Remember the Kobayashi Maru scene in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan? Sometimes, you end up with no good options. Donald Trump just had that happen to him with the omnibus abomination, though don’t be fooled by the passive voice – he deserves some blame for letting it come to this. The absolutely essential military spending was wrapped in a fat suit of glistening, rancid pork, and the congressional rats had already abandoned ship and fled out of town when it was dumped on his desk. So he had a stark choice. Trump could sign it, and enrage his base but ensure our military could prepare for the wars looming on the horizon. Or he could veto it, and launch a government shutdown with about 0% of succeeding in getting a significantly better deal.
Trump chose the least worst of two bad options, and I, for one, refuse to lose my Schiff over it.
This was a last minute congressional jam-down of a swamp-generated monstrosity, and Trump deserves a slice of the blame for not seeing it coming. He evidently failed to ensure that his priorities and preferences were included as this sausage was being made, and suddenly the whole thing dropped on him (and us) seemingly out of nowhere and became a thing overnight. Except it wasn’t overnight. This train had been coming down the tracks for three months; the Congressional weasels succeeded in sneaking it in right before they ditched town. Trump is liable for letting himself be put in that position, but the GOP leadership is responsible for putting him there.
Now, the people who hate Trump anyway – many of whom would have squeed with squishy glee had Presidents Jeb! or Foamy Marco signed the bill – were delighted for a chance to scream “BETRAYAL TURNCOAT CUCK!” about this choice. For many of them, this is just another chance to try to tear apart the Republican coalition that rejected them – many still dream of someday getting a slot in a Ben Sasse administration. But none of them offered a game plan for an alternative.
What was the alternative?
Step One: Veto the Bill
Step Two: ?
Step Three: Congress Passes Conservative Spending Bill We All Love
If anyone can explain Step Two to me, I’d sure appreciate it. After all, that’s kind of the key step, and no one seems to have a good answer for what it might have consisted of. The simple fact is that while the GOP has a majority, conservatives do not. Step Two can’t be “Wishing” or “Wanting” or “Waving the Magic Wand.” If you think a government shutdown caused by Trump’s veto would result in a better outcome, well, that requires some explanation. I’d be interested to see a citation to a governmental shutdown that the shutter downer won. There isn’t one; people like us love government shutdowns because we think the government sucks, but the rest of America doesn’t.
It just doesn’t. I don’t want that to be the truth, and I don’t like it, but that’s how it is. We are not yet an unassailable majority, and the United States is not yet the dictatorship the left desires, so we cannot just decree that our wishes become reality. We have to compromise and make deals. And it’s annoying as hell.
This is a over-compromise and a bad deal. This bill is not what Trump promised and not what we voted for. The base is mad. Furious. And it has a right to be.
We’ve been mad at the saps in the GOP Congressional Caucus forever, and we’ve slowly but surely been turning out the simps and the squishes. There are many more to go. But a lot of the anger, fueled by giddy libs and eager Fredocons, is directed at President Trump. Some of it is justified – he let himself get pushed into the corner and he needs to reach out and get some advisors who actually agree with his program. But a lot of the base’s fury is overblown.
It’s absolutely understandable – in fact, it’s inevitable – that Trump supporters are going to be ticked off. We’ve been lied to and betrayed for decades, and anything that even hints at a continuation of that pattern spins us up to Rage Level 11. But the fact is that this was a screw-up that led to him being faced with two bad choices, and we need to see clearly what happened. We weren’t “betrayed.” It’s not “over.” And “Trump has totally lost my support” is exactly what your enemies want you to say.
Don’t say what your enemies want you to say.
This was a bump in the road, as road that includes Justice Gorsuch, defeating ISIS, Keystone, regulatory rollback, tax cuts and many other conservative achievements. Our enemies would love for us to throw that all away because we got a case of the madz. But that would be stupid.
There’s another spending fight coming. Trump says he won’t sign another flaming pile of garbage like this. After the reaction he got the other day, it’s likely he’ll keep his word. He should demand that he receive the next bill in final form 30 days before the deadline – no more 30 minutes to read 2,200 pages nonsense. This will give real conservative leaders a chance to disinfect it with sunlight, like Senator Rand Paul did highlighting the flotsam and jetsam in the last one.
Finally, Mitch McConnell needs to earn the base’s lost confidence by getting the GOP to toss out the filibuster rule and start passing our priorities because if these hacks blow the Senate majority (and they absolutely could) Chuckie Schumer will do that the first day anyway. Oh, and it would be really good for morale to get Ric Grennell and the other hung-up nominees confirmed. If McConnell has to change the rules to outflank Democrat obstruction, okay.
What do the rest of us do? Not quit. Get up, brush off, and get ready to fight. Tighten the hell up and jump back in the game. If you can’t take a hit, if you can’t stand to encounter an obstacle, if you’re giving up everything because something goes wrong, you’re not really committed to recovering your country and your own freedom. This is going to be hard. This is going to take time, a lot of it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and draining the swamp will not be done in a day either. We are going to have more days like Omnibust Friday in the future, lots of them. That’s how it goes. But also remember that we will have days like November 8, 2016, where liberals are spread out before us, sobbing as their hideous libfascist dreams die before their eyes.
And those days make it all worthwhile.