“Draining the Swamp” Isn’t a Part–Time Job

When the leftists at the Washington Post start offering relationship advice a Republican knows he could be on the cusp of something big. A recent WaPost headline warned, “Trump’s baffling attacks on McConnell could be costly to the president.”

“Cost” here is mainly a function of how often Trump is hoping to eat in the Senate’s invitation–only dining room. Otherwise what’s “baffling” is how long it took the notoriously impatient Trump to sound off.

After six months McConnell has failed to repeal Obamacare, failed to fund the wall, failed to reform the tax code, refused to return the Senate to pre–1970 filibuster rules and dismissed out of hand debating the one change that would do more to correct what’s wrong with Congress than any other: Term Limits.

The real risk to Trump and any hope he has for accomplishments in his first term is the status quo.

Currently Trump has achieved the unthinkable: Bi–partisan cooperation in Congress. Republicans are blocking what Trump wants to do and Democrats are blocking what Trump wants to do.

Something tells me the man who built Trump Tower didn’t win the presidency so he could be Mitch McConnell’s autopen.

Naturally there is division over how to persuade Congress to support Trump. I’m sure the General Staff, or at least the generals, advocate doubling down on the “hearts and minds” strategy to win over recalcitrant Congressional leadership.

Just schedule a few more summits, golf games, White House lunches and Twitter tutorials. Soon Trump will be able to emulate the success our high command has produced in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And continuing this strategy will produce results very similar to Afghanistan. McConnell will continue to be passive–aggressive and the Taliban aggressive–aggressive. Mitch, author of the unread tome “The Long Game,” and the Taliban both plan to outwait their opponents. Their intention is to be around after Trump and the Army are long gone.

The alternative to the appeaser’s long, slow defeat strategy is letting Trump be Trump.

The outsider who said during his inauguration, “For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.” The outsider who promised to drain the swamp, not stock the White House with reptiles.

The principle obstacle here is Trump. He is our first ADHD president. Moving an inert mass like McConnell’s Senate requires persistence and focus. So far Trump lacks both.

For example:

On July 27th Trump criticizes McConnell for failure to repeal Obamacare.

On August 8th Trump reverses course and endorses McConnell’s candidate, Luther Strange, in the Alabama special election.

On August 10th Trump lurches back into drive and says McConnell should resign from Senate leadership.

On August 15th Trump repeats his strange endorsement of Strange.

A tortoise like McConnell is immune to whiplash from this back–and–forth, but it only serves to reinforce what the WaPost says, “For some time, it has been apparent that members of Congress do not fear the president.”

That must change. Trump needs to play his “long game” and make opponents pay a price. Trump is holding a rally in Arizona next week, the home of craven media hound Jeff Flake who is conveniently up for re–election in 2018.

That’s the perfect time for Trump to announce he’s personally donating $50 million to the Make America Great Again PAC that will be supporting primary opponents of senators who are blocking the platform on which he won the presidency.

He can consider adding Utah’s Orrin Hatch and Tennessee’s Bob Corker to the list. It’s important that Trump doesn’t make the effort based on these lizard’s opposition to him personally, but rather their opposition to making America great again.

The primary opponents Trump supports don’t even have to win. They just have to make targeted incumbent’s life a living hell and an example of the consequences resulting from betraying the base.

Could it happen? Yes. Will it happen? Probably not.

The Strange endorsement proves Trump’s White House political operation is either second–rate or angling for jobs with the establishment GOP after Trump leaves.

Trump is also notoriously cheap, as his reneging on his pledge to fund his own campaign proved, so funding a PAC to support primary challengers is unlikely.

Finally, Trump has the attention span of a short circuit.

I’m afraid instead of reforming a political system run solely for the benefit of the elites; Trump will wind up being George Bush with an angry Twitter account. Forced to accept whatever crumbs and statist legislation McConnell and Speaker Paul Rino, excuse me, Ryan send him.

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Way Past Time to Let Congress Enjoy Obamacare

Every presidential administration reaches a pivot point. Many observers thought Trump’s came when Anthony Scaramucci walked in the White House door. Others thought it came 10 days later when Scaramucci walked out the door.

For me the Scaramucci Saga was just part of the excitement when the circus comes to town.

The pivot point I’m looking for is when President Trump finally learns he has only enemies and bystanders among the Republican leadership on Capitol Hill.

Mitch McConnell, Curator of the Senate, is happy to keep polishing Senate rules, while aging whiz kid Speaker Paul Ryan is proud of slightly reducing the velocity of the socialism–bound train that is the House of Representatives.

Ryan and McConnell have no respect for Trump. He doesn’t have their years of political experience or expertise in the arcane working of the legislative process. The fact the voters know this and elected Trump anyway escapes them.

Neither of these hacks is going to expend a dime of political capital to advance the Trump agenda. Their primary goal is protecting the GOP majority in both houses and maintaining their comfortable offices and the perks that come with leadership. They are both corporate incumbents, not conservatives, and their pitiful legislative records prove it.

Both of these swamp creatures expect to be in Washington, building their federal pensions, long after Trump has returned to Trump Tower for good.

There is no legislative outreach that can bridge the gap between the White House and Capitol Hill. Reince Priebus couldn’t do it and new chief of staff Gen. John Kelly won’t either. The only thing the invertebrates that make up the GOP will understand is negative consequences for their failure to support the Trump agenda.

Fortunately, Trump has just the weapon.

After Congress failed to keep their promise to repeal Obamacare, Trump threatened to make it live under the same rules, regulations and premiums the rest of us must endure.

It’s a little–known fact that Congress exempted itself from Obamacare in violation of the law.

During the frenzy to pass it Sen. Chuck Grassley (R–IA) slipped in an amendment that required Congress to buy its insurance on the exchanges just like the rest of us. Once the bill passed and members learned, to their horror, what was in it, they wanted no part of this leftist moral crusade.

So they created an Obamacare Sanctuary where the law didn’t apply to the people who passed it.

In a demonstration of the utter moral corruption that characterizes our political ruling class, Congress persuaded the Office of Personnel Management to issue a ruling that the 16,000 people employed by both houses qualified as a “small business.”

This allowed members and staff to buy their insurance on the DC Small Business Exchange, UNLESS the officeholder used another sleazy loophole. If staff is designated “non–official” it grandfathers them into the federal Employee Health Benefits program where they continue to receive premium subsidies and access to policies with coverage denied to the rest of us.

Regardless of which dodge the members chooses everyone gets a $10,000 to $12,000 subsidy to pay for their health insurance that is not income based. Meaning while you are selling the bass boat to make your premium, a rank–and–file Congressman making $174,000 a year gets a 12K subsidy for his insurance.

These sound bite patriots don’t feel pressure to repeal Obamacare for two reasons. One, base conservative voters aren’t their health insurance constituency; hospitals and insurance companies are and that’s who is calling the shots. And two, since they’re immune to the punishing Obamacare premiums and deductibles, they feel no personal motivation to keep their word.

Trump can end their lies and duplicity with the stroke of a pen. He can cancel the OPM ruling and throw every last swamp creature into the clutches of the DC Obamacare exchange. No more subsidies and no more special treatment.

Even better, these hypocrites can’t do anything about it. Trump controls, in a manner of speaking, the executive branch and if politicians went to court to try and keep their Obamacare exemption it would be a PR disaster on the scale of Anthony Scaramucci.

Trump should ignore the accommodationists and Congressional appeasers in his office.

A principled revocation of Congress’ special privileges would be a home run with the public; prove to the RINOs that Trump plays for keeps and it could force McConnell and Ryan to honor their promise to repeal Obamacare.

Trump could take a lesson from North Korea’s Kim Jong–un. No one likes him either, but the world worries about what he’s going to do next.

Trump doesn’t need love or respect from Congressional RINOs. Fear of consequences will do nicely instead. Trump should end Congress’ Obamacare Sanctuary now!

Losing the House to Win the Future

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is worried about the failure of Republican governing reality to match Republican campaign rhetoric. Newt told Fox News, “I would say the highest focus ought to be on getting the tax bill through because if we don’t have economic growth next year, I think we’re in real danger of having Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”

Big time Texas donor Doug Deason has already told Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell that his wallet is a dry hole until McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan “produce results on health care and tax reform.” And Deason isn’t the only donor heading for the customer service window hoping someone is there to ask for a refund.

Sean Lansing, of the Koch brother’s Americans for Prosperity, told Lifezette there should be “consequences” for repeated failure.

Now that “legislative mastermind” McConnell has failed to “repeal and replace Obamacare” followed by failure to just repeal, it looks like Deason is going to have a long–term increase in his disposable income.

Members of the base like you and I can’t pressure the likes of McConnell and Ryan individually with our wallets, but we can pressure them with our votes in aggregate.

That’s why I propose conservative voters to join together and help make Newt’s fears come true: Let’s “Lose the House to Win the Future.”

The corporate Republicans running the House and Senate view the conservative base, which loyally keeps them in office, in much the same way arrogant Victorian explorers viewed the natives in Africa: Dangerous savages who are useful for toting ballot boxes on their heads, but need to be house–broken before allowed into polite society.

That’s why the bubble–dwelling GOP establishment must be sent a message that will break through the impervious barrier of complacency and arrogance that surrounds their Capitol Hill offices. And Nancy Pelosi is just the person to deliver it.

This requires conservatives to change their voting behavior in November 2018. In the past conservatives held their nose and voted for RINO Republicans, because the thought of the Democrat alternative in office was too terrible to contemplate.

As a result the base was rewarded with accommodationist weaklings who preside over the Vichy government that currently rules us.

Now it’s time to embrace the alternative. Conservatives must refuse to vote for all Republican House incumbents — unless your representative is a member of the House Freedom Caucus. This doesn’t mean you vote for the Democrat.

Instead conservatives will vote for a write–in candidate. Resist the temptation to write in Mickey Mouse. Cartoon character votes, although relevant to the current GOP leadership, will only serve to have your write–in dismissed as a frivolous vote.

Instead I suggest all participants in my “Lose the House to Win the Future” campaign write in Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the genuinely conservative Freedom Caucus. Thousands of write–in votes for Meadows, spread across the country will be an obvious protest vote by conservatives that cannot be ignored by the Rep. Barney Fife’s cowering in DC.

There’s nothing like listening to Speaker Pelosi diesel on about evil Republicans to demonstrate to McConnell and Ryan that serial conservative betrayals come with a cost. Ideally the two founding members of the Can’t Do Caucus will be ruminating on their failures from the backbenches of the respective houses after they’ve been ousted from their pitiful leadership charade.

Meadows and the rest of the Freedom Caucus will be the framework around which a new conservative House leadership can be built — ready to resume power when conservatives vote for House Republicans in 2020.

Let me stress House votes are to be the only change for conservatives. Votes for Senate GOP candidates will remain unchanged, even if your only choice is a nose–holder like media parasite Lindsey Graham (R–MSNBC). It simply takes too long to regain control of the Senate. Besides, just the shock of the House loss may inspire Graham and his ilk to find those conservative campaign promises that have evidently slipped down between the sofa cushions.

Sure Democrat wild–eyed pistol takers in the House will pass gun confiscation bills, grant illegal aliens citizenship and demand Baptists dance at same–sex weddings, but it won’t matter. The same McConnell–sclerosis that clogs the Senate will stop those bills, too.

My “Lose the House to Win the Future” is like the old joke about the farmer and the mule. Before every turn the farmer would jump down from the wagon seat and hit the mule with a 2X4. A passerby saw this and asked why hit the mule, since the wagon made all the turns?

The farmer replied, yes that’s true, but first you have to get the mule’s attention.

Losing the House in 2018 will be the biggest attention–getter possible.

Trump Looks for Love in All the Wrong Places

If President Trump is disappointed by the outcome of his dalliance with Amanda Knox, wait until he gets a load of what passes for reciprocity from Rep. Hal Rodgers.

This clown caucus is the last place Trump should go to for support.

Amanda Knox is the student that was accused of a particularly gruesome murder in Italy, where she was attending school. Most of us would gravitate toward OJ or Robert Durst if we were going to advocate for someone accused of a messy murder, but maybe Trump thought he already had senior offenders in the bag.

Trump picked the hot coed and tweeted during her appeal trial, “Everyone should boycott Italy if Amanda Knox is not freed – she is totally innocent.”

Fortunately for the Italian tourism board, Knox was found innocent and returned to the US, where she proceeded to display a politician’s gratitude. The Independent reports the accused murderer endorsed the enthusiastic abortion supporter, Hillary Clinton, instead of her Twitter buddy, Trump.

In a column Knox wrote for the West Seattle Herald she observed, “If Obama’s song was a rousing anthem, Clinton’s is a subtle symphony. And Trump, a broken trumpet. [Clinton’s] impending victory represents the triumph of nuance and poise over prejudice and childishness.”

I won’t go out on a limb and contend Trump’s elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts in his proposed budget was to make sure Amanda never received a “writer in residence” grant, but it is an intriguing thought.

Now Trump is looking for love in all the wrong places. I know Trump is new at this, but it’s time to focus. Reaching out to RINOs and Democrats in the White House means asking Ivanka to pass the salt. Doing so in Congress can have serious repercussions with Trump’s base.

How serious? To learn that you’ll have to click on the link below and read the rest of my column at Newsmax.com:

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/trump-freedom-caucus-rep-hal-rodgers/2017/04/19/id/785266/

 

National Review “Never Trumpers” Hold a Summit

Almost exactly 14 months since the editors at conservative National Review published an entire issue dedicated to being “Against Trump,” the magazine held an “ideas summit” titled “Working on a Path Towards Conservatism.”

This doesn’t exactly represent suing for peace, particularly since panelist Peter Wehner, of the Ethics & Public Policy Center, evidently believes the nuclear attack codes should be put in a blind trust during the Trump administration. Yet it appeared that, at least on the Trump side, there were no hard feelings, since Kellyanne Conway, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and HHS Sec. Tom Price appeared at the two–day event.

That may change after the rest of Wehner’s remarks reach the Oval Office. He had no problem personally attacking Trump by recycling the Opposition Media’s false attack lines.

That’s something that struck me about the National Review crowd. During the primary, when Trump appeared at the Values Voters Conference before an audience of evangelicals and conservative Christians, he made a passing reference to “Little Marco” and the crowd immediately booed him to show the remark was out of line.

Yet when Wehner emphatically declared Trump is “erratic, cruel, vindictive and morally corrupt” no one in the crowd of movers–and–shakers let out a peep. It was as if he was speaking before assembly line workers at the “Don’t Blame Me, I voted for Evan McMullin” bumper sticker plant.

The entire “Ideas Summit” atmosphere was one of lukewarm support for president. I can recall no speakers praising the Trump budget that zeroed out agencies conservatives have railed against for decades, yet the crowd gave Speaker Paul Ryan a partial standing ovation after he spent a half hour essentially asking the audience “are you going to believe me or your lying eyes” with regard to his Obamacare Lite bill.

But that’s not all! Ryan’s performance even reminded me of an all–time classic advertising account executive joke, but to learn which joke, you’ll have to click on the link below and finish my column at Newsmax.com:

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/national-review-obamacare-lite-against-trump-paul-ryan/2017/03/22/id/780209/

 

Senate Still Can’t Understand Why Trump Won

Hammer–wielding petulants attacking Larry King’s rented limo in DC may boast of being “the Resistance,” but their effect on the Trump administration will be as fleeting as their fame.

Same goes for the estrogen–ettes who held their march the day after the inauguration, proving even angry women have trouble being on time.

rat-republicans-against-trumpThe real resistance to Trump’s agenda wasn’t marching on the streets. It was sitting behind him as he took the Oath. Senators Lisa Murkowski, Orrin Hatch and Lamar Alexander personify the Republican Resistance to Trump. They’re the “don’t start your budget cutting with me,” the “don’t disturb my complacency” and the “I’m strictly a big picture guy” wings of the Can’t Do Caucus.

The Can’t Do Caucus — led by “Mitch McClellan” — is composed of GOP politicians who campaign as conservatives and govern as spendocrats. They go along with the base just far enough to get re–elected.

Their charming combination of duplicitousness and inertia is the reason Trump won. Conservatives are tired of being told the issues they supported and voted for at election time are completely impractical at governing time.

Since establishment Republicans can’t comprehend why Trump won and still believe Jeb! may be viable in 2020, they not only resist draining the swamp, most will claim there is no drain.

Senate votes aren’t divided between Republicans and Democrats. The division is between self–interest and the national interest and so far the national interest is on the short side of the ledger.

That’s why I’ve been studying the photo of the large “Resist” banner that was hung from a crane near the White House. Is that Mitch McConnell dangling just out of the frame? Can’t be sure. But I am sure Trump will be fighting more than just Democrats in Congress.

You can find out who the ringleaders are of the internal opposition and why they are fighting Trump by clicking on the link below and reading the rest of my Newsmax column:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/federal-senate-spending/2017/01/25/id/770378/