For the first eight months of his presidency, Donald Trump has been continually thwarted by a combination of the left-wing media, the “deep state” bureaucracy, the Democrats and the establishment Republicans. On his own, President Trump has made dramatic and positive executive orders, but his legislative accomplishments have been disappointing due to the powerful forces arrayed against him.
Theoretically, the President should have been able to achieve all of his goals because the Republicans control all branches of government. Regrettably, the uncooperative congressional leadership has not produced any major victories for the President or his 63 million supporters.
In essence, the “swamp” has not been drained and the “swamp creatures” are trying to drown the populist, nationalist agenda of President Trump. Clearly, the GOP needs more change agents in Congress. Republicans have too many moderate and establishment members who like “business as usual.” Thus, the President’s call to repeal and replace Obamacare, cut taxes, build a border wall and provide Americans with improved infrastructure is not being heeded. With the clock ticking toward the mid-term elections, the time is running out for the President’s agenda to be implemented.
Next Tuesday in Alabama, Republican voters will have an outstanding opportunity to provide the President with some crucial assistance. There is an election to replace the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in February. The interim Senator, Luther Strange, is facing former State Supreme Court Chief Judge Roy Moore in the GOP run-off.
The Republican Party establishment wing desperately wants Strange to win this election. The poster child for the establishment Republicans is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who has been in the U.S. Senate for almost 33 years. It is no surprise that McConnell is strongly supporting Strange in his race against Moore, who is a bona fide conservative leader with a strong history of upholding constitutional principles on the Alabama Supreme Court.
McConnell’s political action committee is pumping big money into Alabama to help Strange. Most importantly, Strange is receiving a massive boost today with a visit from President Trump to Huntsville, AL. The President has been tweeting messages of support for “Big Luther,” and will lead today’s rally on his behalf.
Curiously, the President is supporting a candidate who worked as a lobbyist on behalf of CAFTA, a trade deal that shipped thousands of Alabama jobs to Central America. In contrast, Donald Trump won the presidency on a platform that called for ending unfair trade deals such as CAFTA.
Unlike Strange, Judge Moore is an ardent conservative who fought to uphold traditional marriage and the Ten Commandments while on the Alabama Supreme Court. He is being supported by many of the President’s most vocal defenders, including Fox News host Sean Hannity, former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and former White House official Sebastian Gorka.
This runoff election pits a Beltway “swamp creature” McConnell and his establishment colleagues against the true conservative reformers who supported President Trump in the 2016 election. Evidently, the President is supporting Strange to bolster the standing of McConnell before important Senate votes on tax reform and repealing Obamacare.
While Strange is currently supporting the President’s agenda, his true allegiance is with McConnell and the Republican Party establishment. He initially signed a letter supporting McConnell’s position to keep the 60-vote threshold in the Senate. Later, Strange changed his view to align with President Trump, but only after finishing second to Moore in the Senate primary election.
As Senator, Strange declined to co-sponsor the RAISE Act, an immigration bill that is supported by President Trump. Strange also voted to place additional sanctions on Russia and limit the authority of the President to rescind the measure. While the President signed the legislation, he was clearly perturbed at the infringement on his executive authority.
Judge Moore is the type of anti-establishment Republican that the U.S. Senate desperately needs. If he wins, other real conservatives would be encouraged to take on incumbent GOP Senators in 2018. The current Republican line up of U.S. Senators needs to be radically changed with an infusion of new blood and innovative ideas. This can only come from the outside, from the grassroots, not the Beltway.
If Strange wins, McConnell will be bolstered and it will be more of the same inaction from the U.S. Senate. Something dramatic is needed to undo the logjam in the U.S. Senate. The election of Judge Moore to represent the people of Alabama would be a good first step.
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]