The latest Never Trump meme is that Donald Trump has defected to the Democrats, a notion that might charitably be labeled “wishful thinking” if it actually involved any thinking. But the “wishful” part is in full effect as this tattered remnant of worshippers at the altar of Establishment Conservatism seeks to revive their failed cult and reassume their position as the priesthood of all things on the right.
You remember Establishment Conservatism, right? It is to conservatism as Unitarians are to Christianity – “Well, I sort of believe in something, but mostly I just want whatever I do validated.” Establishment Conservatism is the sect that promised for seven years to repeal Obamacare then…didn’t. But that was Trump’s fault, of course, because reasons and because you’re a fake conservative for asking and also shut up.
So, this week’s True Con embarrassment arose because the Republicans were somehow going to score yet another smashing victory in a debt ceiling fight, as they always do, but darn that Trump! He got in the way of their cunning scheme. Or something.
When the collective panty twist went off, their wailing and gnashing of teeth seemed a bit overblown – by a factor of about a zillion. The media, always eager to divide the GOP and helped out by establishment Republicans who are always eager to be divided, dropped the breathless revelation that Trump had made a deal with Schumer and Pelosi to put off the debt ceiling fight until December and to pass a huge hurricane relief package for Texas – you know, where the GOP base lives.
And those of us who aren’t wrapped up in trying to salvage our relevance wondered, “Hmmm, it’s unusual he agreed with those two, but what’s so bad about putting off a fight that will inevitably lead to the Congressional GOP capitulating while getting our red state voters hurricane aid?” But see, we’re too dumb to understand that this was THE WORST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED IN THE HISTORY OF EVER BECAUSE OF SOME REASON.
The frenzied Fredocon spaz-fest that followed gave away the game. “Oh no, Trump sold out everything conservatives believe in by delaying the GOP’s certain humiliation for three months! He betrayed you all with this insignificant delay and by ensuring the GOP didn’t walk into the ‘You Republicans are playing politics with Harvey aid!’ ambush. He's clearly a Democrat now and next it will be single payer and then he’ll change all our pronouns to ‘xe’ or ‘xir.’”
Blah blah blah blah blah. Don’t these people ever get tired of being wrong?
When I saw the compromise news, I thought it odd that Trump had agreed with the Democrats about something, but I wondered what the collective freakout was all about. Perhaps I didn’t understand the GOP’s clever play. So I asked on Twitter, “I'm just curious about what the GOPe's plan for victory on the debt ceiling was. Their track record is so good that I'm sure it was awesome.” Maybe I was missing something. Maybe there was some great plan that the Republicans had created that somehow Trump truncated. Turns out I was not missing anything. There was no plan. This supernova of fake outrage was just another inept ploy to undercut the president as part of the establishment’s never-ending campaign to regain the power we voters stripped from it in retaliation for its failure.
By the way, I have yet to get an answer to my question, and gosh, I’m thinking that might be because there was no great plan for victory in the debt ceiling fight. Get a hold of yourself – I know it’s shocking to hear that the Congressional GOP might blindly stumble into a debt ceiling fight and end up in a humiliating defeat, but that’s the kind of wacky, out-of-the-box thinking I’m all about.
After all, it’s not like the Republicans have a long and proud tradition of botching every single debt ceiling fight they ever wandered into, but it was definitely going to be different this time somehow, according to informed sources within the unicorn community.
Note that the Congressional GOP was so upset about this compromise that it passed it in a day. Remember that when you’re being encouraged to tear your hair out because Trump funded our own red state voters and avoided the headlines like “Republicans hold hurricane victims hostage in debt ceiling government shutdown Armageddon!” Yeah, we would have totally won that argument.
But uh oh! It turns out some GOP congreessjerks have a big case of the sad feelz because of Trump’s utter TOTAL COMPLETE TREASON BETRAYAL by extending the debt ceiling three months. It’s clear he’s a total liberal because the True Conservative fallback position was to extend it six months, and those extra three months WERE EVERYTHING SOMEHOW FOR SOME REASON UNICORNS UNICORNS UNICORNS!
I guess the True Conservatives are still mad about how Trump forced them not to repeal Obamacare, a mantra they had spent seven years repeating like they were Rainman, except without the “savant” part.
Do Trump’s supporters care about these arcane D.C. manhood measuring games? No. Normals want stuff to get done, and if the GOP can’t do it and dealing with the Dems can, then guess what? No one outside the Beltway cares if the Smarmy Dope and Elderly Mutant Establishment Turtle got disrespected. We avoided was a fight right now that would have taken up the 12 whole days of legislative work that Ryan and McConnell somehow stuffed into the 30 days of September after taking August off. Now the Congressional GOP is free to focus its entire attention on failing at tax reform.
Trump isn’t “betraying” the base. He’s treating the Congressional GOP like the hacks they are. They have done nearly nothing except posture, pose and issue passive aggressive proclamations about how Trump offends their tender sensibilities. Trump doesn’t respect them because they haven’t earned any respect; this week, he saved them from making fools of themselves once again, at least until the holidays.
We’re winning, not in huge, sweeping moves, but in inches. Grant, not Patton, people. Trump nominated a bunch of new conservative judges this week (though the president has yet to win a yuge victory by nominating the great Don Willett). Did you hear about that from the Tru Cons? Remember ISIS? Soon, no one will. DACA is going to die, maybe not as fast as we’d like but the unconstitutional executive order is gone. And gee – that six months phase out ends right after the debt ceiling fight comes back. “Republicans hold up hurricane relief” is a bad headline. “Democrats want to shut down government unless illegals get amnesty” is a good headline – though we can all feel the throbbing, aching longing of the GOPe to rollover on immigration, and its capacity to blow the communications piece is limitless. Finally, the fascist kollege kangaroo kourt rules Obama imposed are going away – the very thing the Tru Cons have been (justifiably) crying about for years in intermittently-read cruise brochures like The Weekly Standard.
When you want your stripped-away power back, you’re always going to find the cloud behind the silver lining. But if America had followed the advice of Conservatism, Inc., and elected Felonia von Pantsuit (I guess 2017-2021 was going to be a rebuilding term), none of this would have happened. No, it’s not all winning. There’s Obamacare, of course, though that’s all on the GOP liars like John “Blue Falcon” McCain. And sure, the shockingly inept Jeff Sessions is letting Lois Lerner slip past criminal accountability – gee, didn’t the Tru Cons tell us Sessions was a great conservative? Still, the Fredcons, who desperately conspired with Hyman Roth Clinton to get something for themselves because they were passed over, can’t get beyond the one indisputable fact that utterly defeats their endless, semi-coherent claims that Trump is THE WORST THING EVER.
With Trump, as imperfect as he is, we at least aren’t goosestepping down the road to Venezuela or even much, much worse, as we would have been if we had taken their advice and Been With Her. And that’s enough.