Republicans on Capitol Hill are said to be reeling from President Donald Trump's reach-out to Democrats on fiscal matters.
But they have nobody to blame but themselves. Since Trump's taken over the White House, Republicans have fought tooth and nail to keep the Democratic agenda alive. Witness: Obamacare.
Where's the repeal?
Oh yes, that's right. There is no repeal.
So goes the fight with the border wall - nothing, nada, except headlines like this one, from Politico in July: "House Republicans seek to dodge border wall vote." Or this one, again from Politico, a September announcement from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy: "McCarthy: Republicans will punt wall fight to December."
Punting, punting - Republicans are always punting. If watching Congress were like watching football, Republicans in the House and Senate would be known for two big talents right now: Passing the ball. And dropping the ball. 'Cause they sure ain't getting it to the end zone.
So the natural result for a disappointed and frustrated president who a) campaigned hard on draining the swamp and b) has a business background that includes the art of the deal?
Simply put, it's this: An in-your-face, take-that approach to government strategizing that bypasses Republicans in much the same manner Barack Obama used to bypass Congress.
"Trump sides with Democrats on fiscal issues, throwing Republican plans into chaos," the Washington Post blasted in a recent headline, in a story on how the president "confounded his party's leaders when he cut a deal with Democratic congressional leaders - 'Chuck and Nancy,' as [he] informally referred to them - on a short-term plan to fund the government and raise its borrowing limit this month."
The reference, of course, was to Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, also not-so-affectionately known as the devil and his bride in more colloquial conversations among conservatives. But because of Trump's deal-making with this pair, the budget will be funded another three months - though not 18, as Republicans wanted. Now, come December, Congress will have to head back to the table to decide on debt-ceiling matters once again. And politically speaking, that could give Trump a tool to tie his border wall funding to these looming budget battles.
Of course, outraged GOPers are now characterizing Trump as treasonous, at worst, baffling at best.
"I haven't seen anything like it before," Sen. John McCain said, Politico reported. "I have no way of divining [Trump's] motives. I'm a pretty intelligent guy. I don't understand."
Yep, the Republican Party's clueless, all right.
Frankly, the GOP could've avoided the whole red-faced debt ceiling moment - the one that elevated Schumer and Pelosi to positions of White House power-playing, at the expense of GOP leadership - by picking an issue, any issue, over the last few months that Trump wanted, and showing some support.
But RINOs didn't. They instead joined Democrats in opposing. They joined the left and the media in criticizing and scolding. And now they're being replaced by the very Democrats they joined to fight Trump. Oh, the irony. Oh, the just desserts' moment.
Republicans right now may have bruised egos. But the truth is the American people don't care. They just want the promises the Republicans have made for years, from repealing Obamacare to controlling the border, to become reality, and at this point, it seems only sensible that Trump might as well wheel and deal with the Democrats - because the GOP sure isn't working with him.