General Douglas McArthur said it best, “There is no substitute for victory.” That quote is plastered in Yankee Stadium near the entrance of the team dugout. You must win to get what you want to be done in DC—this isn’t a revolutionary point. It’s trite, but the 2008 and 2012 elections showed that the Republican Party was okay with losing with dignity. The base was not, primarily as Barack Obama waged war to increase health care premiums and put rural communities out of work through his EPA regulations, among other things.
The Republican base welcomed hordes of white working-class voters with no higher education. They were a bit more protectionist on free trade, gung-ho about American cultural issues, and wanted something to be done about immigration. Donald Trump saw what the elite DC Republican class did not, cornered the market on these issues, catapulted his way to the top of the 2016 field, and eventually won the presidency. After Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential candidate playbook was to be as much like Ronald Reagan as possible. That was a question in the 2008 primary debates. The establishment was blind to the notion that public opinion can change; therefore, the priorities of base voters can change. After years of broken promises, the angry GOP voter was energized and ready to accept someone who wasn’t part of the country club to sell another host of fake promises. I feel that if the GOP had followed through on their promise to repeal Obamacare, things might have been different. That massive GOP initiative ended in complete failure after nearly ten years of being a stumping point.
The “principles first” crowd doesn’t get that we tried their way for multiple election cycles. They failed to win the presidency. Like in sports, sure—it’s great to make a deep run in the playoffs, but after blowing it in the championship game, it’s time to blow up the front office. That is unless you’re Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys, who maintains God-like control over that franchise despite his team not being able to reach an NFC championship game in 25 years, let alone another Super Bowl appearance.
The haranguing about principles is also mystifying, as the neo-populist Trump agenda overlaps with most of the traditional policy action items of the Reagan era. We’ve mentioned this prior when the Never Trump and MAGA wings go at each other’s throats. The questions of character are overrated. It’s a media focal point now. On our side, Trump won despite his alleged extramarital activities. With Democrats, Bill Clinton has a history of sexual assault allegations. He was elected and re-elected twice. If he could run a third time, you bet a healthy number of Democratic Party members would back him, ending this silly debate about character in elections. Unless there’s murder and mayhem, voters don’t care. The elite doesn’t get that everyone else views them as crooks, snake oil salespeople, and a class that not only screws them over but will eventually disappoint them in the future. I like Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis—I don’t doubt that they will ultimately fall short. All politicians do this—it’s the only job where the people expect you to become a total dirtbag.
The principles crowd is blessedly not many, and we’ve purged a good chunk of them. Five of the ten pro-impeachment Republicans in the House are gone, either through retirements or primary challenges. Washington Reps. Jamie Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse might survive; they’re still counting ballots up there. Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan did not survive his primary challenge (via CNBC):
Trump has also pushed for the ouster of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him after the riot, and much of the GOP has followed suit. Four of those pro-impeachment Republicans — Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, John Katko of New York and Fred Upton of Michigan — will retire at the end of their current terms.
Another, Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., lost his primary race in June. David Valadao, R-Calif., survived his primary challenge.
But Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., lost his primary election Tuesday, after weathering attacks from both Trump and Democrats, who reportedly boosted his far-right opponent, John Gibbs.
Rep. Liz Cheney’s (R-WY) career is already dead; it’s just that no one has told her yet. Or maybe some people have, and like Joe Biden, she wallows in fantasyland when things don’t go her way. Any victories this side may clinch are pyrrhic in nature. Those who survive will face a voter base that views them as traitors for supporting the Democrats’ kangaroo court attempts to impeach and remove Trump. None of their bills will see the light of day. Why even bother serving then? And what is the point of your call to service if all you do is sit there, whine about Trump, and pal around with Democrats? Liz should have known when she was removed from the House GOP leadership that to declare war on Trump is to self-immolate your career. There’s plenty of policy agreement between the two sides, but this obsession with being right and trying to lecture the rest of us about Trump is just fruitless. We all knew what we were getting ourselves into with Trump; for the most part, we still like him. We also like Trump-like candidates, like Ron DeSantis. And like most in this wing of the GOP, they have no stomach for the fight.
What was the point of touting your self-proclaimed superior moral compass if all roads led to you exiting the arena? You’re all spineless fools who would rather have therapy sessions with the many lefty contributors that infest networks like CNN and MSNBC. We’re done with you. Please resign or retire, but if you want to fight, like Liz Cheney, just know that you’re going down in flames.