Donald Trump cast blame on the Freedom Caucus for the defeat of his signature healthcare bill, and we are now seeing the fallout. Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), one of the group’s original members, quit the Freedom Caucus after the failure of the AHCA to pass. Poe explained his decision in a statement:
“To deliver on the conservative agenda we have promised the American people for eight years, we must come together to find solutions to move this country forward. Saying no is easy, leading is hard, but that is what we were elected to do. Leaving this caucus will allow me to be a more effective member of Congress and advocate for the people of Texas. It is time to lead.”
What this amounts to, Poe explained today to CNN New Day co-host Alisyn Camerota, is that the Freedom Caucus only knows how to be the opposition party. Opposition first to Democrats, and now that Republicans are in power, to Republicans.
Watch courtesy of CNN:
— New Day (@NewDay) March 27, 2017
Asked why he left the Freedom Caucus, Poe told Camerota,
“[T]he Freedom Caucus has always been the opposition caucus against the Democrats, and now that we are in the majority, it continues to be the opposition caucus against anything in the Republican Party.
“We spent an hour and a half with the president, the vice president, and the cabinet, talking and compromising. And compromises were made, things were added to the bill based upon the input of the Freedom Caucus. But then at the end of the day, it was easier to vote no. And so I am angry about that.”
When asked by Camerota what the Freedom Caucus wanted in addition to Trump’s concessions, Poe answered,
“There is nothing that could have been added to the bill that the Freedom Caucus would ever vote Yes on. I got the opinion that there are some members of the Freedom Caucus would vote No against the 10 Commandments if it ever came up for a vote.”
This was a sentiment Poe first expressed when he tweeted thanks to Donald Trump and Paul Ryan the other day.
He might even be right. Nobody knows how to say No more firmly now than the GOP. They’ve had eight years of practice after all.
Poe concluded that “At the end of the day we should compromise and get things done.”
This didn’t happen and it is not likely to happen. Poe told Fox & Friends this morning that though “changes were made” the “goal posts kept getting moved.”
As Poe has discovered, compromise has become a dirty word in the GOP Lexicon. It is not that Poe wants to compromise with Democrats, but he has discovered to his dismay that Republicans can no longer even compromise with other Republicans.
The Republican Party’s zeal for ideological purity hasn’t worked out so well for them, and being the Party of No has turned around and much to the benefit of the American people bit the GOP square in the backside.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.