For years, we’ve known that the majority of Republicans in the House and Senate were liberals. We’ve tolerated them because they were less liberal than the Democrats, but the rise of the Tea Party and elections of conservatives had given hope to the idea that the Grand Ol’ Party could be pulled back to the right.
Those hopes have been officially quashed. The Establishment wing of the Republican Party has an opportunity to burn their dreaded foes (the House Freedom Caucus and conservatives in the Senate like Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul) and they’re seizing the moment. Is it now easier for Republicans to embrace big-government liberalism? Is Paul Ryan that much more powerful than John Boehner? Did Mitch McConnell suddenly become emboldened? Are the moderates and liberals in the GOP finally willing to publicly acknowledge they’re not conservatives? The answer to all these questions is “yes,” but it’s the reason that they’ve come out of the liberal closet that concerns me. They have a new supreme liberal leader in President Donald Trump.
The supposed “anti-Establishment” guy so many millions of conservatives have embraced is arguably the most Establishment-friendly President since Lyndon B. Johnson. I said it before the first primary when I declared “Donald Trump IS the Establishment.” A month later, The Federalist echoed the same sentiment from a different perspective by showing us “Why Donald Trump is the Establishment candidate.” Ben Shapiro gave us “5 signs Donald Trump IS the Establishment… from the last 24 hours alone.”
The writing has been on the wall since a few months after he announced his candidacy. Now, we’re seeing the fruits of his liberal labors.
I’ve given Trump a chance. He’s our President and I’ve been hopeful from the moment he was inaugurated until recent signs that his populist agenda was a smokescreen for bigger government. He’s done good things. He’s done silly things. These new attacks on the Freedom Caucus – the isolated voices of small-government conservatism in the House – are the last straw for me. His good works are not enough for me to overlook his abandonment of the Federalist principles we desperately need right now.
The two Tweets below combined with the rhetoric being funneled out by Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon tell me that President Trump is steering the Republican Party hard to the left. They didn’t just give us Obamacarelite. It’s becoming more apparent that Trump himself is Obamalite.
The Republican House Freedom Caucus was able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. After so many bad years they were ready for a win!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2017
Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 26, 2017
There’s one point about Trump with which I differ from most pundits and conservative journalists. I don’t think that Trump is winging it. I don’t think he’s inexperienced. In fact, I would go so far as to throw out a wild conspiracy theory. It’s very possible that the American Health Care Act was created by Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan to create a win-win situation for them. It was loaded with enough big government provisions to force conservatives in the GOP to oppose it. If my conspiracy theory is correct, this was intended to give them ammunition to “force” the GOP to work with the Democrats in a bipartisan effort to “fix” Obamacare in the future.
That’s not to say that they didn’t want it to pass. Again, this is a win-win scenario for them. If it passed, they win by replacing a big-government health care plan with a big-government health care plan. If it didn’t pass, they could abandon those pesky, inconvenient conservative principles and paint the Freedom Caucus as nothing more than obstructionists.
Unfortunately, it’s working. I’m already seeing many conservative journalists jumping on the “blame the right-wing-extremists” bandwagon.
This is why we built the Federalist Party in the first place. A well-known journalist told me privately before election day that if Trump won, we wouldn’t be able to get traction for the party. I disagreed because I believed the day would come when Trump would betray the conservatives who helped him win the election. That day is here. Memberships are spiking for the party. Now, it’s time to reach out to more journalists and politicians to bring them on board with the only true small-government party that has the strategy and the vision to win elections.
As the GOP and the President shift further away from small-government Federalist principles, many are finding themselves in a void. Conservatives are realizing that they’re the new “Republicans In Name Only.” It’s time to fill that void by getting the word out about the Federalist Party.