A group of senior Republican lawmakers and strategists met at they Hieronymus Room in the Washington DC Trump Hotel to resolve a situation some of the members had described as "Defcon One-Hundred." According to participants, the situation since last November had deteriorated with:
The GOP holding most state-houses and governorships
Republican control of the House of Representatives
Republican control of the Senate
GOP President Donald Trump in the Executive White House
A soon-to-be nominated conservative justice giving Republicans a majority in SCOTUS
"It's a disaster," said our source, speaking on condition of anonymity. "We had plans--but nothing for a situation like this. Obamacare? Fuck--we can't even turn around without someone crying about losing their coverage. You'd think that thing actually worked."
The problems, however, didn't end with the looming Obamacare repeal.
"That Iran deal," said one lawmaker, familiar with the situation, "it's actually imposing limits on Iran. We promised to tear it up--but the generals are saying it's good leverage and that if we actually get in a fight with them they can hurt us. Did anyone actually know that? I didn't know that. No one ever explained that."
More troubling is the US relationship with Russia. "You'd think Putin could play nice for a second and just get out of Ukraine. 'The Ukraine'? I can never remember. I mean--he's supposed to be this great guy and he's still spending the spy ships around and unveiling cruise missiles? He's supposed to throw us a bone here. He's fucking selfish, is what it is."
Other members were concerned by what they saw as limited areas on which to blame potential failures of governance.
"We've got people who are afraid to show up at a town-hall," said one of the senior Republican strategists. "We've advised them to teleconference but they know it looks weak. We can't afford to look weak here--for God's sake: We won." he shook his head. "And don't get me started on CPAC--look, anyone can make a mistake--but Milo was our Golaith."
"He could generate photogenic riots. He was a lib-archist quote MACHINE. Schedule him and you'd win a news cycle with college kids burning a Starbucks. Of course he was distasteful. He's a psychopath--anyone can see that--but if he doesn't represent conservative values . . . who does? You think Bob Dole is going to inspire riots at Berkeley? What? With a Viagra ad?"
Other concerns that the Conservative Movement had become a mere shell of its former self had surfaced. "Milo is the face of Conservatism today," said a religious adviser. "Mr. Trump is the leader. These two great men are--well, they're too obvious. Women have always needed to have their place--separate but equal--but it's being exposed now and this isn't the time for it."
Others agreed. "Young people have these ideas about gender and sexual relationships that just don't exist in the real world. We'd usually wait for them to grow up, get married, and assimilate to our values--it was quiet. But now we've got the 'pussy tape' emerging. Milo talking about young boys--it's all on the record. This stuff was foundational to our movement but, you know, you wanted to keep it quiet. These guys are loud. Too loud."
The group was also nervous that the base would become impatient with misleading stories about job creation and failure to act on emerging crises in Europe and the Middle East. Many were concerned that their domestic-rhetoric about abandoning NATO--which is poorly understood by the GOP voting base and plays well--was being taken seriously overseas by actual allies.
"We don't understand why they don't get it?" said our source. "Trump runs his mouth and his Twitter account--everyone knows that--but they keep taking him seriously and we have to run around doing clean-up. 'No, America is not going to commit War Crimes. No, we're not going to abandon NATO.' God, what's wrong with these people? Have they never been to a red state? Those people think we're spending all our money on, like, Big Bird and Sesame Street."
He shook his head.
"This is bad," he said. "We weren't prepared for this and we have a serious leadership gap. Trump wants to build a wall, launch a Trillion-dollar infrastructure initiative, and 'rebuild' the Navy. All I can say is it's a good thing our base doesn't understand that we were the ones who built in sequestration--if they knew we'd hurt defense spending there'd be a riot--but . . . "
He trailed off. "We can't afford any of this--and the president's cabinet sure isn't going to be in favor of raising taxes. I'm afraid we're like two months away from POTUS just telling us to 'Print Money like Obama did.'," he said referring to the Fed's policy of Quantative Easing which is mainstream fiscal policy and cannot be used to pay government debts. "Does he [POTUS] understand that stuff? No. Do I? Not really? Our base? Uh-uh. It's a disaster. We've got people wondering if we can get some Democrats into the House so that when this all goes south we've got some fall guys."
"It's bad," he finished, taking a long drink. "It's double-plus un-good."