Three members of the House of Representatives who are moderates, and who have had strong doubts about Donald Trump all along, have decided to “jump ship”. and not run for reelection in 2018.
In so doing, they, and others who might do the same, are demonstrating the problem of the future of the Republican Party, that it is in danger of becoming an extremist right wing party, which is anti government and the traditions of the Republican Party.
Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros Lehtinen, Washington Congressman Dave Reichart, and Pennsylvania Congressman Charlie Dent have all decided not to run for reelection, and their loss is not good for the GOP future.
All three are seen as likely to back an impeachment move against Donald Trump, so they have an opportunity to become historic figures in the process of bringing Trump down over the next months.
With Trump repudiating Establishment Republican leadership (Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell), and making a deal with Democrats and moderate Republicans on aid for Hurricane Harvey and a three month extension of the debt limit, avoiding a crisis at the end of September, it is clear that civil war is developing in the Republican Party.
This includes the right wing extremists of the House Freedom Caucus working to form a third party movement, splintering the party into factions that bode ill for the party future in 2018 and beyond.
In the midst of the national debt crisis, and the issue of the extension of the debt limit just around the corner, six US Senators, three Democrats and three Republicans, have been meeting for months trying to come up with a plan that can be accepted by both parties, and show the American people that the politicians in Washington can work together on an issue that is threatening the short term and long term stability of the economy.
The Democrats are Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, and Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota. The Republicans are Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, and Senator Michael Crapo of Idaho.
No matter what these six Senators come up with, it could fail in the Republican controlled House of Representatives, if the extremist Tea Party people refuse to budge on tax reform or tax increases on the wealthy and corporations, even by getting rid of tax loopholes and tax breaks.
It is clear there will have to be not only tax increases, as well as cuts in military spending, but also reforms of Medicare and Medicaid that will not destroy the system but modify it, and long range planning to change the full Social Security age and tax all income on Social Security, instead of the limit on contributions now in the law.
This is a time for politicians to do what needs to be done, without fear of losing their seats in future elections, and to take the philosophical view that they would rather do what is proper and sensible to do, than to bend to extremists who have no understanding of the need for change, and only want to promote their one sided, impractical, and dangerous views of the future of the nation, despite the realities of the urgency of action!