look to President Trump to start governing by executive order – just as his predecessor did, for many of the same reasons – and to see him start cherry-picking 2018 candidates for Congress, regardless of party. This, in turn, will inevitably lead to a fracturing of the Republican Party – at least on the national level – a process that, by their opposition, Republican congressional leaders have already begun.
Ned Barnett is both a historian – he's appeared nine times as a guest historian on the History Channel – and a political strategist. He's headed state-level media and strategy in three presidential campaigns and has worked in similar roles for governors, congressmen, and senators. Barnett has also advocated for conservative approaches to solving health care and environmental issues, including testifying twice before Congress on national health care reform. Barnett regularly ghost-writes or co-writes books, blogs, and articles for business and political clients, as well as advising them on strategies to leverage their writing with the news media and targeted audiences. In addition to currently ghost-writing three clients' books, Barnett is currently writing three books on a. How to win political campaigns, b. How to successfully market and promote books, and c. How individuals and businesses can survive Katrina-level natural disasters. Based in Las Vegas, Barnett can be found at www.barnettmarcom.com.