ELDER PATRIOT – As this column suggested would happen last week after John Boehner announced his resignation as Speaker of the House forced out by the rising tide of conservative discontent, RNC Vice Chairman Roger Villere is now calling for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to resign. Mr. Villere has spent the last twelve as the Louisiana GOP chairman making him the GOP’s longest-serving state chairman and an important member of RNC Chairman Reince Priebus’ decision-making team.
“I’m out in the field all the time and we have all our elections this year for state offices, and it’s hurting us tremendously with our elections” Mr. Villere said of the national party’s feckless resignation to the president’s progressive agenda.
This clearly has major significance and is indicative of party leadership’s increased realization that the conservative base will no longer stand idle as party leadership continues to marginalize them.
When asked who he’d like to see as Mr. McConnell’s replacement, Villere said, “Honestly, I haven really thought of a replacement. We are being so beat up by the base. I just was frustrated.”
Villere did outline some of the steps that a strong GOP leadership could’ve taken with control of the House and Senate as they’ve had:
“Mr. McConnell could have suspended consideration of confirmations for all presidential appointees, except for those who are essential to national security, until the president rescinded his unconstitutional executive action on amnesty.
This would have been a constitutionally appropriate response to the overreach of the executive branch. It would have transformed the political environment, greatly encouraged Republican donors and grass-roots activists, and positioned us to refuse to confirm replacements for any Supreme Court openings that might occur during the remainder of the Obama administration.
Not trying to repeal Obamacare, not defunding Planned Parenthood, not trying to stop illegal immigration. That is what Republicans ran on and once they were elected they did not follow up with their promises.”
Mr. Villere’s statement, as damning as it may be is only a semi-complete assessment of the party’s failures and will surely not endear him to Mr. Priebus.
Conservatives distrust of the party runs deep and is far from unfounded. A Gallup poll from earlier this year tells us that 38% of Americans consider themselves to be conservative making them the largest political ideological group. Compare this to Hispanics (17%) or Blacks (13%) and you can see why Conservatives have grown frustrated with their party telling them that they can’t win elections without abandoning their principles to the other two considerably smaller groups.
To them, a clearly articulated campaign based on solid foundational conservative principles can and must win or what would the purpose be for spending the time, energy and money required to secure electoral victory? The answer for the rank and file is there is no reason.
For party leadership the answer is entirely different. It gives them and their large money donors control over the $3.5 trillion dollar cookie jar otherwise known as the federal budget.
That is why it is unlikely that the result of these maneuverings will result in any significant ideological shift by leadership. California Rep. Kevin McCarthy has been prominently mentioned as the most likely replacement for John Boehner. A McCarthy speakership promises to be little more than John Boehner II. The masses wanted a scalp and party leadership threw them one. They will throw as many party hacks overboard as is necessary to mollify the masses. The replacements will all be fundamentally ideologically akin. That’s all that this will amount to as leadership continues to eye control of the $3.5 trillion prize that their donors pay them to procure.
It’s a broken system that no longer serves the American people and is unlikely to change without a complete housecleaning.
That is why Donald Trump holds so much promise for the conservative base even with the knowledge that he isn’t an orthodox conservative. A Trump presidency could serve to cleanse the party and fulfill the hope of returning the party to its roots and past glory. Because, much like Ronald Reagan he has a dynamic personality and is beholden to no one there is hope. Already, Trump’s presence is forcing heads to roll if only for appearance’s sake.
Or, Trump can be just another Trojan Horse.