Not Even a Day of Happiness from Republican Establishment

The Republican Establishment could not allow conservative voters even a day to celebrate. They had to ruin it.


According to the time stamp, by 4:31 yesterday, USA Today had posted the story, “GOP pledges to avoid ideological warfare with Obama.”

It hadn’t even been twenty-four hours since Republicans won their overwhelming victory, thanks in large part to their conservative base, and the GOP “leadership” was already publicly spitting on them.

Americans handed Republicans control of Congress for the first time since 2006, and leading GOP lawmakers pledged in the wake of sweeping victories that they would not screw it up.

“When people choose divided government it doesn’t mean they don’t want us to do anything,” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Wednesday. The Kentucky Republican will become Senate majority leader in January. He pledged to change the way the Senate operates to include more debate, more votes and longer workweeks.

McConnell further pledged that Republicans would not seek further confrontations over government shutdowns or raising the debt ceiling. “Let me make it clear: There will be no government shutdowns and no default on the national debt,” he said.

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., who ran the Senate GOP’s campaign operation echoed McConnell. “The message that was delivered to us (from voters) was: We expect to have policies put in place that the American people support, and we expect you to work together to accomplish that,” Moran told reporters Wednesday.

Seriously? The only message I heard was: We want Republicans in office instead of Democrats. How on earth does an overwhelming vote for Republicans translate into a mandate for Republicans to limit themselves to pushing forward items on the Democrat agenda?

[See also, “Democrats Implode, Turning on One Another.”]

I’m not even upset by the disregard for Republican principle since I expect it. But why couldn’t they at least give us a day to bask in the victory? Why did they have to remind us so quickly that they are completely untrustworthy?

“Our party will ultimately be judged on how we govern, and that is what we were elected to do,” said Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., who ran the House GOP’s campaign operation that has resulted in the biggest Republican majority since the World War II era.

Another possibility I invite you to consider, Walden, is that voters will ultimately judge you on whether you insist on governing them at all in many areas. How about allowing us to govern ourselves?

Although Republicans will be under pressure to advance causes popular among their conservative base, including the full repeal of Obama’s Affordable Care Act, leaders sought a conciliatory tone and were reluctant to boast of any mandate coming out of Tuesday’s elections.

How is that not an open boast that the Republicans are setting about from day one to betray and frustrate the people who put them in office?

I will hope, pray, and lobby that this rhetoric ends up being meaningless. But it doesn’t look promising to have the overwhelming winners bend over backwards to make the losers happy.

Not even one day is permitted for us to celebrate the victory.