It was reported Donald Trump prefers Chuck Schumer to GOP leaders (kind of how he prefers people who haven’t been captured and turned into POW’s) such as Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell:
Donald Trump told Democrat Sen. Charles Schumer in a phone call he likes him more than his GOP brethren House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a source close to the transition team said.
During a recent phone call, the president-elect “said to Schumer he likes Schumer more than Ryan and McConnell because they both wanted him to lose,” the source said. “They are Republicans and Trump knows they didn’t support him.”
Trump will officially become President Trump on January 20th. Until that time, people can only speculate as to what Trump will do once he’s sitting in the Oval Office. Actions always speak louder than words, and at some point Trump will put his cards on the table.
When he does, conservatives in Congress and conservative activists have to be ready to push back if his agenda is not a conservative agenda. Congress runs a risk if they choose to rubber-stamp all of Trump policies, leaving themselves open to primary challenges that have hurt the GOP in the past. Trump has hinted at a $1 trillion stimulus package and tariffs on imports. A GOP controlled Congress wouldn’t dare give a Democrats a trillion dollar stimulus package nor would they entertain any thoughts of implementing tariffs on domestic imports if a Democratic president asked Congress to do it. So why should they if a Republican is in office.
If anything, Republicans should take a stronger stand against a member of their party who supports un-Republican policies on principle alone.
Some conservatives are surprised and pleased with some of Trump’s cabinet choices. Asking Tom Price to head the Department of Health and Human Services was one move in particular where most conservatives agreed Trump made a fine choice. Price is a medical doctor and has expertise in heath care policy. That said, Price is still going to implement what Trump wants, not necessarily what he wants. It will be the same for his other cabinet picks as well. So they can all be as conservative as Price, but it matters little when Trump is driving policy, not the other way around.
Activists, bloggers, and political commentators must also remain active when it comes to pushing back and reporting on Trump openly and honestly. The temptation to become the next Breitbart or Sean Hannity, gleefully going along with whatever Trump says is certainly tempting regarding access and traffic/ratings but it does nothing for conservatism and some will continue to leave the party as others have already done.
Trump does indeed have potential. If he listens to people around him, talks with GOP leaders and understands what conservatives want, he could implement a very bold a very bold agenda. But Trump has a tendency to be impetuous. Congressional leaders need to be aware that Trump can and has changed mind on an issue, seemingly overnight.
Congressional Republicans and conservative activists and writers will have to stay on their toes. It does conservatism and the GOP no good when they’re the ones covering for other Republicans or making excuses for Trump when there’s not a chance they’d allow the same to happen if it was President Clinton.
This year will be a big test. Let’s see if Congressional GOP leaders and conservative activists are up to the challenge.