Brett Kavanaugh

Is President Trump Fighting the Wrong Enemy?

Editorial credit: Windover Way Photography / Shutterstock.com

If it wasn’t clear before, it should be now… President Donald Trump blames conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus for his troubles.

Earlier today, the President tweeted out a series of comments that seemed to attack the Freedom Caucus, and then three specific FC leaders, Mark Meadows (R-NC), Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Raul Labrador (R-ID).

The Daily Wire’s Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro was aghast at Trump’s decision to turn on the conservative wing of HIS party.

Trump has now made clear just where he stands: against conservatives in Congress.

This isn’t a strategy. It’s puerile idiocy. Some of Trump’s most ardent supporters have been urging Trump to walk across the aisle in order to work with Democrats – but the same tweet targeting the Freedom Caucus for potential 2018 primaries also targets Democrats. Let’s do some simple math. There are 246 Republicans in Congress. Trump needs 218 Congresspeople to pass anything. There are 30 members of the Freedom Caucus – and there are 10 to 15 moderates who weren’t fond of Trumpcare. So by alienating every Freedom Caucus member and attacking Democrats too, Trump has mathematically deprived himself of a majority in Congress.

Furthermore, the entire Trumpcare debacle reeks of kabuki theater: Trump pushes a bill he knows is going to go down, then immediately turns on his right flank in order to move to the populist center. Only it’s incompetent kabuki theater, because Democrats aren’t interested in working with Trump: they just want to jerk him around for a couple years, prevent him from passing anything meaningful, and then take back Congress in 2018.

And this strategy tells us the truth about where Trump’s sympathies always lay: in the political center. Being anti-establishment does not mean being conservative. Trump is anti-establishment in manner but not in policy. He’s not a small government Tea Party conservative – those are the people in the Freedom Caucus, virtually all of whom ardently backed Trump in the general election.

President Trump wasn’t alone in blaming the conservatives for the failure of Ryancare, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) also blamed the conservatives for allowing the “perfect” to be the enemy of the “good” when it came to the healthcare debate. (Other moderate Republicans have joined in piling on, in an effort to take the heat off of their failures – i’m looking at you Chris Collins.)

But House conservatives were quick to remind President Trump that they have been his best allies over the last few months as the moderates in the caucus have mocked, maligned, and even undermined him.

Congressmen Jim Jordan and Dave Brat (R-VA) responded to the President’s tweets with deference saying that they were trying to “HELP” the President, not hurt him or the GOP.

“The Freedom Caucus is trying to change Washington. This bill keeps Washington the same, plain and simple,” Rep. Jordan said on Fox News Thursday.

“We appreciate the president; we are trying to help the president. But the fact is, you have to look at the legislation. It doesn’t do what we told the voters we were going to do, and the American people understand that. That’s why only 17 percent of the population supports this legislation.”

“We want to help the president get a bill that rises above 17% in the polling,” Congressman Dave Brat (R-Va.) told Conservative Review. He said the Freedom Caucus is looking for a bill that will lower premiums by repealing the insurance regulations and mandated health benefits that are driving up the cost of health insurance.

Brat also criticized the mainstream media narrative that the Freedom Caucus sunk Obamacare repeal. “The narrative by the elites and the D.C. cronies and the mainstream media is that ‘we can’t get to yes.’”

“On the facts that’s false,” Brat said. “We voted ‘yes’ 50 times for repeal. And the 2015 bill was unanimous, basically, with Republicans in the House and the Senate.”

Read more of what Brat had to say on the healthcare debate here.

Other members of the House Freedom Caucus were not so gentle in responding to the President’s attack.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) who is not a member of the Freedom Caucus but often votes with them jumped in to add his own note of displeasure with the President’s comments.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) also took to CNN to defend his friends in the House Freedom Caucus (and other anti-Ryancare conservatives). In an interview with CNN, Paul said of the Freedom Caucus, “I think the Freedom Caucus is doing what is best for America. They’re very principled and honorable men. I think that we’re trying to also let Republicans know if we pass something bad, if insurance rates are going up at 20 percent, 25 percent a year from now after Republicans have taken ownership of health care, that won’t be good for the party. It’s also just not good for the country. We do want insurance rates to go down. We want more people to have insurance at a lower cost, and I’m still talking to the White House. I am still talking to the Freedom Caucus. I am talking to anybody that will listen, and I do still think — I think 70 percent, 75 percent chance that we still do get repeal of Obamacare, that we are going to find a good meeting place at some point. ”

President Trump, please end your war with conservatives. We are on your side, and we desperately want to work with you. The Democrat Party is praying for you to fail and ‘come hell or high water’ they will refuse to support you. We, however, want the best for you and for our nation. Work with us and conservatives will help you deliver an American renaissance to the American people. We will reinvigorate the economy, we will salvage the healthcare system, and we will make America the most dominant force in the world again. Let us help you, Mr. President.

Constitution.com 🇺🇸

I am the supreme law of the United States. Originally comprising seven articles, I delineate the national frame of government. My first three articles entrench the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative, consisting of the bicameral Congress; the executive, consisting of the President; and the judicial, consisting of the Supreme Court and other federal courts. Articles Four, Five and Six entrench concepts of federalism, describing the rights and responsibilities of state governments and of the states in relationship to the federal government. Article Seven establishes the procedure subsequently used by the thirteen States to ratify it. I am regarded as the oldest written and codified constitution in force of the world.

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