By Colonel Mike Angley
A funny thing happened on the way to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh. It seems that a handful of our normally collegial Republican Senators grew spines (and other body parts) and began pushing back against the hysterical left that’s been doing its level best to derail his confirmation.
Lindsey Graham delivered a couple of blistering speeches on the Committee floor, followed by equally ‘in-your-face’ media interviews. Chuck Grassley, Committee Chair, gave a WWE-worthy smackdown speech during the cloture debate, stopping short of violating Senate rules and calling out his colleagues by name. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – AKA The Turtle – came out of his shell and blasted Democrats for their nasty vitriol.
Don’t get me wrong, I like this feisty, fighting spirit. In fact, I hope it marks a watershed event and becomes a permanent fixture in American politics. But I am cautiously optimistic. It is Washington, DC, after all, the greatest Kabuki theater in the world where every public speech is roughly 50% substance, 50% performance art.
I’m going to go out on a limb in this op-ed and speculate about a deeper meaning to what happened these last two weeks. First, just a hint: it involves an evolution in President Trump’s relationship with the establishment Republican Party. Before I explain that, let me do some analysis.
That the Democrat Party sacrificed every last molecule of what little dignity it had left over the course of the nomination process is an understatement. They dragged a good man, Judge Kavanaugh, down into the sewers where they dwell and attempted to revise his history to portray him as a rapist-at-large.
The only good thing about their histrionics was that the cast of characters they assembled to accuse the good judge was so fatally-flawed, so obviously manufactured, such bought-and-paid-for-shills that even a blindfolded blind man could see the setup.
In the process of trying to take down Judge Kavanaugh (we can speculate on the reasons: revenge for torpedoing Merrick Garland, fear that SCOTUS will overturn Roe v. Wade, or hatred for President Trump, blah, blah, blah), the Democrats not only disgraced themselves, but they damaged 200+ years of Senate dignity, decorum, custom, culture, norms and rules.
I suspect that that alone fired up enough Republicans to fight back. Their respect and reverence for the institution may have compelled them to put on the boxing gloves and push back – finally. Collegiality and Robert’s Rules of Order are fine, but when one side abandons them, it’s okay to drop the pretense of hand-holding and start duking it out. We saw just that.
But I think something else happened. As I alluded to earlier, there was a dynamic at work that I picked up on that I hope represents a shift in the right direction. It involves President Donald J. Trump – not a member of the establishment by any means – and a possible détente with the Beltway insiders.
When I worked counterterrorism operations in the Middle East, the expression, ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend,’ was very much true. In that part of the world, clans, tribes, and factions influence regional and local politics, power, and law and order. It’s about survival, and when heretofore enemies feel threated by a mutual enemy, they sometimes form alliances to protect each other, putting aside their differences. Sometimes those differences have roots going back hundreds of years.
It’s no secret that the establishment class in Washington, DC hates President Trump. They’ve stabbed his back more times than I can count. It would have been easy for the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee to fold like origami and surrender Kavanaugh to the angry leftist mob with its pitchforks and torches. You know, the usual way RINOs cave.
But they didn’t. For once we saw Republicans stand up for the people they were elected to represent. More significantly, they defended President Trump’s nominee. Senator Graham, once a strident critic of the President, has gone so far as to atone for his past critiques and stand up for him. In the realm of politics, that’s nuclear.
Here’s how I see it, and I hope I’m right. Donald Trump has not changed. He hasn’t moved toward the establishment. That’s been evident in his many fiery midterm rallies this past week. What we’re seeing instead is the establishment shift toward Trump. It’s ever so slight right now, but it is noticeable.
Did the Democrats overplay their hand? Did they so horribly devastate the decency of the United States Senate, disgracefully attacking a good man, that it drew two opposing camps – the Trump and establishment clans – toward each other?
Did the common enemy in the democratic-progressive-socialist-communist-marxist left cross the line so solidly this time that two former notional ‘enemies’ are now embracing each other and willing to fight together?
Could this presage cooperation on TRUMP’s agenda? Can we finally get that wall built? Obamacare repealed? Immigration laws strengthened?
I don’t know for sure, and only time will tell. A recent statement Lindsey Graham made on CNN is certainly inspiring, “If you don’t like me working with President Trump to make the world a better place, I don’t give a sh–.”
If this rapprochement is genuine; if it’s forming of a trend, perhaps even endures, then it is a wonderful development. To the (neo) Alpha Republicans, welcome aboard the train that real Americans have been demanding you board. The Trump Train.
Colonel Michael (“Mike”) Angley is retired from the United States Air Force, a published thriller author, and a conservative writer who fashions himself as Attila the Hun with a laptop. Mike wrote for Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government and Big Peace blogs before the Breitbart consolidation, receiving superb feedback and kudos for typically weaving in pop culture references with his far right perspectives. He enjoys writing about military affairs, national security issues, and politics and is an avid Second Amendment advocate. When he’s not writing, he’s busy annoying liberals with FaceBook posts and Twitter tweets that point out the obvious flaws and fallacies of the left.
During his 26-year USAF career, the Colonel was a Special Agent with the Office of Special Investigations (OSI). The OSI is a sister agency to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and has an identical mission that includes felony-level criminal, fraud, and narcotics investigations as well as counterintelligence and counterterrorism operations. His USAF experiences spanned multiple regions around the globe with five command assignments and duties at foreign, regional, theater and national levels.
He is a seasoned counterintelligence and counterespionage officer from the Cold War era, and if you ask him he’ll tell you the spy-vs-spy days were indeed the heady, glory era of espionage. During the latter half of his career he focused on counterterrorism missions in the Middle East and the Far East and operationalized many of today’s concepts for this unique arena while working the sand dunes of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and a few other “choice” locations. When Colonel Angley retired in 2007, he was a Senior Supervisory Special Agent and was in command of all worldwide OSI matters at Air Force Space Command in Colorado Springs, CO.
Mike Angley is also a published, award-winning author of three thriller novels in the “Child Finder” trilogy. His debut novel, “Child Finder,” received a glowing review from the Library Journal which placed it on its Summer Reading list in 2009. “Child Finder” and its companion sequel novels all won various awards from the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) and the Public Safety Writers Association. In 2012, Mike was named MWSA’s “Author of the Year,” largely for work on his third novel, “Child Finder: Revelation.”
As an avid user of social media, Mike can be found and friended on Facebook (mike.angley) and followed on Twitter (@MikeAngley). His website is www.mikeangley.com. Following his USAF retirement, Mike and his family stayed in Colorado Springs, CO where they enjoy daily, majestic views of Pikes Peak and the Rocky Mountains.