Republicans are now in charge of everything, but control nothing.
The June 14 shooting of Republicans at their softball practice is a harbinger of worse things to come. The "kill Trump," "hunt Republicans" drumbeats emanating from the media and Hollywood created a hateful environment that triggered one warped mind to take violent action.
Liberals, who were so quick to blame conservative rhetoric after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the 2011 shooting of former Rep. Gabby Giffords, just as quickly dismiss their role in the current poisoning of civil discourse.
America is more divided now than at any time since the Vietnam War. Back in the 1960s, the radical anti-American elements were considered fringe. The war being waged against Trump, the Republican Party, and America has expanded into the mainstream. On a daily basis, Americans experience fake news reports, witness obstruction to the point of sedition, and view mounting evidence of radical liberals waging an unrestricted war on our civic culture and institutions.
It's tragic that public discourse and the functions of government are sinking into the level of an uncivil war. More tragically, Republicans, especially the "RINOgators" who defend Washington, D.C.'s swamp, refuse to fight back.
Republicans prevail when they do fight, but this is only being done in isolated and fragmented ways. Most remain clueless to the unrelenting foe, while others clearly want the other side to prevail.
Trump’s win shocked the Democrats, but they immediately recovered. Democrats relentlessly assailed the credibility of the election, mounted concern over Russia (after spending the Cold War dismissing Russian threats), and obstructed everything from Trump’s appointments to even nonpartisan public forums.
Trump’s win also shocked most Republicans. They have not recovered. Republicans, especially in Congress, have been negligent in taking advantage of their November 2016 victory. Instead of launching 24-7 investigations of the last eight years under Obama, Republicans immediately broke ranks on healthcare, taxes, immigration, and the budget. They remain mostly silent about the border wall and needed infrastructure.
Congressional Republicans only met for eight days in April, 12 in May, and will vanish for five weeks of vacation at the end of July. Major legislation continues to be pushed off deeper into the year. Worse, Republican lethargy allowed the Democrats to regroup and control the news during most of 2017.
Prior to the 2016 election, pro-Hillary forces ignored laws to dismiss charges. Since the 2016 elections, anti-Trump forces have made-up laws to create charges. Trump, and his team, are playing defense when they should be playing offense.
Republicans are only now looking into potential obstruction of justice by Loretta Lynch, Obama’s attorney general. They have remained inert on revisiting scandals at the FEC, IRS, EPA overreach, Fast and Furious, the Clinton Foundation, and countless other Democratic shenanigans.
Congressional Republicans had seven years to prepare for repealing and replacing Obamacare. They did nothing and it shows. Republicans rail against big government in fundraising letters, but are balking at Trump’s cuts, and are woefully behind on passing any spending bills. Inevitably, a Continuing Resolution will be needed to fund the government after September, unleashing all sorts of mischief and brinksmanship.
Republicans’ main argument since 2009 is that if Americans gave them the U.S. House, then the U.S. Senate, and then the White House — everything would change. It hasn’t.
President Trump has been ill-served at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
Congressional Republicans defer to Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., like he is in control.
Until they fight, he is.
Trump’s own inner circle allowed a ridiculously slow transition, opening the door for Obama holdovers, Obama career loyalists, and the deepstate resistors to rule the executive branch. Leaks have diverted Trump’s attention. Lack of appointees has crippled Trump’s ability to implement substantive change.
Trump’s White House and agency teams are only now sporadically clearing out the entrenched Obama networks. Such house cleaning usually takes place within weeks of the Inaugural — not five months later. Trump’s political takeover of the executive branch remains minimal, as 70 percent of his policy positions remain unfilled. Obama loyalists serve in acting capacities. Even the White House Correspondence Office, a key interface with Americans, remains staffed by Obama holdovers and Democratic volunteers.
The slowest transition in modern times has created a "Trump-centric" presidency.
Executive orders are issued, speeches given, briefings held, but these are all from the White House. When Trump appointees go on the road, Obama careerists still mind the store. Trump has no bandwidth to move forward when he is diverted by fake news or fratricidal Republicans.
Republican mistakes have caused substantive damage to their cause. They need a real awakening to the threat, a real resolve to counter it, and a real strategy to defeat it.
Americans voted for a real revolution. Their patience is wearing thin.
Scot Faulkner is the best-selling author of: "Naked Emperors: The Failure of the Republican Revolution." He also served as the first chief administrative officer of the U.S. House, and was director of personnel for the Reagan campaign and went on to serve in the presidential transition team and on the White House staff. During the Reagan administration, he held executive positions at the FAA, the GSA, and the Peace Corps. Read more of Scot Faulker, Go Here Now.
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