September 10, 2018

Beware Those Who Prolong Problems for Profit

Sometimes, Republicans and conservatives seem to resent Trump’s solutions and wins.

These days, when you look at what President Donald Trump has done or what he is trying to do on a number of fronts, it marks a drastic change from the approaches used by past conservative leaders. Sometimes, however, even those on Trump’s side have a vested interest in perpetuating problems. That may be the lesson to learn from numerous failed strategies to counter the Left.

Among many policy successes, Trump made some very big gains on tax reform and federal judges. Now, as you might expect, folks on the Left are not very happy about this. You just need to look at MSNBC or CNN to see that. Or just watch any press conference from Democrat senators and congressmen. But even some conservatives simply seem unable to welcome Trump’s achievements.

All too often these days, there are those who were seemingly solidly Republican or reliably conservative who are piling on. Now, some were more establishment types, like Nicolle Wallace. They’re insiders. But other conservatives have seen their ineffectiveness on a tactical and strategic level exposed.

After Mitt Romney blew the 2012 election, it was beyond obvious that most of the approaches to the situation weren’t working. The revelations about the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups made it worse. More evidence that there was a serious problem piled up over the years: Then-CBS journalist Sharyl Attkisson’s computer was hacked. Democrat prosecutors in Wisconsin misused “John Doe” laws to target conservative groups. A shutdown to defund ObamaCare failed miserably. The Obama administration obstructed congressional oversight on Fast and Furious. A number of Democrat attorneys general tried to sue opponents of certain environmental policies.

These are just examples of a dangerous pattern, and the Republican and conservative establishments didn’t have any effective response to it. Republican primary voters noticed, and they decided to look for a way to shake up the system. They turned to Donald Trump — and he won the 2016 election with promises to drain the swamp, while also punching back at the Democrats.

Yet even now, with the appointment of the supremely well-qualified Brett Kavanaugh, we can see a major meltdown from some establishment types like Steve Schmidt, who ran John McCain’s failed campaign in 2008. In that campaign, McCain ran on nominating judges like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas — as George W. Bush had in 2000 and 2004, as Romney did in 2012, and as Trump did — with a concrete list of names.

Well, now it seems that Schmidt’s “work” for the GOP appears to be akin to an old “demotivational” poster: “If you’re not a part of the solution, there’s good money to be made in prolonging the problem.” Schmidt was happy to see Republicans talk about nominating good Supreme Court justices — but only talk. Actually winning an election to appoint the justices seems to have been beyond his reach.

Moreover, had he been in the White House advising President McCain, would we have seen another David Souter or Anthony Kennedy, especially in a futile attempt to placate Harry Reid? Of course, Schmidt and other consultants could then campaign against that pick later, even while the damage was being done. By contrast, Trump’s picks of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh will make a huge difference — and he could make another pick or two.

This problem of making the perfect the enemy of the good also hits some established conservative sites as well. As long as some issues fester, then commentators who have flogged these issues for years can keep a steady flow of punditry — and dollars — flowing. An actual solution to the issue causes the gravy train to stop.

The bottom line is this: While a lot of Republican and conservatives talked a good game, Trump is delivering. That is what drives many of them nuts.

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