Monday I posted to Facebook a piece entitled Dear ‘Real Conservatives, Let’s Have a Talk from the Collision Blog. It was a genius (yes, with a clearly frustrated tone) piece that well articulated some of the asininity happening within our party and mainly a reaction to the House Freedom Caucus for waging a war without a clear strategy to win or any end game. It needed to be said and I fully agree with the sentiment. You never engage in a battle, no matter the reason, without a plan. A way to follow through without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. To do so is absurdly shortsighted and we are seeing the results of that right now.
But there is another side to this coin and it cannot be ignored either- the other side of this bratty, dysfunctional family. This is my open letter to our GOP Leadership.
Dear GOP Leadership,
“Just gonna stand there and watch me burn…because I like the way it hurts.”
Eminem and Rihanna clearly based their domestic battery duet on the relationship between you and the House Freedom Caucus.
The voters out here, outside of the beltway, who have long empathized with the House Freedom Caucus, are now largely fed up with the ill-thought out war that they have engaged in. But, in all fairness, they’ve had a terrible case of ‘abused wife syndrome’ for the past 5 years and are ready to burn the house down with you in it over your sins of the past. Crazy breeds crazy.
That’s right. While GOP voters are unwilling to focus on problems without addressing solutions, we still admittedly share the angst of the Freedom Caucus. I do not want that to get ignored or lost in the rest of this letter.
Let’s be clear here: We are not all in agreement with some of the louder, larger conservative pundits who keep the crowd stirred up into an angry frenzy any time we discuss actual legislation being passed. We are hard core conservatives who want to see a helluva fight for good policy, but we aren’t so naive not to believe that we don’t still need the White House to accomplish our overall goals.
However, we cannot win the war if we never show up to the battle. We aren’t requiring a 100% win rate. We ARE requiring leadership and collaboration within our own party.
Yes, we understand the debt ceiling must be passed. But go negotiate spending cuts and welfare reform FIRST. Don’t just hand it to them!
Yes, we understand the Highway bill needs to be reauthorized, and the government needs to be funded. Go get Planned Parenthood cut out, slap it on the desk of the President, and put the ball in his court. We’ll be good.
I get it. WE get it. The President might say no. However, you can sleep at night because you showed up and did your job and you let him do his.
By the way, should I remind you what happened the last time the government was shut down? We won even more House and Senate Seats in a sweeping election.
The American people ARE paying attention and we WILL reward you for doing your job.
Now, let’s get to the issue at hand:
This. Is. All. Your. Fault.
Read it again. Slowly.
The House Freedom Caucus has jumped ship, and is now looking around holding the bag and doesn’t know what to do with it. In turn, now no one dare signal a desire to be Speaker of the House. Principles have vanished, talking heads are pretending to believe that Trump would be a great President (barf) in exchange for high ratings, and you are all cowering in the corner hoping no one makes eye contact so you can join Boehner at Ramparts for a bottle of scotch and a pack of smokes.
The world is now on fire and it’s all your fault because you started this circus with years of bad behavior, which has resulted in a party looking for someone to fill this leadership void.
The vacuum of leadership didn’t start with Boehner’s resignation. He gave up trying to herd the cats a long time ago. The most exciting thing he sees on his calendar is his next tanning session.
Time and time again, you’ve taken the easy way out…voting and colluding with the Democrats…rather than working within your own conference to accomplish good policy. You forgot that when you helped these new Members get elected, you had to actually work with them. Boehner has tried to lead through fear and intimidation. It’s been all stick and no carrot.. He has stripped committee assignments and chairmanships and petulantly refused to participate in fundraisers. Yes, there are times to bring down the hammer on some members-particularly if they deviate from the party platform of principles. But not just to be vindictive.
However, even when HFC members do reluctantly go along on some things, there is no thank you afterward. Just cold silence. There are never rewards for looking at areas where compromise should be found. A good leader would say, “I know this is a hard vote. Where can we compromise to make this easier for you? I can’t give you everything that you want, but we can do X, and by the way let’s also discuss some of your legislative priorities and see what we can do to help you with those.”
Lots of pettiness….not much reward. That isn’t leadership. It doesn’t inspire a party.
You lied to them. You’ve lied to the American people. You strung us along with promises of, “Oh, if we could just win the Senate, we’ll be able to accomplish so much more and fight against this President!”
We won and you have failed to deliver. Those promises have evolved into more future promises if we can just win the White House we can act like Republicans again. We understand that you can’t win them all. But we want to see you in the trenches fighting for it.
It’s time for all of you to Mea Culpa to the American people. Find a Speaker you can all work with. If Paul Ryan will step up for the job, God bless him. Most of us don’t rely only on the conservative talking heads for our every opinion and we understands that there won’t be a purist in this position -but if we can get someone we agree with most of the time, we find that a win. We want to see one who can bridge the gap between the Freedom Caucus and the Establishment, navigate a tank through landmines in a difficult political climate, and be able to be a tough and savvy negotiator among Congress and the White House.
But, more than anything, we want commitments that you will agree to negotiate with the Freedom Caucus to pass good policy. We want to see you working with OUR side, giving them a voice, instead of the Democrats.
Give GOP voters something to be proud of, and maybe we will even reward you with the White House next year.
Leadership…without all of the excuses. That’s what we want.