WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2015 – Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan betrayed every GOP voter that gave his party control of both houses of Congress by negotiating a $2 trillion budget with the Obama administration that dramatically increases federal spending and does nothing to curtail President Obama’s executive action on immigration, especially his plan to import thousands of Syrian refugees.
White House spokesmen Josh Earnest said the Republican spending bill highlights what he called an “undeniable factor”: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Ryan’s fear of a government shutdown.
If Republican lawmakers won’t exercise the power of the purse, why bother running for office? In fact, why did Ryan and McConnell bother joining the Republican Party if, in the end, their priorities are the same as those of Democrats?
Moreover, why did Republican voters bother going to the polls if by giving the GOP a congressional majority, they advanced the Democratic Party’s priorities?
This partially explains the frustrated Republican voter’s fascination with, and growing support for, Donald Trump. While many Republican pundits argue that a Trump nomination is doomed in a face-off with Hillary Clinton, GOP voters appreciate Trump’s combative stance against the party’s tangential, wishy-washy establishment (Jeb Bush) and relish his verbal bouts with the enforcers of political correctness, the heavily Democratic mainstream media.
I suggest Messrs. Ryan and McConnell look to Venezuela as a cautionary tale.
That is where a political coalition opposed to the authoritarian socialist rule of President Nicolás Maduro won an overwhelming majority in the Venezuelan congress.
Outgoing socialist legislators have vowed to pack Venezuela’s supreme court with authoritarian lackeys in the mold of President Maduro who have vowed to strike down any new laws loosening the socialist stranglehold over that tortured nation.
The opposition, however, has vowed to impeach members of the supreme court who attempt to circumvent the will of the people and their congress.
“Indeed, amid fears the new legislature will reverse welfare programs,” said the Financial Times, “staunch [socialist] government supporters such as Maria Auxiliadora Blanco have vowed on state television to ‘defend our assembly.’ ‘We cannot give it away just for a mere election that was lost due to the discontent of some.’”
The oil-rich Venezuelan economy will have shrunk 10 percent by year’s end.
Standing in a long line for hours to buy toilet paper, Leider Palacios told the Financial Times, “Instead of fixing this mess, the president keeps insulting people.”
Venezuela’s authoritarian socialists and democratic forces are inexorably headed for a constitutional crisis – maybe even violent revolution.
Such is the case when the democratic opposition to authoritarian power proves toothless and feeble.