Friday morning, the rationale for why conservatives across the country should support Republican Party candidates and enable the GOP to control Congress was completely shattered. By losing a 49-51 vote, the Republican led U.S. Senate failed a pass a “skinny” repeal of Obamacare, condemning the nation to more suffering from the horrors of socialized medicine.
It was a stunning failure for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who was tasked with crafting legislation that would attract at least 50 Republican votes. In the end, McConnell was only able to muster 49 Republican votes, so the reform measure failed. Three turncoat Republicans joined all 48 Democrats to defeat the best chance to repeal at least some of the most offensive aspects of Obamacare.
It was a bitter defeat for the GOP, the President and all healthcare reform supporters. Now, health insurance premiums and deductibles will continue to increase. Insurance companies will continue to withdraw from certain states and choices for struggling Americans will become more limited.
For Americans who do not want health insurance, they will continue to be mandated to buy the product. Others who cannot afford the skyrocketing premiums will have to pay an outrageous fine to the IRS. In addition, many employers will be forced to trim the number of full time workers to escape their expensive Obamacare coverage mandate. Thus, the lack of GOP leadership in the Senate will result in real pain for the American people.
Most of the blame for this debacle rests squarely on the shoulders of Majority Leader McConnell. Since the November 2016 election of Donald Trump as President, McConnell has had over eight months to develop legislation that would pass the Senate. With such an embarrassing failure, McConnell should be removed as Senate Majority Leader. Republicans need a leader who can deliver for not only the country, but also for the Republican Party.
Mitch McConnell has enjoyed over 10 years as Republican Party leader in the Senate. First as Minority Leader and since January of 2015 as Majority Leader. In that time, he has not been an advocate for conservative reform. In the presidential election, he was not a strong advocate for Donald Trump. In fact, he spent the entire presidential campaign trying to distance himself from the populist oriented GOP nominee.
McConnell is the ultimate insider, he is a creature of the swamp that controls the Beltway and our federal government. As a Senator for 33 years, McConnell long ago ceased being a reformer and became part of the dreaded Republican Party establishment. He is ill-suited to promote Donald Trump’s “drain the swamp” agenda.
Along with his failure to pass the Obamacare repeal, McConnell has allowed the Senate to delay action on dozens of Trump administration nominees. What is the use of having Republican leadership of the Senate when its’ leader cannot produce any legislative accomplishments?
On the major items in the President’s agenda, the Senate has not been able to provide victories on even one of them, except the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. At least the House passed a healthcare reform bill, even though it was imperfect. Unfortunately, the Senate seems incapable of doing anything, which is why McConnell should be fired as Majority Leader. If he had any decency, he would resign his post, but we should not expect such a selfless act from a lifelong politician like Mitch McConnell.
Under McConnell’s leadership, the Senate has produced six months of worthless talk and debate, but no legislative victories for President Trump. If this continues the GOP will suffer the same result in the 2018 mid-term election as what happened in the 2006 election, after four years of Republican Party leadership of the Congress and the White House.
In that period, Republicans used their majorities to deliver more debt, grow government, increase federal regulations and bureaucracies, add entitlement programs and start a brand-new government department. Thus, the Republicans acted like Democrats and the base reacted by withdrawing support for the party.
Eventually, this GOP abandonment of their principles paved the way for the 2008 election of President Barack Obama and Democrat majorities in Congress. The result was a hard-left agenda and possibly the most damaging President in our nation’s history.
Similarly, the current failures will probably ensure Democrats make gains in the 2018 mid-term elections and possibly take control of Congress. In this case, with the GOP Congress doing nothing, the GOP base will be demoralized and will not turnout in substantial numbers in the next election. In contrast, the left is stark raving mad about Donald Trump and is very energized to elect a Democrat Congress in 2018.
Liberals know that if Democrats are elected to Congress, they will deliver legislative victories for their base. For example, the stimulus bill and the “Affordable Healthcare Act” were rammed through in the first two years of the Obama presidency. In contrast, conservative voters should have no confidence that congressional Republicans will deliver anything of real substance. The sobering result is that no matter which political party controls Congress, the federal leviathan grows.
Until the Republicans remove ineffective leaders like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, they will accomplish absolutely nothing and only set the stage for the Democrats to achieve full power once again.
Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America’s Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at [email protected]