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100 Days of Trump: Why GOP Tuesday Group members are no friends of the President

Even with the considerable buzz surrounding this week’s jolting but hardly unexpected revelation that Obama national security adviser Susan Rice was probably behind the effort to spy on the Trump campaign and the senate’s ongoing tug-of-war over Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination, people are still talking about healthcare.

President Donald Trump sent Vice President Mike Pence to meet with conservatives to introduce a couple new proposals which if successful could revive the healthcare issue and may even lead to passing a bill soon.

Peter Sullivan of The Hill reports, “Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials presented an Donald Trumpidea to the Freedom Caucus meeting to allow states to choose to apply for waivers to repeal two ObamaCare regulations that conservatives argue are driving up premiums.

“Those two regulations detail ObamaCare's essential health benefits, which mandate which health services insurers must cover, and ‘community rating,’ which prevents insurers from charging sick people higher premiums.

“Conservatives had previously called for the bill to repeal those regulations outright, but the deal now being discussed would give states a choice by allowing them to apply for a waiver from the federal government.”

Garnering from comments after the meeting Freedom Caucus members seemed to like Pence’s ideas but wanted to see the bill text before offering a more complete response. A wise and prudent move. It also appears the effort is singlehandedly being spearheaded by the Trump administration – House leadership isn’t involved (yet). That’s almost certainly a good thing.

But beyond the obviously welcome overture to the conservative bloc, why is all the healthcare focus on the Freedom Caucus alone? News reports from two weeks ago indicated “moderates” were just as instrumental in shooting down Ryancare as the conservatives, yet only one side gets much blame.

It could be because the Freedom Caucus embodies a consolidated “enemy” for the establishment and the media (really, one and the same) to kick around. There’s a persistent media-created image of all conservatives being miserly hard-edged people who care way too much about social issues and meet clandestinely to plot ways to deprive needy people of subsistence.

That’s basically what modern politics has done to the concept of limited government. Whereas it used to be that liberty and self-rule were virtues honored by free thinkers, now the complacent population – at least the liberal half – wants to be taken care of.

A good example was the hysteria generated twenty-two years ago when the newly sworn-in Republican Congress wanted to turn the administration of the school lunch program over to the states. It didn’t matter that the outdated system had become so wrought with fraud and abuse at the federal level that it had essentially ceased fulfilling its purpose to provide nutritional supplements to underprivileged children.

Liberals screamed in agony as one of their federal sacred cows (granted only one in a huge herd of such bovines) was about to be trimmed of its fat. The Republicans caved.

Will they do so again when liberals squawk about giving states more say in administering their own healthcare policies? Why is all the “blame” on conservatives alone? Why bash on just the Freedom Caucus?

Meanwhile, liberal (labeled “moderates” by the media) Republicans have their own intra-party organization, known as the Tuesday Group. It’s safe to say the Tuesday Group receives neither the attention nor the scorn generated by the Freedom Caucus. Maybe it’s because the name isn’t catchy; or perhaps it’s because the “moderates” in the Tuesday Group are just a bunch of quasi-Democrats who truly hold the entire Republican House caucus hostage.

The Tuesday Group gets a pass in the media largely because they’re allies of the Republican leadership. They’re the ones who are anxious to supply anti-conservative quotes to journalists who are giddy to report them. They’re the whisperers behind the backs of the grassroots and lay claim to the political center when they’re really just a collection of big government principle-free losers who use the GOP apparatus to sustain their political careers.

Tuesday groupers are the users and abusers of earmarks. They love to have federal buildings, highways and bridges named after them – even when they’re still alive. They bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and serve it to the special interests that in turn keep their campaign coffers stuffed with dough.

They are Republicans, yes. They vote with leadership nearly all the time so their American Conservative Union ratings are artificially high. But make no mistake – they’re no friends to conservatives.

These “moderates” are often the barriers to real reform in government and the media heralds them as heroes because they prevent conservatives from accomplishing anything substantial. They, not conservatives, are the architects of gridlock.

I believe sooner rather than later President Trump will realize the Tuesday Group “moderates” are the real obstructionists in the party. It can easily be argued that what the Freedom Caucus proposed during the Ryancare debate was just a return to common sense government that existed in the not so distant past. In this sense, President Trump seems to be onboard with it.

Victor Davis Hanson of National Review wrote, "Trump seeks to finish the border wall that was authorized and started by others. And he is called nativist, racist, and worse, largely because between 2009 and 2016 what was extreme was presented not just as the new normal but as the new foundation of something even more radical to come. Trump’s proposed modest cuts in discretionary spending — less than 2 percent of a quarter of the budget — will hardly affect the deficit or the $20 trillion national debt. Nonetheless, Democrats will condemn him as a modern-day Scrooge.”

You can add the “moderates” to the Democrats here.

The GOP “moderates” are fighting Trump and conservatives for trying to return some semblance of order to the federal government. They love Obamacare because it fits within their own personal beliefs that government is a force for good that exists to provide “benefits” to the people.

In some circles that’s called socialism. In Washington, if you’re a Republican, it’s called “moderation.”

We will see in the coming days and weeks whether conservatives can work with Trump to hammer out a compromise. Then it will be up to leadership and the “Tuesday Group” to answer.

Republicans should ignore Democrat predictions of doom for nuking filibuster

With only two days to go until the Senate votes on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court, the doomsayers are out in force prophesying all sorts of plagues that will torment Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican senators should they go through with the “nuclear option” to break the Democrat filibuster and then confirm Donald Trump’s most important nominee.

In a story titled “McConnell bets the Senate on Gorsuch,” Burgess Everett of Politico wrote, “When Neil Gorsuch is confirmed to the Supreme Court this week, Mitch McConnell will clinch a place in history after pulling off one of the most audacious gambles in modern political history.

“Whether he’ll be regarded as a hero or a villain depends almost entirely on which side of the aisle one is on...”

To his credit Everett admits (by holding the seat vacant until after the election) McConnell will be seen in a positive light by conservatives and Republicans for having “saved” the party’s senate majority and the Supreme Court, assuming of course that the vote goes as planned on Friday and Gorsuch turns out to be the Scalia-replacing originalist that he appears to be.

The liberal perspective isn’t quite as warm and fuzzy towards McConnell though. “Belying his reputation for caution, McConnell has revolutionized Senate tactics, stretching his wide-ranging power as party leader to turn once-routine confirmation votes and legislative exercises into trench warfare. Republicans blame Democrats for using the filibuster routinely during the presidency of George W. Bush and launching the first major rules change since 2013, but there is no doubt McConnell has weaponized the Senate rules in a manner that is certain to alter the chamber for years to come,” Everett added.

Weaponized?” What Everett fails to document is the “weapons” McConnell has employed since Republicans retook the senate majority two years ago have been wholly necessary to slay the insatiably unreasonable Democrat beast that uses every tactic in the institution’s rules and the media to try and portray Republicans as conservative monsters that would stop at nothing to bring down the republic.

Taking just the Gorsuch nomination for example, it now looks like at least 43 or 44 Democrats are not only planning to go against him in the final tally, they’re electing to sustain a filibuster that theoretically would deny the mild mannered Colorado judge a simple up-or-down vote.

Isn’t that tyranny of the minority? The Democrats haven’t even stopped complaining about Trump being elected by a minority of the voters and yet they’re up in arms because Gorsuch will likely “only” receive support from about 55 percent of the senators?

Meanwhile Democrats and liberal Republicans are suggesting the elimination of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees will lead to a more partisan Court and nominees with polarized ideological inclinations.

Duh. Isn’t that what we have already? Do the names Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan mean anything to you liberals? Does it get any more partisan and ideological than those people? Name ONE major issue where any in the liberal Court bloc supported the conservative or traditional position.

The incredible importance of confirming Supreme Court nominees is understood by the public, too, even if most Americans can’t identify the current members by name.

Hans A. von Spakovsky and Elizabeth Slattery wrote in the Washington Times, “A recent C-SPAN poll found that 53 percent of respondents couldn’t name a single Supreme Court justice. Some might claim this only shows that Americans pay little attention to the high court. But that same poll, as well as one conducted by The Heritage Foundation, also found that Americans understand quite well the power of the Supreme Court, its effect on their everyday lives, and the importance of the Senate’s vote on President Trump’s nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch...

“Ask Americans to name the IRS commissioner, and only a tiny percentage could tell you it is John Koskinen. But virtually every taxpayer understands how powerful the IRS is and how much they have to fear from that federal agency.

“And while they may not be able to ID the commissioner, they want that agency run in an unbiased and apolitical manner that complies fully with the law. Clearly, most Americans want the same thing in the Supreme Court.”

The same goes for every federal employee in every federal agency. The number of people working directly or indirectly for the federal government runs in the millions. These people are trusted to execute the laws, serve in the military and administer the government’s programs.

It’s not just the Supreme Court that’s vital. But justices serve for life…and that can turn out to be a very long time.

Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner reports, “With younger judges such as Trump nominee Neil Gorsuch now the trend, the report from the Oliver Wyman firm shows that future presidents will have a far less frequent chance to name justices to the Supreme Court, and it's possible two-term presidents will get shut out.

“The current average is for 49 judges to be named to the court every 100 years. The new average, factoring in younger judges, is just 25.”

The report referenced in Bedard’s article is fascinating. It suggests Clarence Thomas could become the longest serving justice ever if he stays on the Court until he’s 80 – twelve more years.

So in essence, if Americans aren’t blind to the fact that Supreme Court nominations are extremely important, rare and potentially catastrophic if they’re gotten wrong – and, they want Neil Gorsuch confirmed – then what potential political pitfalls are there for the Republicans in exercising the “nuclear option?”

Easy answer: very few….maybe even none.

Chuck Schumer, Diane Feinstein and the rest of the Democrats can go on with their gloomy predictions of bad things to come if the Republicans go through with confirming Neil Gorsuch. But history – and the American people – is on our side.

John McCain, pseudo Republican, says Trump’s Syria policy is a disgrace

For every liberal who’s exasperated at the notion of Republicans confirming Judge Neil Gorsuch on Friday or who hate the thought of the GOP potentially uniting on a healthcare bill, there’s always one bright spot on the horizon for you.

John McCain. The “maverick” Republican senator from Arizona is usually good for a dig at President Trump and conservatives and McCain proved more than capable once again when asked about the new president’s policies concerning Syria and the Middle East.

Kyle Feldscher of the Washington Examiner reports, “McCain argued that there's no clear direction coming from the Trump administration on what its policy in Syria will be, aside from a seeming willingness to kowtow to Russia and Assad. Failure to push for Assad's removal from office and the end of his regime is a failure of American ideals, he said.

“’It's another disgraceful chapter in American history,’ he said.

“McCain said Trump should change the track of American involvement in Syria to arm the Free Syrian Army, remove Assad and punish Russia for its role in backing the regime. He's hoping the people around Trump will push him in the right direction.”

McCain suggested Trump’s unwillingness to pursue regime change in Syria is a suck-up to Russia and reveals weakness. I’m sure if McCain had his way the glorious U.S. Army would be marching this very moment to kick out Assad in favor of a rebel regime that would likely destabilize the entire region in addition to leaving thousands more Americans dead or maimed in the effort.

In saying Trump is only doing what he’s doing to kowtow to the Russians, McCain just might as well be a Democrat. There’s a pattern, isn’t there? Maybe McCain should join the Tuesday group.

McCain’s Bush-like neoconservative foreign policy views are no longer the majority in the GOP. He should get used to that fact – and stop insulting his own president just because he happens to hold a different opinion.

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