On Tuesday night, before the election results started coming in, I predicted no matter what the result, there would be a civil war within the GOP.
After the sweeping victory of businessman Donald Trump, I’m not so sure.
Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan and Mr. Trump have had a contentious relationship this election cycle, but on Wednesday, Mr. Ryan was downright jubilant.
“The opportunity is to go big, to go bold, to get things done for the people of this country,” Mr. Ryan said energetically at a news conference in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin.
First on the list? Repealing and replacing Obamacare — a key initiative that’s on both Mr. Trump and Mr. Ryan’s agenda.
“Now we have President Trump coming who is asking us to do this,” Mr. Ryan said, regarding repealing Obamacare. “With unified Republican government, we can fix this.”
Mr. Ryan — who is in Mr. Trump’s debt after the businessman swept battleground states that helped to buoy the GOP’s performance in the House and Senate — was downright effusive in his praise for the new president elect.
Mr. Ryan called Mr. Trump’s victory “the most incredible political feat I have seen in my lifetime,” and said he had spoken twice to Mr. Trump in the past 24 hours.
Other factions of the GOP and some NeverTrumper’s also seemed to get inline behind Mr. Trump.
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse took to his Facebook page to congratulate Mr. Trump — and to hold his feet to the fire.
“My family and I congratulate President-Elect Trump on his decisive victory, and we pray that he will lead wisely and faithfully keep his oath to a Constitution of limited government,” Mr. Sasse wrote. “Starting today, I will do everything in my power to hold the President to his promises: to fight for an ethics reform package that upends cronyism and enacts term limits; to lead on repealing and replacing ObamaCare; and to nominate judges who reject law-making by unelected courts. Melissa and I wish the new First Family the best in the coming transition.”
That’s how it should be — the GOP (and Trump supporters) expect nothing less.
Bill Kristol, a vocal #NeverTrump advocate, wrote on Twitter: “If you’ll permit one sincere, un-ironic tweet: I hope President-elect Trump proves to be a far better president than I expected.”
Mr. Kristol added: “And to my fellow #NeverTrumpers: Let us be magnanimous losers.”
No doubt it’s going to be a rocky road. Mr. Trump’s promised trade agenda is at odds with GOP leadership, as are his promises to protect entitlements such as Social Security.
But that doesn’t mean that common ground can’t be found. Mr. Ryan and Mr. Trump can pick and chose their way through the House Republicans’ “Better Way” policy agendas. They can prioritize major items where they overlap — like repealing Obamacare and investing in infrastructure. Repealing President Obama’s executive orders, rebuilding our military, and stripping burdensome regulations that are holding small-business owners — and thereby the economy — back.
Mr. Trump never had broad policy proposals, and largely borrowed from the House Republicans’ tax reform policies. He seems open to compromise.
The #NeverTrump faction needs to embrace the possibility that change can be made in Washington — and Mr. Trump may just be that vehicle. Will there be hiccups? Sure. But imagine the accomplishments that can be made.
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