When Donald Trump announced he was going to run for the Republican nomination for president, many career Republicans came out against him. Trump was not one of them and therefore, few if any mainstream Washington Republicans came out to endorse Trump. Most of them threw their support to Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and a few even chose John Kasich over the outsider Donald Trump.
As Trump gained on the other Republican presidential candidates, slowly a few Republicans ventured out on a limb and endorsed Trump.
In May 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell endorsed Trump, but many saw it as a weak and insincere endorsement. Every time anything controversial came out against Trump, McConnell would tend to back off his endorsement and often side with those condemning Trump for whatever it was at the time.
In June 2016, Speaker of the House Raul Ryan joined McConnell in an insincere endorsement of Donald Trump and like McConnell, Ryan often backed away from his endorsement of Trump anytime anything controversial was released by the liberal media.
When Donald Trump received the official Republican Party presidential nomination, many congressional Republicans were still not happy and not willing to endorse Trump. It seemed that the majority of career Republican politicians sided more with the media and Democrats than they did with Trump. Both McConnell and Ryan and their continued support for Trump was what I refer to as kite support – it went wherever the popular or media winds blew.
Once Trump won the election, was inaugurated and began working to fulfil his many conservative campaign promises, it often seemed that McConnell and Ryan had their own agenda and it didn’t always include what Trump was trying to accomplish. This was evident with the promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Neither Ryan nor McConnell were able to fulfill the 7-year-old promise Republicans had been making to the American people. Trump is a very successful businessman who expects results from his people. If they don’t produce, they are history and that mentality has been coming through with Trump’s reactions to the failures of McConnell and Ryan further widening the rift between the President and the congressional leaders.
Is there an underlying reason why McConnell and Ryan have not been cooperative with Trump?
According to a recent report, former White House Chief Strategist and loyal Trump supporter, Steve Bannon, suggests that McConnell and Ryan are trying to nullify the 2016 election of Donald Trump:
“Well, yes, although when you peel the flashy overstatement from what Bannon says, all he’s doing is acknowledging the familiar ideological split within the GOP. You have a populist base represented by a mostly conservative caucus in Congress and a president whose instincts trend strongly nationalist on some matters (e.g., trade) but not so strongly on others. That’s a recipe for a lot of unhappiness on all fronts. What Bannon’s getting at here with the ‘nullify’ language is a party conundrum: Should Ryan and McConnell dutifully carry out Trump’s agenda or should they press their own and seek accommodation somehow with the White House? During the Obama years, it was commonplace on the right to hear that Congress owes the president nothing. They’re an independent branch whose members are responsible for representing the interests of local, not national, constituencies. Does that logic also apply during the Trump years? Ryan and McConnell got elected and reelected many times preaching free trade. By demanding that they throw that overboard and line up with Trump, Bannon’s trying to ‘nullify’ their elections as much as they’re trying to nullify POTUS’s. This problem, of identifying what precisely the GOP’s “mandate” is, will drag on until the midterms at least and maybe for Trump’s entire term.”
If McConnell and Ryan continue on this course of opposing Trump on more important issues, they may be shocked when voters go to the polls this year and next. The Republican in-fighting may well cost Republicans control of both the House and Senate. McConnell and Ryan may not only lose their leadership roles but their elected positions as well.
I live in Kentucky and at the moment, would be very interested in giving my vote to another Republican wiling to oppose McConnell. I think it’s time for new GOP faces in Congress, ones that will work with Trump, not against him.