GOP leadership caves on Gosar Amendment

More bad news about the Omnibus spending bill: the Gosar Amendment language has been stripped out. This language would have prevented the Obama administration from implementing its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule (AFFH), a radical plan to use the power of the national government to create communities of a certain kind, each having what the federal government deems an appropriate mix of economic, racial, and ethnic diversity.

Apparently, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan weren’t up to defending the freedom of Americans to decide, through their local governments, how they will live — just as they weren’t up to slapping down the Department of Education’s assault on freedom of speech and due process.

Stanley Kurtz has written:

[The fight to block] AFFH just may give the Republican leadership a way of beginning to re-earn the confidence of the base. The fate of one of President Obama’s most radical transformations is on the line.

With the results in, and not just on AFFH, the Republican leadership has probably forfeited the confidence of the base. Is it any wonder that in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll the two candidates (Trump and Cruz) running most loudly against the GOP establishment lead the field? Throw in another outsider (Dr. Carson), and they lead the field by more than a 2:1 ratio.

Politico reports that “conservatives give Ryan a pass on budget deal they despise.” Who are these conservatives? Probably not the ones who are supporting Trump and Cruz. Definitely not the Washington conservatives I talk to.

It turns out that Politico is referring to members of the House Freedom Caucus. But these conservatives are, in effect, giving a pass to themselves for agreeing to have Ryan be Speaker.

Their rationale is laughable. They say that Ryan is just “cleaning the barn.” This is a metaphor masquerading as an argument. And to the extent one can make sense of it, the metaphor has no applicability to the cave on AFFH. The Republican House passed the Gosar amendment with overwhelming Republican support. It didn’t need to be “cleaned” out of the barn. The barn smells worse because Republican leadership let it be removed.

From the Politico article, it’s clear that Freedom Caucus members like that Ryan is giving them face time. This represents the triumph of vanity over principle. Ryan is playing these folks and they seem happy enough to be played.

Ted Cruz likes to talk about the “Washington Cartel” — the leaders from both parties who, he says, make sure business continues as usual, to the people’s detriment. Cruz’s rhetoric seemed extravagant to me, but now I wonder whether it is apt.

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