Republicans aren't planning to offer an agenda for the second straight election cycle, and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough laid bare the cynicism behind that stalling strategy.
The GOP lost promising Senate candidate Chris Sununu, the New Hampshire governor, after he spoke with Republican senators and found they had no policies to offer if they retook the majority, and the "Morning Joe" host said that tracks with the last time the party had a Senate majority.
"They only talked about a wall when they were out of power," Scarborough said. "They get in power, and suddenly Lindsey Graham is saying building a wall makes absolutely no sense. John Cornyn says, yeah, it's crazy. Republican senators, they didn't want to do any of this stuff. They didn't want to build a wall. They had complete power and didn't want to do it. They waited until Democrats got in charge, and then, suddenly, they start parroting Donald Trump again on these insane ideas that none of them wanted in on that, they don't want to do anything when they're out of power, and they're afraid to do anything when they're in power."
Washington Examiner reporter David Drucker, who reported on Sununu's disillusionment with his own party, and he thinks the GOP is trying to manage voter expectations.
"One of the things that's gotten Republicans into so much trouble with their base is overpromising and underdelivering," Drucker said. "As I watched Republicans campaign in 2010, 2014 and even 2016, they made a lot of promises about what they would do once they were in power, particularly when Democrats still controlled the White House, between 2010 and 2014, still controlled the Senate. Republicans ran up against a brick wall because Democrats in the Senate had no interest in helping Republicans accomplish anything on their agenda. They obviously disagreed with President [Barack] Obama on key items, nothing got done."
"Instead of Republican voters saying, well, I'll give you a pass because you didn't have enough control in Washington to do what you wanted, they got mad at them for overpromising and underdelivering," Drucker added. "So if the message in this midterm election in 2022 is, look, we're going to hold the line and stop President [Joe] Biden from doing anything you don't like, at least from a political standpoint, they're guarding against a backlash from their own base. Then there's, though, this issue of exactly what do voters want from politicians on Capitol Hill? Do they want them to work with the other side when the other side has more power than them and help them accomplish something, or will they be okay with them holding the line?"
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