Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ought to pay close attention to President Trump. They could learn a few valuable lessons about fearlessly and boldly taking action -- the press and Democrats be damned.
For many years, conservatives have complained bitterly about hard-core leftists like former Sen. Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. But give the devil his due: When those type of leftist true believers are in power, and they have the majority, they go full speed ahead. They are on a mission, and they take no prisoners. How else do you think we ended up with Obamacare?
It's time for Ryan and McConnell to do the same. Trying to play nicey-nice with the Democrats, and attempting to win the love of the corrupt news media, are fool's errands. Surely Ryan couldn't be so naive that he is incapable of learning that important lesson, could he? On second thought, perhaps I shouldn't have written that last sentence...
My plea to Ryan and McConnell: Observe how Trump implements bold, badly needed policies but doesn't get rattled by the withering criticism that invariably comes his way. For example:
- The travel ban on six predominantly Muslim nations in the Middle East and Africa;
- Criticizing NATO and demanding that European nations contribute their fair share in dollars, soldiers and resources to keep the organization running;
- Opposing NAFTA and the TPP trade deal, to the chagrin and outrage of all of those vaunted solons of the State Department, World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund and acadamia.
- Eliminating heavy-handed EPA regulations created by President Barack Obama to please the global warming crowd;
- Advocating repealing and replacing Obamacare, an action perceived by Democrats as not being undertaken to improve healthcare, but to give the middle finger to Barack Obama;
- Appointing upset-the-apple-cart outsiders to cabinet positions -- e.g. Scott Pruitt as EPA chief and Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary... The list goes on.
While I have criticized Trump for too often being thin-skinned and getting sidetracked with silly Twitter wars over inane fare such as beauty contests and various "fake news" stories that really aren't worth the time, I do admire the way he doubles down and fights fire with fire when attacked by the relentless, pernicious Left.
President George W. Bush allowed himself to be a pin cushion and seldom responded to the harsh criticism coming his way. After a few years of 24/7 negativism, sarcasm, derision and bitter hatred, his presidency was in tatters; his effectiveness was zilch. Trying to take the high road and project an "I'm above it all" image is futile when you're a Republican in the White House. Because the Democrats believe that to rule is their inherent, God-given right. Well, I guess I shouldn't put the "G" word in there, since many Dems are atheists or at best benchwarmer Christians. Democrats out of power are like a vicious, rabid pit bull that's been cornered. Watch out!
Trump knows that he needs to push back against the unhinged liberals and pompous progressives that are as numerous as grains of sand on the beach. He knows that he can affect the narrative for the better -- even if only slightly so -- at least casting some doubt on liberal claims and forcing liberals to occasionally be on the defensive to justify their claims.
"The best defense is a good offense" goes for far more than football, the legal field and other endeavors. It applies very keenly to the Oval Office when it's a Republican who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This is a lesson Ryan and McConnell need to learn, and fast. If they don't, their party will take a beating in the 2018 and 2020 elections.
It ought to start with the vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. If the Democrats dig in their heels with a lengthy and bitter filibuster, McConnell ought to invoke the so-called "nuclear option" so that Gorsuch can be approved by a simple majority vote rather than 60 votes to end the filibuster. Harry Reid started it; McConnell may well finish it.
Our nation is in deep trouble on so many fronts. If Trump and the Republicans do not succeed in implementing many of their key initiatives, the fallout will be grave for the entire nation. But I am not sure Ryan and McConnell even grasp that. So let's try a different approach to play to their interests: Their cushy jobs, ego-massages, center-of-attention fantasies and enjoyment of the perks of power will come to a crashing halt if they don't awaken from their stupors and join the Trumpening.