After the Republicans passed a spending bill that could have been authored by left-wing Democrats (and largely was, in fact), radio host Rush Limbaugh pointedly asked the vice president, “Why is anybody voting Republican, if this is what happens when we win?”
I asked myself the same question last week as I walked the halls of Congress with my seven-year old daughter.
We were visiting family and I took the opportunity to show her where I lived and worked years ago when I was a press secretary for then-Congressman Bob Riley and later as a Congressional liaison for President George W. Bush’s defense department.
“I came here to change things,” I told her.
But then I looked around at the same faces in the same places, recalled all that was promised and especially all that wasn’t delivered. Then, quite coincidentally, we arrived outside the White House right when House Republicans gathered there to celebrate the passage of their phony “repeal” of Obamacare. Their spin was repulsive, especially since most of the horrendous law remains intact.
That’s when I finally realized … we didn’t change a thing, except ourselves.
Republicans have long campaigned upon promises to limit the growth of government, decrease spending, lower taxes, and eliminate the debt, along with a host of other social issues, like protecting the unborn.
Republican leaders said they needed the House to get these things done. Conservatives gave it to them, and with a historic majority.
Next they told us they needed the Senate. We gave them that, too.
Then they said if only a Republican could win the White House, their promises could finally be fulfilled. Check.
So, now that they completely control our law-making process, what have they given us in return?
- An increase in the H-2B visa program that allows low-skilled foreign workers to come to our country and take jobs away from Americans. So much for “America First.”
- Sanctuary cities are left free to defy federal law while simultaneously cashing federal checks. This, after all that tough talk.
- We warned Puerto Rico against their recklessly generous healthcare program, but now we’re giving them nearly $300 billion to bail it out.
- We’re still funding the EPA’s efforts to over-regulate our businesses, stifle job creation, and intrude upon private property rights, along with continuing to pour billions down the “green energy” money pit.
- Health insurance companies are still receiving federal bailouts so that Obamacare’s true cost and negative impacts are delayed.
- And the worst, Planned Parenthood is still receiving millions of taxpayer dollars while it poisons, rips apart, and throws our nation’s unborn children into the trash.
Meanwhile, that border wall – which was promised in a hundred different ways – didn’t get a nickel.
President Donald Trump said he was “very happy” with the spending bill. That’s funny, because so did Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. I guess it pays to be in the minority these days.
There were more excuses, of course. Republicans now say they need 60 votes in the Senate to pass our agenda. Interesting that the Democrats never seemed to need 60 votes. Heck, with this bill, they didn’t even need 50!
Truth is, that 60-vote rule is self-imposed and put into play by an unelected Senate employee, and it can be ignored whenever a simple majority wants to ignore it. We have the majority, and hold any tie-breaking vote through the vice president. So if they wanted to keep their promise, there’s nothing stopping them but themselves.
And there are more promises, too. “Just wait until September,” they said. “We’ll give ‘em hell then.”
Fool me 50 times, shame on me. It’s time we conservatives face the fact that we’ve been taken for granted and taken for a ride for far too long. The only question is, are we ever going to do anything about it?
For my part, I find myself reluctantly standing at the threshold of the Republican Party’s emergency exit, looking back over my shoulder and hoping … ever hoping … to see a reason to stay.