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GOP Leaders Feel Betrayed by Trump

Well, no surprise here given the President’s newfound fondness for their arch-enemy, Nancy Pelosi. But then again, are they really shocked given how little they seem to have accomplished since January? There were promises galore (albeit mostly by Trump), but nothing really materialized in terms of Trump’s big agenda items, so it looks like he’s decided to start playing both sides off each other and see which one rises to the occasion.

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Politico reports on the growing discontent as Trump courts the Democratic leadership:

Donald Trump’s latest fling with Democrats has plunged the Republican Party into a state of confusion and outrage that far surpasses the frustration with his debt ceiling deal with the minority last week.

While GOP leaders were able to brush off the debt pact as no big deal, after Thursday they were reminding the president that they — not the Democrats — run Congress. Though they differed on whether to bill it as a deal, Trump and Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi agreed in some fashion that they want to shield so-called Dreamers from deportation and beef up border security, leaving the fight over the border wall for later.

That left Republicans grappling with a frightening new potential reality: that Trump will cut controversial deals with Democrats and leave them to pick up the pieces.

“As a practical matter, 533 other members of Congress are going to want to weigh in on the topic. Schumer and Pelosi, they didn’t have an agreement on the details,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas). “But even if they did have an agreement, it’s not binding on anyone else.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell icily dismissed the Trump-Schumer-Pelosi talks, saying he looks “forward to receiving the Trump administration’s legislative proposal.” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said there “was a discussion, not an agreement.”

The problem stems from the snail’s pace at which Congress moves. Everything takes weeks to even agree on an agreement to start thinking about debating it a little further. And very little happens in the meantime, and then nothing passes in the end. While it’s true that Congress is not meant to be a rubber stamp for any administration, they do have a responsibility to the American people not to sit on their hands while there are problems that need to be addressed. In modern times, this has meant that the minority party simply brings it to a crawl and nothing gets done. The Republicans did it during the Obama years when they held the minority, and now Democrats are doing it to President Trump.

More from the article:

After watching the Obamacare repeal effort crash and burn after seven months of work, two weeks of talks with Democrats have yielded far more action. Trump has signaled that he wants the talks to continue, and a person familiar with Wednesday night’s meeting described it as “jovial” and far more pleasant than meetings with GOP leaders.

A senior White House official said Trump doesn’t think the current Republican leadership has gotten much done and wants to change that. “He’s not OK saying, ‘Oh, we’re just not doing anything,'” this person said.

Perhaps we should look at this from a different perspective. If you’re looking at the United States Senate from the outside, who would you say is in charge? Sure, Republican Mitch McConnell is the Majority Leader and basically runs the day-to-day agenda, but he still is essentially powerless unless he can muster 60 votes to pass anything and avoid a filibuster. He only has 52 Republican voters, meaning he needs at least 8 Democrats minimum to join any effort to pass anything. From Trump’s perspective, which party is really in control? As Trump already put it in a tweet not so long ago:

And is he wrong? If McConnell has been unable to successfully navigate his own chamber and get anything passed, it’s not surprising that after watching it for seven months, Trump has decided to get off the sidelines and start planning dinner parties with his opposition.

Nate Ashworth: Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

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  • The filibuster is critical to our form of government--to stop a tiny majority from changing everything. However, the real problem is the we don't HAVE filibusters. All we have is a threat of a filibuster, and the majority scurries away.

    The majority should call the bluff. Force someone to stand and talk. The public would soon tire of this blatant image of obstruction. On the other hand, when bills are really extreme, the filibuster should alert the public to pay attention--and to force the majority to back down.

    • I agree whole heartedly with both of your points. The fillibuster is necessary. That said, in order to filibuster, a Senator or group of Senators should be forced to hold the floor, known now as a "talking fillibuster". If a fillibuster is necessary it is worth the effort and worth taking responsibility for the action. It should take more than an anonymous person threatening a fillibuster to stop debate.

      I also wanted to remind you of my previous comment. I said that if the Democrats took control after the midterms, that one of the options would be for Trump to change parties and declare himsef a Democrat. Though it might have sounded far fetched at the time, I am now tempted to ask, maybe he won't even wait for the midterms?

      No, we Democrats do not want him. No we will not accept him.

      • I don't see Trump changing parties. He loves to jerk people around. But the main thing is that he has surrounded himself with people who are very rightwing. And he tends to agree with the last person who spoke to him.

        I think Democrats are fooling themselves if they think they can form an alliance with Trump. Trump is a loose cannon. He only forms temporary bonds with anyone (except his hot daughter).

        • I don't think the Democrats think that they can form an alliance with Trump. I think they have two objectives in dealing with Trump. First they will get what they can that they feel will benefit the American people. They, not Trump will benefit from anything voters see as positive accomplishments. Second, making deals with Dems, while professing to be such an extreme conservative makes Trump look like a fool in front of everyone, especially his base. In other words " Chuck and Nancy" are playing him for a fool. Anyone smell the odor of burning MAGA?

          If you will re-read my previous posts, you will see that I said he would declare himself a Democrat, not actually become one. He is not actually a Republican. He chose to visit himself upon the Republicans as revenge upon the Democrats for giving us Obama. First he is racist and sees all other than whites as inferior to him, then an inferior, Obama, was allowed to make a fool of him in front of the American public.

          If he thinks calling himself a Democrat will make people praise him, he'll change so fast it will make your head swim. But, again I will say, NO WE DONT WANT HIM, NO WE WILL NOT ACCEPT HIM!

          • Your post is way off. You don't understand Trump at all. He's hardly a fool.

            Trump isn't the fool you think he is. Like Reagan, who dealt with Tip, Trump will deal with Dems/Shummer to get what he wants.

          • Trump will have to become a man of his word and find some humility along the way before he can begin to walk in Reagan’s shoes. Reagan and O’Neil would argue mightily for each man had a different and deeply cherished political philosophy. Then they would come together and bow to the country’s needs and judgment. Neither man tried to sabotage the other by foul words or means. Their debates lead to solutions….mostly for the good of the average citizen.

  • Trump should continue to deal only with Shummer. Pelosi's mouth is a problem. She only hears what she wants to hear.

    • The mouth problem must be contagious. Pelosi must have contacted the disease from the known carrier Donald Trump.

  • Trump is a political chameleon with his colors, beliefs and intentions changing about every 20 seconds. After over eight months in office and NO wall, No Obamacare repeal, No fire and fury, No better friendship with Russia, nothing accomplished, no doubt he figured the people dumb enough to believe the junk he was saying was also dumb enough not to notice. So he joined Schumer and Peloski, democratic friends before he changed to the Republican brand in 2000.

    Trump turned his back on anti-immigration, the core essense of Trumpism. Suddenly, the man who launched his campaign by thundering darkly about swarthy Mexican rapists is defending illegal immigrants. All this and his debt ceiling move is a strong betrayal of O’Connell and Ryan. Just so Trump could achieved his goal— good press coverage.