Can Republicans get anything right?

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 3/27/17


So let’s re-cap.

In 2010, after the Democrats in Congress passed Obamacare without a single Republican vote, the Republican leadership said, “Give us back control of the House and we will set about undoing this terrible law.”

Voters responded by giving the Republican party its biggest mid-term win since 1948. The GOP gained 63 seats in the House and re-took control.

Four years later, in 2014, Republicans said, “We need control of the Senate, too. Give us that and we’ll fix this awful Obamacare.”

So voters handed Republicans a nine seat gain in the Senate and control of that chamber.

Still Obamacare remained on the books despite Republicans passing numerous bills to repeal it.

“Well, we need the White House,” said the Republicans. “We just can’t get rid of Obamacare with a Democratic president standing in the way.”

So in 2016 voters confounded every political consultant, pundit and TV talking head and elected the one Republican that no “expert” thought could win.

It was perhaps the most unmistakable political message of all time.

All of that history leads us to the events of this past Friday afternoon. With control of the House, the Senate and the White House at last in Republican hands, House Republicans could not agree on a bill to repeal Obamacare.

Or put another way, House Republicans were again revealed to be incapable of organizing a two-car funeral.

There is plenty of blame to pass around but here are two heaping servings of it.

First is Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. If he could not get his caucus to support the first legislative initiative of a new administration from his own party, he should a.) never have let the bill get as far as it did and, b.) resign the speakership. It’s simple. If you can’t lead, you shouldn’t be in a leadership position.

Second is the House Freedom Caucus. It’s a group of 30 or so Republican members and it includes Congressman Louie Gohmert of Tyler.

The commitment to core conservative principles by this group is all well and good. But with that said, if the Freedom Caucus intends to stand in the way of every measure that does not meet an absolute conservative purity test, nothing will ever get done and Republicans will pay a heavy price.

I have bought and sold radio stations for 26 years now. Not once did I ever get exactly the deal that I wanted. I always wound up paying more than I wanted to pay and I always wound up accepting terms that I didn’t want to accept. It’s called compromise and it’s how you get deals done and keep moving forward.

Just as there is no such thing as a perfect business deal, there is no such thing as a perfect political deal. You’re still expected to perform. Freedom Caucus members need to remember this.

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Republicans in Congress: the hour is late and the stakes are high.

It’s time to do the job you promised us you would do.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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17 Responses

  1. Linda E Montrose says:

    No, they can’t. 99% of them need to be voted out and fresh, eager blood needs to be put in. Mccain and those like him need to be gotten rid of asap as they have gone way past their usefulness in getting anything useful done. It seems they are a hindrance more than a help on anything. The thing about republicans they will eat their own instead of circling the wagons for safety. We need to get rid of ryan because he has not been truthful about anything and has worked hard against President Trump instead of FOR him!

  2. Jena Smith says:

    Well said, Mr. Gleiser. I’m not sure if we, as conservatives, will ever get it right. I am ready to give up and just sit back and watch the show. I have emailed, phoned. wrote letters and attended rallies for the past 25 years, and still nothing. I am so sick of politics and these whiney do-nothing crybabies in DC. Does any one of them truly care about the American people and this country anymore?

  3. C M Solomon says:

    Any so-called healthcare reform bill such as the secretly prepared Rinocare that Ryan unveiled at the last minute with no working groups (hearings) that he promised to ALL factions of the House (including the Freedom Caucus) is not worthy of respect as “Good Faith” leadership of the Congress or to be considered as a HONEST BILL.

    The ghost of John Boehner continues to stab the Conservatives in the back. The soft totalitarians that HATE freedom of choice and the free market are incurable and will lie like “good Marxists” while pretending to be “moderate”. They will never relinquish their choke hold on us as human beings (having a divine right for self-determination). These soft totalitarians think of us as animals that need to be herded into their utopian (Neo-Serfdom) culture by force, if necessary, an age of neo-feudalism, in which corporate-state rulers dominate the rest of us.

    By mixing WELFARE with health care, a clever scheme to adopt this culture is established. Rinocare continued the many pillars of the welfare schemes of Obamacare that MUST be totally eliminated; otherwise the totalitarian welfare “carrot” will succeed into becoming the “stick” that will give them total control. This is fundamental!

    The best evidence of this is mixing the “pre-existing conditions” pillar of Obamacare with Rinocare insurance. For example, Rinocare continued the Government enforced requirement that you can purchase a policy and get covered AFTER you desperately need it. That is not insurance; it is welfare. This forces those of us that are responsible members of society to unwillingly FUND the welfare state that is bankrupting us all with a health care and insurance system that will never be cost effective. Of course, this is the goal of the totalitarians that hate the potential for the free enterprise competition necessary for a thriving health insurance industry that we can afford. They will do anything to kill the private insurance industry in favor of a Government OWNED and operated healthcare system for all citizens (and illegals) that will ensure the perpetual rule of their Neo-Serfdom utopia.

    ALL dictatorships start with healthcare being rationed and dispensed by the “benevolent and world class” Carrot-care by the government that you must please in order to be in good standing to get those benefits. Anyone opposed to this “loving government” health care must be a heretic or retarded or both. This opposition is judged to be dangerous and will be punished!

    I confess that I am a purest when it comes to stopping the snake-oil salesmen the want to rule me as an animal by forcing me to fund their totalitarian recipe for domination. My message to Conservatives that love freedom is to STOP mixing welfare with healthcare! Otherwise, we are not having an honest conversation about Rinocare. The “buy vote” welfare disease is alive and well in the Republican Party and it is high time that we recognize that we are constantly being fooled.

  4. Richard Anderson says:

    I did not vote for Congressman Paul Ryan, and wouldn’t have, even if I were a resident of his district or of Wisconsin, as Mr. Ryan is not up to the House Leadership task as he does not represent the core conservative values of our Republican party, the party of Reagan. In other words, he most certainly is not like our Congressman, Louie Gohmert, someone who has the interest of the American people front and foremost, as does our President, Donald J. Trump.

    Obamacare will be REPEALED “in toto,” but not on the terms or agenda of Speaker Paul Ryan, but on the agenda of “We The People,” i.e. the agenda of President Trump!

    • Jane Doe says:

      So who is your allegiance to, President Trump or Representative Gohmert? You will need to pick only one going forward since President Trump has now labelled the Freedom Caucus to be the enemy.

      • Paul Gleiser says:

        My allegiance is to the voters who were promised that if they gave the Republicans control of the government, Obamacare would be repealed, the regulatory beast would be tamed and the tax code would be made rational. My allegiance is to those voters and those principles.

        • Jane Doe says:

          It was clear in your article that you (Paul) supported the Trump/Ryan plan. But Richard feels that Trump and Gohmert are on the same team. I was wondering who his allegiance is to.

          • Paul Gleiser says:

            I support the Republicans getting together and getting the job done. I don’t support everyone running to his/her respective corner.

          • Jane Doe says:

            Well according to Representative Gohmert, you should have known that he would run to his corner. When asked about conducting a town hall earlier this year, he responded by pointing out that the voters in his district know exactly where he stands on the issue of Obamacare. He even pointed out that in November, 73.9% of his constituents agreed with him.

  5. L Miles says:

    It is important that all of us who believe in the free market, competitive solution to healthcare, and who despise the Progressive (Big Government) attempt to outlaw its benefits and potential for success, should recognize that Ryan is a lying, deceitful, RINO that doesn’t deserve to be trusted anymore. The following video that he published on Jan 8, 2016 verifies that Louie Gohmert and the House Freedom Caucus was right to oppose Ryancare. Purity has nothing to do with it.

    The 60 vote barrier (in the Senate) that the RINOs were using as an excuse NOT to Repeal Obamacare outright, is their attempt, once again, to use deception to halt the free market and its potential to give us a truly low cost and thriving health care insurance choice, free of government takeover. Ryan and the Republican establishment really didn’t want to repeal Obamacare because they like being in charge of Big government’s control of our healthcare and the benefits that accrue to their own selfish political careers. It’s called crony capitalism.

    Speaker Ryan Responds to President’s Veto of Obamacare Repeal
    Published on Jan 8, 2016

    In this video he says:
    “It’s no surprise that someone named Obama vetoed a bill repealing Obamacare, and we will hold a vote to override this veto taking this process all the way to the end under the Constitution. But here’s the thing. The idea that Obamacare is the law of the land for good is a myth. This law will collapse under its own weight or it will be repealed. Because all those rules and procedures Senate Democrats have used to block us from doing this – that’s all history. We have shown now that there is a clear path to repealing Obamacare without 60 votes in the Senate. So next year if we’re sending this bill to a republican president it will get signed into law. Obamacare will be gone …”

    I think this fully explains the “ram it through” approach that Ryan used to get his Ryancare bill passed while ignoring the Conservative base of the Republican Party that these establishment guys despise when real action replaces promises as in the above video. Was he lying then or is he lying now.

  6. APPLAUSE for today’s on-air commentary.
    Ya nailed it.

    On Friday, as Ryan pulled the Repeal-N-Replace bill, it was stunning to hear Ryan ADMIT that being-the-opposition-party “was easy, all we had to do was oppose.”

    CAN Republicans govern?
    They’ll now show us.

    Last time the GOP held the White House and controlled Congress they spent like drunken sailors. Dubya’s only veto was Stem Cell Research, despite pleas from Nancy Reagan.

    And your warning to the Freedom Caucus shouldn’t be lost on local members.

  7. Pam says:

    Hopefully, Mr. Gleiser, listened to the Unicorns on Hannity tonight! You can include me as one of those conservatives who backs the Freedom Caucus.

  8. L Miles says:

    Does “getting the job done” mean the Freedom Caucus gives in to the Ryan plan that preserves 10 of the 12 “Socialist” Obamacare mandates that are driving up costs and deductibles, resulting in the 17% popularity of Obamacare. The leftward drift to the Marxist goal of socialized medicine continues unabated. I thought the establishment Republicans might have had a glimmer of concern for the 95% of the American people who are suffering due to Obamacare and its destructive mandates.

    It is plain, now, that the Republican leadership likes the trappings of Washington power and the promise of campaign donations from the big government lobbyists. Their lies have paid off. The Conservative cause has been sold another pig and a poke and the bureaucracy roots continue to grow. The Republican leadership has lost its soul and the Conservative cause is on life support. I’m starting to hate the phrase, “getting the job done” and a bunch of other phrases that damn our efforts to keep us free.

  9. L Miles says:

    I have been studying the 12 Obamacare Mandates that NO Republicans voted for when the law was originally passed. I have never read such a stinking pile of complicated Socialist puke in my life. Obamacare and its mandates (regulations) are absolutely a nice way of saying that the Constitution is DEAD when it comes to anything approaching a free enterprise system for the healthcare and health insurance industry. This piece of crap is an accumulation of despicable ideas created by every diseased Socialist brain that infects academia and political skullduggery.

    There is absolutely no justification for the Ryancare pitiful partial repeal (Obamacare 2.0) to be supported by any intelligent voter or Representative. ANY of the Obamacare mandates that survive in this false repeal effort is IN FACT DEFAULT APPROVAL of the mandates that survive. This stinking law actually OUTLAWS common sense healthcare plans that I have had in the past before the Obamacare era of Socialist Government controlled healthcare. If every American was educated in simple language on these Mandates, they would politically “draw and quarter” any idiot politician that would vote for them and banish that politician from ever running for office again. I think we should bring back “debtor prisons” for politicians that vote to bankrupt any part of the free enterprise system that is legal by way of the Constitution – the supreme law of the land.

    Obamacare and its mandates are a crime against nature, if nature includes honesty, intelligence, and common sense. The Constitution was supposed to protect us from legalized theft and irrational laws that help to bankrupt the family unit. The Freedom Caucus are the members of Congress that have a healthy brain and want to honor their obligation to protect us from the puke generated by the mad Socialist tyrants that invented and passed Obamacare.

  10. Bill Stenger says:

    The Freedom Caucus did not vote against the AHCA because of “purity.”

    They voted against AHCA because AHCA did NOT repeal Obamacare. Worse yet—AHCA would cement in most of the worse elements of OC making it more difficult for future congresses to repeal them.

    AHCA would redistribute wealth, while doing nothing to improve healthcare & health insurance or rolling back their costs.

    AHCA would enter a death spiral, just as OC has entered a death spiral, because AHCA has the same causes of a death spiral as OC—congress cannot repeal the laws of economics.

    The Freedom Caucus did President Trump a favor.

  11. L Miles says:

    If the Republicans won’t REPEAL Obamacare (and the 12 mandates) in its entirety without using the false excuses of Recondition Rules (they only need 51 votes) then us Conservatives (Freedom Caucus, et al.) have lost the fight for free market health insurance and health care. The Republicans ran on total repeal and won two of the three branches of government – there are no excuses left – the truth is they are afraid and lack resolve and truthfulness. We might as well go for “single payer” (I hate this phrase) which means total full Socialist Big Government owned health care for all – for FREE. It was the goal of Obamacare to achieve this result when the mandates would ultimately become acceptable – how clever!
    Now Republicans can join the Socialist Democrats and REMOVE this issues from debate and it will clear the road for further Republican victories at the ballot box since they can claim to be “for the common man” against the false élite charges of the Democrats. Trump will like this.

    One trillion dollars per can be used to fund $8,000 for each of the 125 million (out of the USA population of 325 million) that are likely to need health care services per year, on average. These are small numbers in view of today’s acceptable government financial debt; it is just another “stimulus plan”. This is a lot of care per sick person. By government regulating the medical payments for services and prescriptions and determining WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, and WHO will get this health care, costs can be managed and kept in bounds. Let’ go for it!

    My warning to the medical profession is that they will become government employees – no problem – Obamacare was fully supported by the AMA as well as the Health Insurance industry (which will be unnecessary – saving $$$). Hospitals will operate as contractors to the government as do the military contractors that build all our weapons. What is wrong with that? Can the Republicans in future elections count on a large percentage of those that had previously supported the Democrats? – why not? Let’s win one for the team!

  12. ONE thing Republicans are getting better at:
    Handling hostile crowds at town hall meetings.
    (Those that are HAVING them):

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