Conroe and Washington, D.C., December 21 – Republican politicians learned an important lesson from President Donald Trump that he made promises to the citizens for the purpose of keeping them, not just tricking them into voting for him in an election. Fred McCarthy of the Northeast Tarrant Tea Party said two days ago, “Support for Republicans is waning in Tarrant County because they never deliver anything but excuses.”
That’s how Republican voters have felt for the past 23 years, since January 1, 1995, when Republicans have held majorities in the federal government, working majorities in the government of the State of Texas, and the Montgomery County Commissioners Court. Despite the strong majority control, Republicans have failed to deliver on government spending reductions, regulatory reform, ending funding to Planned Parenthood at the federal level, and providing statewide property tax reform at the state level.
Montgomery County’s government is easily the worst example of Republican failure. Since 2000, spending has increased in the County government by over 424% while population growth has only been 84% during the same time period. Amazingly, Republicans have held all five positions on the Montgomery County Commissioners Court during the entire time period.
In 1998, liberal magazine Texas Monthly gave a “Bum Steer Award” to the Publisher of this newspaper and the Republican Leadership Council for referring to the five-Republican Montgomery County Commissioners Court as “liberal.” In 2017, after two decades of the Montgomery County government imposing the fastest spending growth of almost every governmental entity in the United States, The Golden Hammer gave Texas Monthly a “Bum Steer Award” right back for sticking its head in the proverbial sand to ignore the reality.
On Wednesday, the United States Senate voted unanimously in a voice vote to pass a continuing resolution to fund the federal government through February 8, 2019, without any funding for the border wall, upon which President Trump has insisted. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas were among the senators who voted unanimously to break their promises to voters in the National Republican Party Platform:
Our highest priority, therefore, must be to secure our borders and all ports of entry and to enforce our immigration laws. That is why we support building a wall along our southern border and protecting all ports of entry. The border wall must cover the entirety of the southern border and must be sufficient to stop both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
The House Republican Conference leadership, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, the so-called “Republican” from the Eighth Congressional District of Texas which represents Montgomery County, had already scheduled a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives for 2 p.m. Thursday to pass the Senate continuing resolution. In other words, Ryan and Brady were happy to break with Republicans and conservatives on holding fast for border wall funding, as long as they could leave to go home for the holidays.
Late Thursday morning, however, President Trump made clear that his word with Republican voters was his bond. He released a video on Twitter to make clear to Congress that he would veto the continuing resolution and allow a federal government shutdown at midnight on Friday, December 21, if the $5 billion for the border wall was not a part of the legislation.
President Trump said, “The fact is we need the wall. The democrats know it. Everybody knows it….it’s politics [that democrats are opposing the border wall]…I don’t even hold that against them, but you should always put your country first. They’re not doing that.”
Speaker Ryan, Congressman Brady, and the other House Republican Conference leaders canceled the afternoon vote they had scheduled.
Poor, poor, liberal Republican Susan Collins of Maine reacted, “Ugh, are you ruining my life?” when she heard the news that she might have to work through the holidays to resolve the shutdown which her own failure to abide by the Republican Party Platform has necessitated.
How the process works
Apparently, for people such as Brady, Collins, Ryan, Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal, and Montgomery County Commissioners Mike Meador, Charlie Riley, James Noack, and James Metts, the process is too complicated for them to comprehend or they’re just too elitist to care.
For their benefit, the process President Trump has illustrated is the following:
Step 1: The politician makes a promise. Example: “I will build the wall. If there’s not funding for the wall in the government appropriations, then I won’t support the government appropriations legislation.”
Step 2: Upon election and taking the oath of office as a public servant, the politician then keeps the promise. Examples: Cruz and Cornyn should have voted “No” on the Senate’s continuing resolution; Brady should never have agreed to schedule a vote on the Senate version of the continuing resolution; President Trump fulfilled his promise to veto the continuing resolution without border wall funding.
Some other examples of broken promises
There’s not even room here to list all of them. Here are a few whoppers:
- Promise: “I’m conservative. I support lower government spending.” Breach of promise: the behavior of the entire Montgomery County Commissioners Court at every meeting.
- Promise: “I support property tax reform.” Breach of promise: allowing property tax reform to die in the Texas House of Representatives in May, 2017.
- Promise: “I am Pro-Life and I will fight against funding for Planned Parenthood.” Breach of promise: Congressman Kevin Brady has voted the anti-Life, pro-Planned Parenthood position on every continuing resolution and omnibus appropriations bill.
- Promise: “I’m conservative and will only support free markets.” Breach of promise: Brady voted for TARP, and for government bailouts.
All Republicans need to do is study Steps 1 and 2 and then repeat them.