If the first 3 years of the Trump presidency has taught conservatives anything, it’s that the Republican majority in the Senate is, in many cases, a majority-in-name-only.
While the White House has issued an abundance of executive orders and administrative moves to advance the America First agenda, the GOP-controlled Senate has struggled to put any points on the board.
A Daily Caller canvass found only 7 of the 53 Republicans in the chamber would rule out voting to remove Trump from office. The Senate has even struggled to produce any legislative achievements. It hasn’t been able to move any immigration legislation and couldn’t even agree to an Obamacare repeal measure despite campaigning against the health care measure for the full decade.
The conservative grassroots is angry, and rightfully so. They want to see Washington work for the people, not the other way around. That’s why it’s so important for conservative leaders to get on the same page and embrace the same New Year’s Resolution: transforming the GOP majority into a MAGA majority come November.
These leaders need to pressure vulnerable faux conservatives up for re-election into lifting their holds on the conservative movement’s plans.
Perhaps nowhere is this noble goal become more important than in North Carolina, where the base of the GOP has turned against Republican Senator Thom Tillis for his lack of support for the issues they care about.
By many accounts, Sen. Tillis is the top Republican in name only up for re-election. Coincidentally, his seat is also one of the most vulnerable in all of Washington.
At this point, Tillis has yet to receive much of a competitor.
Recently, Republican Representative Mark Walker announced that he would not run for Senate in 2020 — a decision that self-funded businessman Garland Tucker made just weeks earlier. Despite the good luck, though, Sen. Tillis thankfully remains extremely vulnerable in the primary. According to a Q3 2019 poll from the Morning Consult, the first-term Senator maintains an abysmal 33 percent approval rating. Worse, Tillis isn’t even well-liked by his own party. 30 percent view him unfavorably, 52 percent are considering voting for a candidate other than Tillis if the opportunity arises, and 18 percent have already committed to doing so.
Without a doubt, Tillis’ Republican base has turned against him, and it’s easy to see why. The Senator regularly picks fights with the GOP over the very issues that so many North Carolinians care about. Tillis opposed President Trump’s border security efforts, proclaiming, “I hate the idea” of the president declaring an emergency on the border. He was one of the leading voices in the creation of the DREAM Act, a bill that would have offered amnesty to some 800,000 illegal aliens currently living within the United States.
Tillis has also spearheaded numerous liberal tax-and-spend packages, including one particularly piece of wasteful, Elizabeth Warren-esque legislation called the Lumbee Recognition Act.
Are these positions reflective of conservative principles? North Carolinian Republicans think not. Tillis, for his part, seems to recognize which way the wind is blowing, and has begun taking more hardline conservative stances to bolster his Republican credentials. The Senator recently sided firmly with the Trump over his phone call with the Ukrainian president, arguing that Trump “deserves to be defended” ahead of the impeachment trial.
But conservatives shouldn’t take the bait on this sudden change-of-heart. While the pressure they have mounted on the senator has worked in the short-term, it is all too common for lawmakers to clean up their act right before an election battle only to go back to their disappointing antics of the past when the polls close. And so, the grassroots needs to demand seeing more reversals before even thinking about pressing any buttons with his name on it in the voting booths.
If Tillis wants to win another term in the Senate, he needs to shore up his base by assuring his supporters that he isn’t a Republican in name only. To do this, he needs to continue righting his past wrongs.
Republicans have failed to reap the full fruits of 3 of the 4 years of one of the most conservative administrations in history because of disappointing Senate Republicans. Sen. Tillis has always been at the top of the list of disappointments, which is why his primary should represent an inflection point for the GOP.
As the clock continues to tick on Republican’s control of Washington, will the grassroots take strong enough action to ensure that this vulnerable member embraces their issue priorities, or will they complain while tolerating the do-nothing status quo?
The ball is in their court. One thing’s for sure, though, their decision on how to address this race — one of the ones seemingly most pliable to grassroots activism in the country — will provide solid indication of what shape conservativism will take in the U.S. Senate for the years to come.
Steve Gruber is a conservative talk show host with 25 affiliates in Michigan. "The Steve Gruber Show" launched in 2012 with just four affiliates and has grown into the most powerful name in talk radio across Michigan. Steve has been named “Best Morning Personality” by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters five years in a row. His conservative, common-sense philosophy was developed during his time growing up in rural Michigan. Steve’s early career found him in several newsrooms including WILX, Lansing where he honed his investigative journalism and interviewing skills. He became the main news anchor of the station and before long was offered a job with NBC in Columbus, Ohio. While working for NBC, he covered the incredible launch of John Glenn, age 77, into space at Cape Canaveral, White Supremacists in Ohio, and the deadly game of selling prescription medication online. Steve was nominated for an Emmy in 2000. To read more of this reports — Click Here Now.
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