It’s votes like the one last week, in which House Republicans sided overwhelmingly with Nancy Pelosi, rebuking President Donald Trump for pulling out of Syria, that make me wonder who is really pulling the strings of our elected representatives.
I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. But sometimes something so inexplicable happens, such as the vote last week, that leads to the impression something is going on behind the scenes, causing congressmen like Forsyth County’s own Doug Collins and Rob Woodall to suddenly abandon reason, abandon their constituents, abandon the leader of their party, the leader of their country and for that matter the free world, and side with politically-insane Nancy Pelosi in condemning our president.
In poll after poll, the American people, on all sides, overwhelmingly agree with Trump’s decision to pull American forces out of Syria. The American people want their troops out of harm’s way, and home from foreign deployments unrelated to U.S. national security. Doing so was a major plank in Trump’s campaign leading to his election in 2016.
Trump announced the policy he just finalized a year ago, allowing all interested parties time to make adjustments, allowing politicians time to make their cases for or against, in order to affect Trump’s decision.
Very few, including Collins and Woodall, made public statements on Trump’s proposed pullout, that is, until last week when they sided with Pelosi. I do not understand it and believe both of Forsyth County’s congressmen owe their constituents an explanation.
Now, I have had differences with our congressmen in the past. Those disagreements were generally related to how both allowed Barack Obama to steamroll Congress with very little Republican resistance, for as long as Obama was in office.
Republicans should take note how a political opposition can effectively resist presidential purposes, observing how the masters, the D.C. Democrats, undertake such efforts against President Trump. It can be done.
That said, since Trump’s election in 2016, I have been pleased with the ways both Woodall and Collins have supported our president, both vocally and by their actions. I have thanked them for doing so. And that’s why it is difficult to reconcile last week’s slap in Trump’s face, siding with their own president’s political archenemy, condemning Trump for fulfilling yet another, very popular campaign promise, in pulling out of Syria.
And so it is fitting that now both representatives Collins and Woodall, along with most of the other House Republicans, are removing egg from their faces.
In forging the deal he did among the Turks, the Kurds and even the Syrian government, once again, and predictably, Trump has come out smelling like a rose with the majority of American people. Not only do Collins and Woodall look bad to Trump, but they also look bad to their constituents.
And both congressmen were politically and constitutionally wrong-minded in denouncing Trump. Did Obama have constitutional authority to enter Syria? No, the Constitution requires a congressional war declaration.
Did Barack Obama have any congressional agreement whatsoever to go into Syria? No, in 2013 Congress failed to enact Obama’s requested authority for military action in Syria.
Did Obama have authority from the Syrian government to be in there? No, Obama’s sole purpose in positioning U.S. troops in Syria regardless was to orchestrate the overthrow of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and install yet another puppet government, similar to what Obama did in Ukraine, in Egypt, and similar to what he tried to do in taking out Libya’s Moammar Qaddafi. It’s all the same model, just variations on a theme.
Trump’s sole purpose in maintaining Obama’s original presence in Syria was as he stated during the campaign, to destroy ISIS, the strange allies Obama utilized to help overthrow Assad. Trump inherited Obama’s misguided policy. Trump’s purpose is now complete. Obama executed an extremely problematic strategy, as was his nature, and Trump ended it. There is no other reason to be there.
And now Trump has constructed a workable solution that protects Turkey from natural Kurdish enemies, and protects the Kurds from Turkey. That could not happen without pain on both sides, which Trump understood. Too bad our Republicans in the Congress could not have waited just a little while longer before jumping to support Pelosi against Trump. I’m sure they had their reasons, but those reasons did not include representing the sentiments of their constituents.
And so, how many times have you heard it from me, that if you choose to side against Trump, you will lose. It’s pretty simple. Just look at the track record. Trump does not lose, friends. I have warned our 7th District Republican hopefuls running for Woodall’s seat, that if they do not passionately support Trump in their campaigns, gaining the President’s support in the process, they will likely lose.
And that goes for our Republican candidates in District 6. In 2018, Karen Handel decided to appeal to the confused folks in the middle rather than Trump supporters. She lost. And now she is doing it again. Go figure. Handel’s competition should recognize her mistake and respond with vigorous Trump support.
Trump’s coattails are long. A Republican candidate for Congress is foolish not to seek Trump’s support. But to receive it, he or she needs to avidly support him, advice so obvious I should not have to give it.
The lesson here is clear, Republicans who go against Trump inevitably lose. If you don’t believe me, just ask Paul Ryan.
Hank Sullivan is a Forsyth County resident, businessman, author and speaker on American history, economics and geopolitics.