RUSH: Two theories about the McConnell-Ryan reaction. Some people are hoping that the Republican leadership, congressional leadership, McConnell-Ryan reaction to Trump doing a deal with Democrats will be to wake ’em up, shake ’em up, and make ’em realize, “Oh, my God! This guy’s serious! Okay. We gotta help him with his agenda or we’re gonna be left out in the cold.” Some people hope that’s the reaction. I don’t think that’s gonna be their reaction, folks. I think that they are, on balance, okay with it.
I think they’re perfectly fine with Trump doing a deal with the Democrats. I’m sure they’re mad that they have to take multiple votes on the debt ceiling and all that because it exposes ’em more, and it brings the government shutdown threat to the fore in three more months. But let’s be honest about something. When it comes to policy… Let’s look at immigration. When it comes to immigration, McConnell and Ryan are closer to Pelosi and Schumer than they are to Trump.
You think Ryan and McConnell want a wall? You think Ryan and McConnell want to build a wall? You think Ryan and McConnell want DACA to be repealed? There’s no way! Ryan and McConnell are much closer on this issue to Schumer — “Chuck and Nancy.” In that sense I think they’re sitting around… I think these guys actually get a little tingle of thrill that Washington is working. “Look, our president did a deal with the Democrats, and we have just shown that Washington can work and that governance can happen.”
And, lo and behold, Ryan had a weekly press conference today, and he was cheering the bipartisanship. (clap, clap). Even in the throes of all of these hurricanes and the damage and the potential damage, it was wonderful to see that deal. It’s a wonderful example of bipartisanship. So I don’t know about my theory number one, because I think inside-the-Beltway Republican leadership, their hearts just… You know, they just start aflutter at the whole idea that, “Look, ma, we’re governing! Isn’t it cool! Yes! We’re getting things done!
“Oh, yeah. This is why we came. This is why we came.” (interruption) No, it’s not their agenda, but that’s not why they’re there. What is the Republican agenda? They won. They’ve been winning elections since 2010. What is the agenda? Stop Trump is the agenda. But even before Trump. (interruption) Stopping Obama was supposedly the agenda, but… (interruption) Stop the Tea Party, stop the Tea Party, stop the conservatives. (interruption) Well, I don’t know about “stop Rush.” Maybe. I don’t know. (sigh) But here’s another thing too.
If elected Republicans think that Trump doing a debt ceiling deal with the Democrats is gonna drive voters back to Republicans, let me ask you this. I’ll use Ryan and McConnell just to help people understand what I’m talking about. I don’t mean them specifically, but Republican leadership Ryan-McConnell, do you think as Trump does a deal…? They know that their voters are not happy with ’em. All right? They know this. They can read the polling data. They don’t care. They aremore concerned if the Chamber is unhappy with them.
The Chamber’s not, the Chamber likes ’em. So they’re not concerned what their voters think. But to the extent that they are, if Trump doing a deal with the Democrats, do you think they might think, “Well, this is gonna anger… This gonna send these Republican voters right back to us.” You think they’re thinking that? I hope they’re not, because that’s not how it’s gonna work. Voters might hate that Trump is working with the Democrat on the debt ceiling and overall spending and DACA, but that doesn’t mean that they’re gonna all of the find comfort with Republicans who couldn’t find a way to repeal Obamacare.
The Republicans have a strategy, and it’s basically passivity. You know, Ben Shapiro at The Daily Wire, that is his website, and he wrote a piece for the Conservative Review, and it is quite brilliant. Headline: “If Republicans Don’t Make a Move, They Deserve to Lose — Republicans in power have an unfortunate tendency to conserve their political capital rather than invest it. That’s unfortunate because political capital doesn’t accrue when you save it.” It’s not like investing money where it hopefully grows. Political capital “degrades.”
Political capital, in this case, is winning an election, controlling the House, having a majority in the Senate. That is political capital. And if you don’t spend it, if you don’t invest it, if you don’t use your newfound power, it simply evaporates; it degrades. What’s the point? It doesn’t grow because nobody becomes afraid of you because you’re not using your power. On the other hand, “Democrats understand that political capital must be used…” But the Democrats understand something else. Look at the Democrats and Obamacare. This is a great illustration.
The Democrats made an investment in Obamacare that cost them the House and the Senate and the presidency. A lot of people think, “Boy, what a dumb move. Those stupid liberals! Those simple-minded, tunnel-visioned liberals. Look what they did! They pass Obamacare, and — and — and — and — and they’ve lost the House and the Senate and the White House.” Well, yeah. But to them it was worth it. You know why? What was Obamacare? Obamacare is eventually gonna become single payer, because the Republicans are not gonna repeal it.
The Democrats invested in Obamacare at the expense of losing the presidency and the House and the Senate. Their return on this is the creation of the belief in the minds of the public that only the government can fix things, only the government can run things — which is what the Democrats believe. So even when they lose the House and even when they lose the Senate and when they lose the presidency, their agenda gets advanced because they spend their political capital. That’s the theory. They also wisely rolled the dice and believe the Republicans would not repeal it, because it’s an entitlement.
And entitlements never get repealed. So the Democrats, they roll the dice. They were willing to lose. They didn’t want to lose. Don’t misunderstand. They weren’t trying to lose the House and Senate or the White House, but they were willing to in exchange for this huge leap forward in their agenda. The Republicans simply don’t do anything like this. The Republicans, whether they win or lose are not trying to advance an agenda. That’s why Trump was the nominee, and that’s why Trump was elected president.
The Republican Party used to be the opposition to the Democrats, and it used to be the small government, small taxes, individual liberty party. That’s what it was known for. Even before you began talking about conservatism, that’s what the party was known for. It’s been a long time. But now they aren’t even known or thought of as being in favor of those things. So they have this power, they have this political capital; they are not spending it. Same thing with DACA. Same thing.
Obama implemented the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program knowing that a Republican president could get rid of it with the stroke of a pen. But he knew because he would follow the Republicans. He knows that half the Republican Party agrees with him on amnesty anyway. He knew that the Republicans would not want to, with the stroke of a pen, get rid of DACA ’cause they wouldn’t want to be responsible for packing up a bunch of kids and sending ’em home. So they did it anyway. There’s just two examples, Obamacare and DACA, where the liberal left advances its agenda and they’re willing to lose elections to do it.
That’s spending their capital. The Republicans are a party of passivity and reactionaries. And if you look at it in this light and you put everything else in the mix that Trump’s had a deal with these past six months, making a deal with Pelosi and Schumer. A key to understand, he’s not an ideologue. He doesn’t see them like you and I do. He’s fed up with no action, fed up being stymied by his own party, who’s only in power because of him.
And they won’t work with him on his agenda. And as I say, if they just would for three months, none of this need to be happening, none of it if they’d just gotten together on Obamacare, repeal and replace, get serious about tax reform, and start building a wall, three things, then I don’t care what capital the Democrats had to spend, it wouldn’t have mattered. They would be out of power for the next generation.
But none of that’s happened and it doesn’t look like any of that’s gonna happen. And if you add to that that the Republicans might be pretty tickled pink here that Washington’s working with this deal, Trump and Pelosi, Chuck and Nancy. Well, if this makes them satisfied, if this gives them a little tingle of excitement, Washington’s working, look at us, Ma, we’re governing. It’s working. Isn’t it fun? Bipartisanship.