Blame a dithering Congress, not Trump, for Democratic wins


After a hotly contested — and highly expensive — 2017 election cycle, the Democrats have taken the governor’s mansions in both Virginia and New Jersey. In both cases, it was a sweeping victory, with Ralph Northam winning nearly 54 percent of the Virginia vote and Ryan Murphy winning 56 percent of the New Jersey vote.

Contrary to what the mainstream media would have you believe, this was not a referendum on President Trump. This was a warning shot to congressional Republicans. Congressional Republicans have shown themselves unable to deliver. After running for years on promises of a wholesale repeal of ObamaCare and a replacement of it with a patient-centered, free market alternative, they couldn’t even get enough consensus to pass the “skinny repeal.”

{mosads}It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Republicans failed to win the day. Why would voters turn out for a party that can’t keep its promises? Why would conservatives support leaders who are utterly indifferent to skyrocketing premiums and crippling taxes? Why back a group as disorganized and duplicitous as today’s Republican party?

And why on earth would Virginia conservatives back Ed Gillespie? When conservatives chose Donald Trump in 2016, they were rejecting the seamy, swampy insider politics that have dominated D.C. for far too long and opting instead for an outsider and an innovator who would shake things up.

But Ed Gillespie is just the kind of politician voters rejected in 2016. He’s been a lobbyist; he’s been a chairman of the Republican National Convention; and he’s been a counselor for the Bush White House. All voters had to do was look at his resume to know exactly what they were getting: more carve outs for insider interests, more personal politics and favoritism, and more elitist interference. Conservative voters deserved better options than what they got this November — and they know it.

This election should be a wake-up call for Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Americans won’t tolerate delay and dithering any longer. They want a party that has a vision for America and the drive to see it through. Unless Republican leadership can convince citizens that they are this party, they’re looking at a bloodbath in 2018. Conservative voters will stay home, and liberals and moderates will flock to the polls to vote Ryan, McConnell and all other Republicans out of office.

If Republicans want to keep their seats, they need to act. They need to deliver a tax plan that gets rid of special favors for special interests, that cuts rates for businesses, families and individuals, and that brings American companies back home. They need to repeal and replace ObamaCare, once and for all. They need to bring federal spending under control and start hacking away at our $20 trillion-dollar debt. And they need to ensure three percent growth or higher.

This — and only this — will secure their seats in 2018. When Americans start finding more and more money in their wallets, when tax day arrives and they can finish their returns in a matter of minutes, when they aren’t steamrolled by health care costs, and when they can quickly find well-paying jobs, they’ll vote Republican.

Until then, my bet is on the Democrats — although I certainly hope I’m proven wrong. If I’m proven right, however, and Republicans lose the House and the Senate in 2018, you can bet they’ll try to blame Trump. But the fact of the matter is that, ultimately, they’ll have no one to blame but themselves.

Adam Brandon is the president of FreedomWorks

Tags American Health Care Act Donald Trump ed gillespi Mitch McConnell Mitch McConnell new jersey race Northam Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act replacement proposals Paul Ryan Politics Republican Party virginia race

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