With friends like the GOP leadership, President Trump doesn’t need any enemies!
As Republicans who supported last week’s $1.3 billion budget fled the musky, septic tank aroma of the Washington D.C. swamp for the Easter recess, I was reminded of Act III of Shakespeare’s "Julius Caesar."
In that famous scene, Roman Emperor Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by a mob of his own senators in March of 44 BC. As he was dying, Caesar realized that one of his assassins was his so-called friend Brutus and said "Et tu Brute" — "you too Brutus."
Over two thousand years later, in March of 2018, that’s how President Trump, his voters and conservatives should feel about U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the entire House and Senate Republican leadership, and the 25 Republican senators who joined with 39 Democrats to help the pass the anti-Trump agenda budget bill over the goal line.
These "Brutus Republicans" gave Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. — and their open borders and abortion lobby base — a massive victory in their attempt to kill the Trump agenda.
As they talk to constituents over this Easter recess, many of them are rationalizing their Trump backstabbing because the bill included $700 billion Trump wanted for the military— which Obama had decimated over eight years.
They play down the fact that it also included funds for Democratic priorities including sanctuary cities that protect illegal criminal aliens and Planned Parenthood, an organization killing hundreds of thousands of pre-born babies each year.
They will not tell their constituents that "their" budget — while omitting funding to build a real Trump border wall to restrict illegal immigration and stop the flood of drugs pouring into our country through the southern border — provided for border security in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, and Tunisia.
Then they, and their anti-wall Democratic colleagues, have the hypocritical gall to complain that more must be done to stop the opioid epidemic that is ravaging the nation.
Democrats waisted no time gloating over their great victory.
Schumer expressed particular glee — and rubbed it in — saying, "We don't have the House, we don't have the Senate, we don't have the presidency, but we produced a darn good bill for the priorities we have believed in."
If that were not enough of a humiliating slap in the face of the GOP majority, he went on to shove another dagger into their backs, "It's a funny thing. In a certain sense, we're able to accomplish more in the minority than we were when we had the presidency or even were in the majority."
It’s really sad. We have a Republican Congress that can’t even get a Republican led Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI to turn over documents; and, a Republican Senate that acts like a door mat in the face of Democratic resistance to its own president’s agenda. It can’t even develop a strategy to break the Democratic log jam of delays.
As The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board recently pointed out, 43 percent of Trump’s nominees remain unconfirmed — including ambassadors to 25 nations.
The question is why do House and Senate GOP leaders have so little backbone and refuse to fight — as Democrats would?
Perhaps it's because they, and too many Republicans in Congress, do not believe in the president’s vision for America.
In his remarks on the budget, the president was rather polite. "We’re very disappointed that to fund the military, we had to give up things where we consider in many cases them to be bad or them to be a waste of money. That’s the way unfortunately right now the system works."
What he was really saying is that’s how the the Washington, D.C. "swamp" works.
In that swamp, the Senate’s "GOP Brutus 25" totally ignored and disrespected the Trump agenda, as well as the values and concerns of those who elected him.
Let’s hope Trump voters remember them and their Democratic allies in November.
Clarence V. McKee is president of McKee Communications, Inc., a government, political, and media relations consulting firm in Florida. He held several positions in the Reagan administration as well as in the Reagan presidential campaigns. He is a former co-owner of WTVT-TV in Tampa and former president of the Florida Association of Broadcasters. Read more of his reports — Go Here Now.
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