The immediate aftermath of President Donald Trump signing the now infamous Omnibus Spending Bill seemed to be a visceral one. In fact, there were widespread reports of weeping and gnashing of teeth among some of the more hardcore followers. To be fair, at face value, the bill does seem to be a direct affront to many of the things that the President campaigned on, but does it herald the coming of Armageddon? The answer is a resounding: No.
I’m really not sure why people seem to be losing their minds over this, but they need to pause and take a deep breath. The reality is that you’d have to have just awoken from a coma to be shocked by any of this. Perhaps it has been the continuous chanting of drain the swamp, which led many folks to view things with rose-colored glasses, but the reality is draining a swamp as big as Washington D.C. is not going to happen for a LONG time.
To put it in terms everyone can understand, it is like adding 30lbs over the winter and then thinking you can lose it all in a few days before the start of the Memorial Day weekend. It just ain’t happening, sport.
It’s also not Trump’s job to drain it, but we the voters. We elected them, now we have to eject them!
Actually, if you take a moment to really read and digest the bill, something which 99% of lawmakers didn’t do before they voted on it, you’d get an interesting look into how your representatives view you.
The Omnibus Bill isn’t a budget, but a well contrived spending spree that was most likely drafted and voted on quickly to prove a point. Call it: The Swamp Strikes Back. Folks seem to forget that Congress was around long before Trump and will be there long after he is gone. The swamp didn’t form overnight and if you think they are just going to just roll onto their backs, and be submissive, you’re insane. Trump has been hammering them at every turn and they just did a push-back, showing him they aren’t quite as dysfunctional as many believe them to be.
The reality is that they KNOW what they are doing. The T.V. theatrics are just that, well-rehearsed theatrics. It is a spectacle, played by political parties, to appeal to their individual bases. Republicans blame democrats, who in turn blame republicans, nothing gets done and they all get rich without having to actually accomplish anything. Trump threatens that status quo and they are doing their best to push back.
Two years ago this month I wrote a post called The Curious Case of Donald Trump that questioned whether he was what we needed. Two years later I can say that I believe he is.
Congress, as a whole, believes they just played him, but I believe they actually played right into his hand. It would have been political suicide for a republican to come out and say that they were against funding the military. Likewise, democrats needed a win and they got it with Planned Parenthood. Most question why they didn’t address DACA, but to be completely honest that is an emotional issue and isn’t really a make-or-break issue for them. In fact, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer actually commented that:
“At the end of the day, as the minority party, we feel good about being able to succeed in so many ways. We don’t have the House, we don’t have the Senate, we don’t have the presidency, but we produced a darn good bill for the priorities we have believed in.”
Think about it for a moment: “…..the priorities we have believed in.”
Translation: DACA folks, you’re not our priority right now.
Remember, if you actually solve a problem then you are no longer able to campaign on it.
I believe majority leader’s Ryan and McConnell overplayed their hand and will come out of this much weaker. Trump campaigned on rebuilding the military, and he got the money for that. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see him pull a rabbit out of the hat, in terms of funding other projects, because the devil is always in the details. Republicans on the other hand excoriated the left for reckless spending, but did just that in this bill and they even managed to get democrats to praise it.
Personally, I think we need to hold a Roll Call of our elected reps and ask three fundamental questions:
1. Did you draft any of the provisions in the bill and if you did which ones?
2. Did you read the 2,232 page bill?
3. If you didn’t, why did you vote the way you did?
In the end, I think many will look back at this bill as potentially a new Ides of March moment leading to the downfall of some in Congress.