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US Senate Can't Get Why Trump Won

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Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., with Senate colleagues in February of 2016. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

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Wednesday, 25 Jan 2017 01:41 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Hammer-wielding petulants attacking Larry King’s rented limo in Washington, D.C. may boast of being "the resistance," but their effect on the Trump administration will be as fleeting as their fame.

Same goes for the "estrogen–ettes" who held their march the day after the inauguration, proving even angry women have trouble being on time.

The real resistance to Trump’s agenda wasn’t marching on the streets. It was sitting behind him as he took the oath. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Orrin Hatch, and Lamar Alexander personify the Republican Resistance to Trump.

They are the "don’t start your budget cutting with me," the "don’t disturb my complacency,"and the "I’m strictly a big picture guy" wings of the "can’t do caucus."

The can't do caucus — led by "Mitch McClellan" — are GOP politicians who campaign as conservatives and govern as "spendocrats."

They go along with the base just far enough to get reelected.

Their charming combination of duplicitousness and inertia is the reason Trump won.

Conservatives are tired of being told the issues they supported and voted for at election time are completely impractical at governing time.

Since establishment Republicans can’t comprehend why Trump won and still believe Jeb Bush may be viable in 2020, they not only resist draining the swamp, most will claim there is no drain.

Senate votes aren’t divided between Republicans and Democrats. The division is between self-interest and the national interest. So far the national interest is on the short side of the ledger.

The Hill.com reports, "Donald Trump may be headed into a big fight with Republican lawmakers with his plans for dramatic cuts to federal spending."

Start with Alaska’s entitled Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

In 2002, when her father resigned to become governor, dad appointed daughter to the family senate seat. In the 2010 cycle the appeal of dynasty politics faded for Republicans and she lost the primary to a genuine conservative.
Displaying the same party loyalty that’s a hallmark of the Never Trump crowd — along with access to lobby money that feared losing a pushover — Lisa ran as an independent in the general and won.

It’s no surprise she’ll fight Trump’s proposal to eliminate the "essential air service program." This tax giveaway subsidizes airline service to cities with a population too small to support commercial carriers.

Naturally, the subsidy has increased 500 percent since 1997, to an average of almost $300 million yearly.

Sen. Murkowski claims, "It would basically shut down rural Alaska." Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, (R-Pork) says, "That won’t happen. We don’t have any highways in Alaska, that’s why it’s called essential air service."

Essential for their re-election maybe, but not for the nation. Neither tells you Alaska has so much oil money pouring in each year it sends a dividend check to every legal resident, including politicians "working" in D.C.

Last year the bonus was almost three quarters of a billion dollars. If the state of Alaska wants air service to remote towns, it can pay the subsidy or build some dang roads.

As long as cutting wasteful spending is a nebulous concept Murkowski is all aboard, but if specifics include cutting money Alaska can siphon from the lower 48, include her out.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is ready for any budget plan that involves interviews on national media and no work for him. This means cutting funding for Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is another non-starter.

LSC is essentially a training program for leftist lawyers and an organizing aid for grievance groups. If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t afford to hire a lawyer but illegal aliens can, LSC is the answer.

A Republican Congress funding the Legal Services is like Democrats funding Blue Lives Matter.

Hatch appreciates the political argument for ending LSC funding, but inertia is so comfortable. "I think that would be hard thing to do," he yawned.

He would rather continue to waste $400 million a year training leftists than interrupt his nap to do some work for the good of the cause.

Finally we have Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.

He may represent the Volunteer State, but he isn’t volunteering for cuts he thinks are beneath his dignity. Lamar doesn’t have time for "cutting discretionary spending." Alexander would rather chase the white whale of Medicare and Medicaid.

Lamar’s math says cutting waste on one–third of the budget isn’t necessary, because that’s "under control," yet that third includes "essential air services" and LSC.

Alexander also doesn’t explain why a Trump budget that isn’t "straightforward" could cut $10.5 trillion over 10 years with or without his help.

Here’s my advice to conservative voters: When the Murkowskis, Hatches, Alexanders, and the rest of the can't do caucus are telling us why the budget can’t be cut, what they are really saying is, "I need a primary opponent. Pronto!"

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now

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Conservatives are tired of being told the issues they supported and voted for in November are impractical at governing time. Since establishment Republicans can’t comprehend why Trump won and believe Jeb Bush is viable 2020, they not only resist draining the swamp, most claim there's no drain.
federal, senate, spending
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2017-41-25
Wednesday, 25 Jan 2017 01:41 PM
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