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Destruction of the Power Play

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

In ice hockey, when a team is on a “Power Play,” it means they have one more players on the ice than their opponents, as they charge toward the goal with a level of intensity that will help them score.


When it comes to Washington, D.C., I am trying to figure out exactly who is on the Power Play. I thought the Democrats had a player in the penalty box, but apparently not. Having control of the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House apparently means nothing to the Republican Party.

Republicans still haven’t quite figured out how to pull off the Power Play. Charging down the ice, looking to score goals, setting the agenda and completing it, and putting the opposing team on defense seems to escape their ability.

Giving Away Strength

The GOP had big plans to defund Planned Parenthood, create a pro-growth budget, secure our borders, adopt new immigration policies, pass tax reform, repeal Obamacare, “drain the swamp,” strengthen our military and negotiate pro-American trade deals.

Some of those things have been done and some are certainly on the way. Yet, it’s tough to continue when you’re on defense and when you continue to give away strength to the political posturing of the left. 

Republicans did what was necessary to make sure that Judge Neil Gorsuch was confirmed to the Supreme Court. Shutting down the government in September was a terrible option, and Republicans made concessions to avoid it. But at some point, a shutdown may be the only option for the Trump administration’s agenda to pass—the ultimate offense, as it were.


We have lost our way as a democracy when we forget that a majority—regardless of how simple it might be—is the rule of the day. In fact, that’s the way we ruled our nation for hundreds of years. But, somehow, institutionalists like Sen. Mitch McConnell have decided that a filibuster is some sort of constitutional right and that a majority in the House or Senate does not really mean a majority.

Somehow, the brilliant GOP strategists must believe that allowing the opposing party to set your agenda is good politics and good for the American people. So why did the American people vote Republicans into office?

Setting the Agenda

President Donald Trump has done an incredible job of surrounding himself with unusually competent people. But right now, it appears as though all the competency in the world means little if the incompetent continue to set the agenda. An agenda based strictly on “politics as usual,” where the controlling party appears more worried about its royal elite status than taking charge of the offense, doesn’t work for anyone.

We need fiscal policy from Washington that is truly what the American people voted for and that will benefit the nation. We need conversation that includes debt crisis management and outlines the details of a pro-growth strategy, as well as the positive effects for the long term.


We need a fiscal budget passed so the American people will have a yardstick by which to measure how well their legislators are doing, and if they are doing what they said they would do.

We also need to pay careful consideration to the debt ceiling, understanding that we are not China or Japan. The U.S. is not in as great shape as many legislators have been tricked into believing. Someone needs to remind our legislators that we are not an export-driven economy, so our debt-to-GDP ratio should be considered more important than it might be in China.

The Need for Leadership

Most importantly, we need leadership for America that has some knowledge and ability of how to truly lead. We could start by having strong, steadfast, unwavering leadership from the Speaker of the House—a person who is not concerned about some sort of elite political agenda, but is more concerned about the president’s agenda and the American people. Sorry, Mr. Priebus, but remember who you are working for; your relationship with Paul Ryan should not be influencing your advice to the president. 

Hanging in the balance for this president, and for the Republican Party, will be the conservative Christian vote. This president has been gracious enough to acknowledge the role Christians played in putting him in office. I suspect these conservatives will play a role in putting future Republican legislators back in office, or perhaps in office for the first time.


It’s hard not to praise the president for the many things he accomplished in his first 100 days in office. I believe he is on track to be one of the most successful presidents in the history of the nation. This makes it all the more difficult to watch as a failed political system could turn his success away from the incredible instincts he possesses. 

The Power Play is still on. We need to take advantage of the offense with the instincts of a Wayne Gretzky (or to change sports metaphors—a Tom Brady, a Hank Aaron or a Michael Jordan). Time is running out even though it’s early in the game, yet the Republican Party and some members of this administration think there’s plenty of time.

But this administration must take advantage of the momentum that, for now, is still on the president’s side.

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