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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Would Trump endorse a government shutdown?

Much of the reason for Donald Trump's success in early Republican primary polling is the fact that the Republican base is spoiling for a fight, or better put, is spoiling for the fight it was promised once the GOP captured the Senate. Countless times it was told that by Republican leadership that while they much agreed with Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee's effort to defund Obamacare it was a losing and ill timed battle. The Washington punditry was quick to point out that the government shutdown would kill the GOP's chances of ever regaining the Senate. Instead the voters rewarded the GOP with 9 additional Senate seats. As the end of the fiscal year draws near Boehner and McConnell are hustling to avoid another government shutdown and here is where the Republican base will really appreciate the presence of belligerent billionaire with all the subtlety of an AK-47.
The stand alone attempt to defund Planned Parenthood failed in the Senate but the battle will be renewed in the budget process and the fight can be won there. If Harry Reid could pass Obamacare with 59 Democrats Mitch McConnell can zero out Planned Parenthood's stipend with only 54 Republicans. It may mean shutting down the government but only if Obama refuses to accept it. No, the budget process is not too arcane for the public to grasp. The public understands the word no even if the GOP leadership does not. Trump will likely endorse any opportunity to beat Obama and woe to the candidate on the next debate stage that does not agree.
Trump is probably at the apex of his political power but as the Republican front runner he, not McConnell or Boehner will be the voice of the Republican Party when Congress reconvenes after Labor Day to address the budget. If he wants to prove his bona fides as a fiscal conservative that will be a good place to start. Hell, maybe if he's feeling his oats he can take out the EPA and the Department of Energy just for spite. This is going to be fun.

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