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Rep. Thomas Massie: Trump Wasn't Elected King. Congress Must Retake Power From the President.

"I'm very concerned about the combination of Donald Trump and Paul Ryan and the implications for our national debt."

"November 8th wasn't the election of a monarch," says Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky). "It was the election of the head of a third of our government."

A Tea Party Republican who decided to "get on the Trump train," Massie says that under the new president he'd like to reverse the "erosion of the legislative branch's power" that started under George W. Bush. As part of that effort, he wants to see Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) replaced as house speaker. "I'm very concerned about the combination of Donald Trump and Paul Ryan and the implications for our national debt," Massie says.

In our latest podcast, Nick Gillespie talked with Massie about the GOP's "implosion," why Massie thinks Trump has to fulfill his mandate to build a wall, whether he might run to replace Paul Ryan as house speaker, and if he thinks the new president is someone he can work with in promoting his pro-freedom agenda.

Listen to the conversation below—or better yet subscribe to our podcast at iTunes.

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  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    What a cuck!

    Did I do that right?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Yes.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Raaaaacccii...wait...

    I'm so confused!

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Rand Paul/Thomas Massie 2020!

  • Crusty Juggler||

    "Kentucky's our only hope!"

    *ponders that statement*

    *develops strong desire to drink bourbon*

    !!!It's a conspiracy!!!

  • The Fusionist||

    Kentucky's electors wouldn't be able to vote for both Rand and Massie, unless one of them moves out of Kentucky..

  • ant1sthenes||

    I've been consuming Jim Bean at well-above-average rates since Tuesday night. I think they got to me too.

  • FreeToFear||

    Makers 46 - sweet nectar of heaven

  • Holger da Dane||

    Y'all need to scrounge up a bottle of Elijah Craig 18 y.o. single barrel.

  • Slumbrew||

    I just cracked open Lock, Stock & Barrel 13 y.o. straight rye last night. Yes, it's Canadian. It's also fantastic.

  • Juvenile Bluster||

    Paul/Amash. Massie as Secretary of State.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    This would also be acceptable. I was immensely frustrated when Paul dropped out of the primary after only Iowa, as I was so looking forward to voting for him in the NH primary.

  • MarkLastname||

    Too many white men.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Yeah, they need an "exotic" looking dark woman in there somewhere; straight white progressive males demand it.

  • BYODB||

    I'd buy that for a dollar!

  • ||

    More of this please, not just on spending but on free trade as well.

  • JoblessBoss||

    Ditto. The number one downside to a Trump victory is that he is a dedicated protectionist. I'm excited as the next (white, cis-hetero, pro-capitalist) guy that Hilary lost the battle, but as libertarians we still have a very long war ahead of us

  • Noodlez||

    I live in Massie's district. The wife and I were very happy to vote for him as well as rand.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Nick Gillespie talked with Massie about the GOP's "implosion,"

    Still going with that one?

  • WTF||

    The GOP owns the Presidency, the House, the Senate, more governorships than any time in history, most of the state legislatures, and the Democratic party is a smoking wreck. Quite the GOP implosion.

  • Jerryskids||

    WTF? So you're of the opinion that winning is all that matters, that power isn't a means to an end but an end in and of itself, that the GOP has "won" simply by virtue of having all the offices rather than by impementing some sort of over-arching ideological vision? That sounds suspiciously like a leftist view of things. Or suspiciously like a Trumpalo crowing about how much winning the Trumpalos are doing before they've actually even accomplished a damn thing. For as much as I've heard the derisive dismissal of the LP with the "first you have to get elected if you want to get anything done", I can honestly say that I have accomplished every bit as much as John Boehner in moving this country in the right direction and I didn't have to get elected to a damn thing to get it done.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I can honestly say that I have accomplished every bit as much as John Boehner in moving this country in the right direction...

    In other words, nothing.

  • ant1sthenes||

    The GOP is a political organization, not a set of voters or ideas. It is absolutely winning. Whether that will help their customer base or advance any particular agenda is a separate question.

  • Patrick Boegel||

    Considering they just elected a New York hob nobbing Democrat who golfs with Bill Clinton and raised money for Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. YES!

  • MarkLastname||

    Ok, so explosion.

  • Calidissident||

    The GOP establishment certainly imploded

  • The Fusionist||

    Massie is skeptical of Trump? Who does Massie think he is, criticizing the will of the people?

    Oh, wait, I just got a memo saying Massie was elected to Congress by the people of his district.

    So confusing.

  • Holger da Dane||

  • CptNerd||

    Hitler?

  • Tommy_Grand||

    he wants to "reverse the erosion of the legislative branch's power that started under George W. Bush."

    Say what? Bush made his share of errors, but I don't know that we can blame W for that erosion. There once was a man named FDR...

    & Don't get me started on Jackson and Lincoln

  • Johnny Hit n Run Paulene||

    ^^^ So much this! Well put sir.

  • BYODB||

    The limits imposed on how many Congresscritters there can be was, in my opinion, a nail in the coffin of accountable government. Would a few thousand Congressmen have difficulty reaching an agreement on any subject?

    Yes.

    Is that by-and-large a very good thing?

    Yes.

    When your Congressman is accountable to fewer voters, your voice is more likely to be heard by the jackhole that ostensibly represents your interests.

  • ThomasD||

    The smaller the constituency the more responsive the representative.

    The House needs to be tripled in size. They can also conduct most business electronically. The less time any of them spend in DC the better for us all.

  • The Fusionist||

    "Guess where I'm posting this vote from?"

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    The ultimate in democratization and federalism and decentralization is everyone in charge of themselves. Free markets are the ultimate democracy and representational government.

  • BYODB||

    'Democracy' is tyranny of the majority, is it not?

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    Coercive government of any kind is a tyranny by the rulers over the ruled, whether that ruler is one man, a politburo, or a majority.

    Coercive government is the problem.

  • ThomasD||

    A representative is most responsive to a constituency of one.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    When your Congressman is accountable to fewer voters, your voice is more likely to be heard by the jackhole that ostensibly represents your interests.

    Not only that but it would a lot more expensive for cronies/ special interests to buy off a couple thousand congress critters than a couple hundred.

  • JoblessBoss||

    "THE men whom the people ought to choose to represent them are too busy to take the jobs. But the politician is waiting for it. He's the pestilence of modern times. What we should try to do is make politics as local as possible. Keep the politicians near enough to kick them. The villagers who met under the village tree could also hang their politicians to the tree. It's terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged today."

    ~G.K. Chesterton: Cleveland Press interview (March 1, 1921).

  • CptNerd||

    Don't forget Wilson.

  • Wizard with a Woodchipper||

    Don't just replace Ryan, Mitch McConnell needs to go. He has already announced (i.e., surrendered in advance) that he will not eliminate the filibuster rule. Seriously, what the fuck? What a fool this man is! Chuck Shumer is going to clean his clock!

  • BYODB||

    Uhh...which filibuster rule are you referring to? There are many.

  • Wizard with a Woodchipper||

  • WTF||

    I don't think McConnell actually said that. From the NYT article:

    Mr. McConnell would not tip his hand this week on how he would respond to such a Democratic approach. But he did not rule out the so-called nuclear option: changing rules via a procedural vote on the floor
  • BYODB||

    Yeah, that was my read on it as well. It sounds to me like they absolutely will do it, but they don't want to say so before they actually do it.

    Personally, I actually hope they don't do it since the filibuster is usually a good thing in my book. It helped the Republicans enormously, to gut it is to screw themselves later down the line. Since McConnell is a snake in the grass bastard, I fully expect him to take the short view.

    Then again, I also don't trust McConnell to work on actually repealing a damn thing.

  • The Fusionist||

    Experience has shown that the Democrats will scrap the filibuster when and as it suits them, when they have a majority, never mind any precedent the Republicans did or did not set.

    The Democrats already got rid of the filibuster for lower-court nominations, and they'd abolish it for the Supreme Court if they could and it was in their interest.

    So the Republicans may as well get rid of what's left of the judicial filibuster, it is in any event at the mercy of any future Dem majority.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Why don't we replace the filibuster with a legal dueling option? If people want to bring something to a vote, or prevent a vote, they can challenge each other to a duel. Elimination of one or the other representative will shift the balance sufficiently to allow voting to proceed. How about it?

  • Calidissident||

    Uh, why are we rooting for the filibuster rule to be eliminated? Did everyone just forget the last 8 years?

  • MarkLastname||

    It would be worth keeping if they ensure that the rule also can't be overturned when the Dems take over Congress in 2-6 years.

  • Homple||

    Now that one of their own will be President, Republicans remember that separation of powers thing and start looking for their balls and spines.

    Odd bunch.

  • WTF||

    They really do search for ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. They are known as "The Stupid Party" for a reason.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Now that one of their own will be President

    Am I the only who remembers the existence of the #NeverTrump Republicans? And since when is a New Deal style Democrat "one of their own?"

  • MarkLastname||

    He gots the same letter of tha alphabet after his name as dey do.

  • Tundra||

    It's a really good interview. Massie is an interesting dude. My favorite quote: "I'm not a partisan, I'm an ideologue."

  • Echo Chamber||

    I would love to see Massie 2020. Too bad the next KY gov race isn't until 2019. Maybe it's Massie 2024

    Serious question: When did the Tea Party label become a dirty word? I expect it from the left based on the whole small govt thing, but what poisoned the right on them?

  • ThomasD||

    What poisoned them on the right was first being stamped down hard by the DC elites of both parties, followed by what remained being co-opted by a cadre of scammers and self promoting charlatans.

    The animating principals remain strong, it't the brand name that has been heavily tarnished.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    When did the Tea Party label become a dirty word?

    I'd say about the time the "HANDS OFF MY MEDICARE!" signs starting appearing.

  • ThomasD||

    He is 100% correct.

    Although, had Clinton won would he be getting the same sort of attention?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    had Clinton won would he be getting the same sort of attention?

    Had Clinton won, the left would be freaking out. "How dare this dirty TEATHUGLIKKKUNT speak heresy against Her Majesty!!!!"

  • Rockabilly||

    Trump doesn't get to wear Obama's Imperial Crown?

    http://tinyurl.com/hmsjfly

  • ||

    I so hope Trump pulls the old Office of the President Elect trick like Obama did.

    That is when I knew Obama was going to be an insufferable egotist. You can't wait two months to assume office?

  • Echo Chamber||

    Second question: wasn't it members of Massie's caucus who gave Boehner the boot in favor of Ryan?
    Now it's Ryan's turn to get the boot? I haven't been following this inside baseball stuff that closely

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Yeah, wasn't Ryan part of the Tea Party generation?

    What the hell happened to him?

  • Tom Bombadil||

    I just had a great conspiracy theory.

    I haven't been able to figure out how Ryan went over to the dark side. He just looks so damn uncomfortable in his actions and words now.

    I think someone has some serious dirt on him.

  • MarkLastname||

    Something Lord Acton said comes to mind.

  • JayWye||

    he got corrupted by power and perks,and sweetheart deals. turned RINO.

  • Jake Stone||

    Would be nice of 50% of the damn country would realize this as well. Instead they are wailing and gnashing their teeth and rending their garments in the ethereal passion of thrall to their Gods (i.e. government).

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    I just saw a new proggie meme -- the Republicans went with Trump only to ride his coattails into power, and will soon impeach him.

    Man I thought they were delusional before, but to grasp at straws like this instead of admitting that Hillary's corrupt entitlement cost them the election .... geez, this is fun!

  • chemjeff||

    "I just saw a new proggie meme -- the Republicans went with Trump only to ride his coattails into power, and will soon impeach him."

    That's not really a "proggie meme", that's more of a #NeverTrumper meme.

    And that type of argument was (dishonestly) put forth by the Trump partisans in order to persuade disgusted right-of-center voters to vote for Trump. "Just vote for him to block Hillary, and you can always get rid of him later!" Yeah right. No president has ever been impeached, or even come close, from a Congress controlled by the same political party.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    Maybe. I never heard of it until a proggie facebook "friend" shared a proggie exposition of it.

  • ||

    Really? Do they think President Pence sounds like a better idea? Even some of the Trump voters I know worry about Pence, and some of my Hillary-voting friends admit he's a lot more of a concern than Trump.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    These were proggies. They aren't capable of thinking through the consequences of anything.

  • MarkLastname||

    I think the assumption is that Pence lends himself to being controlled more than Trump. Pence would do what he's told. Trump, on the other hand, will need to be flattered into complacency to get a leash around him, and even then he's not house-broken.

  • Jake Stone||

    It will be ANYTHING other than admit it's their own fault. Have you been seeing the response from lefties since Tuesday? This should be a time for discussion, inward thinking, and introspection for the left. Instead, they are blaming:

    - Women
    - White women
    - Sexism
    - Racism (it's a response to Obama (?))
    - Xenophobia

    Did I miss one? I lose track of my -isms and -phobias. Anyway, it's obvious they are dumb dumb people since instead of examining why they were stunned before the Coronation could happen, they are screeching the same old worn out tired falsehoods that got us here in the first place.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    Yes, everyone's fault but theirs for choosing Hillary.

  • JoblessBoss||

    Don't forget third party voters!

  • Sevo||

    "I just saw a new proggie meme -- the Republicans went with Trump only to ride his coattails into power, and will soon impeach him."

    Well, there were quite a few on the other side (some here) who claimed Trump was a proggie plant to get the hag elected.
    (Didn't work, you'll notice)

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    I saw those, and they seemed plausible compared to some of the really nutso ones. The most plausible, to me, was that he had started his campaign as a lark, a joke, a way to get attention, and found himself caught up in it when it succeeded more than expected, and his more and more outrageous statements were attempts at losing. I never quite believed it, but sometimes it sure seemed more realistic than reality.

  • Slumbrew||

    Yeah, that seems entirely plausible. "Wha? We're doing OK? Fuck it, let's keep going"

  • Michael Hihn||

    I hate to confuse all the fascist retards here, but ALL the anti-Trump Senate candidates got more votes in their state than he did, That doesn't mean impeachment, but your masturbatory fantasies of a police state won't pass the Senate. SO sorry.

    For history illiterates, it was a GOP Senate which killed Reagan's Grace Commission budget cuts (over $10 trillion by now), and his New Federalism. The establishment is still in power ... UNLESS Ron Paul waves his arms and whines a lot.

    And 91% of libertarians are still laugh at the goobers of Libertarianism 3.0. (Cato survey)

  • SQWRLZ: Deplorable Woodchipper||

    With Pence as former governor of my state, proggies should do all they can to keep Trump from being impeached and eating his broccoli, I can tell you.

  • Johnny Hit n Run Paulene||

    Sounds like Massie is afraid of Yuge Government. A little late, mein froind.

  • dan'o en barrel||

    Two results of a Trump presidency that I think we can look forward to:

    1. Democrats will start to talk about executive over-reach again.
    2. The press will again become an institution for govt transparency

  • Suicidy||

    1. And nay other way they can attack Trump.
    2. Only as it relates to attacking Trump. Any progtardedness will still be protected.

  • simplybe||

    If he is truly concerned why not introduce a bill for term limits. He probably just talking for cameras

  • Deep Lurker||

    Congress doesn't need to retake power from the President; Congress needs to retake power from the unelected executive branch bureaucracy. It needs to sharply curb the power of various agencies to make regulations having the force of law. But I'm not optimistic; Congress is in a strange place where it does not want to take power back. It would rather pass vague, feel-good laws and leave it to the bureaucracy to do the hard work of (and take the heat for) giving concrete effect to those laws.

  • JayWye||

    the President doesn't have any more excess power than what Congress ALLOWS him to take. When they don't exercise their powers,it lets POTUS use Executive Orders and "czars" to get what he wants. The JCPOA is a perfect example. it's NOT a treaty,and it allows Iran to violate the real treaty,the NPT. And there's all sorts of secret "side deals" that nobody knows much about. But Congress allowed him to make the "deal". And worse,they allowed him to send all that cash secretly to Iran. They even allowed him to "ease" the sanctions just to get Iran to "negotiate".

    But they should have impeached Comrade Obama after Fast and Furious. Or the IRS business.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    "November 8th wasn't the election of a monarch," says Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky). "It was the election of the head of a third of our government."

    ...

    "I'm very concerned about the combination of Donald Trump and Paul Ryan and the implications for our national debt," Massie says.

    He's not wrong. About either one. Although it's not clear how exactly he would be able reverse the trend of greater executive authority/ power under Trump. The Donald doesn't strike me as the type of person who would willingly limit his own power.

    Of course, it should go without saying at this point that Hillary is definitely not the sort who would limit herself either.

  • Michael Hihn||

    The Donald doesn't strike me as the type of person who would willingly limit his own power.

    Oh really? Because he ran on EXPANDING Presidential power? Might that tell us anything? Just a tad?

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Oh really? Because he ran on EXPANDING Presidential power? Might that tell us anything? Just a tad?

    It tells you about as much as when Trump brags that he has a big dick; it seems pretty unlikely.

    That is, Trump has no political experience, no legal training, and few allies. How exactly do you think he is going to pull that off?

  • Michael Hihn||

    How exactly do you think he is going to pull that off?

    How exactly did you form such a bizarre conclusion on what BOTH of us said?

  • Patrick Boegel||

    Mandates, executive orders, etc and then he says he is not a King?

    Conceptually, anyone who is even remotely fiscally responsible understands that building a wall is totally insane. Further anyone who even remotely values the constitution also knows that building a wall is totally insane.

    But, by all means, mandate to your wall.

    This will be the shortest Republican revolution since the last 2 year Republican revolution.

    The first side that embraces reality wins. Or perhaps better said of the roughly 120MM - 130MM people who seem to vote in presidential elections, the first side to slightly change their stripes will garner the roughly 6.5-8.0MM folks who seem to slide every 4 years in one direction.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Yet another dumbass Tea Partier. Trump ran on EXPANDING Presidential power. Goober assumes the exact opposite, Gillespie fawns over him.

    Johnson would have won with a PLATFORM, but that would violate the diktates of anti-gummint goobers ... so the real news is the total rejection of anti-gummint libertarianism and Gillespie's delusional libertarian moment. But the cult still insists on being manipulated. Like the Birthers they emulate.

    ALMOST as insane as Rand Paul thinking he could expand his dad's wacky coalition of anti-constitutional bigots by combining ... wait for it ... BERKELEY LIBERALS AND HOMOPHOBIC TENT REVIVALS!!!!

    The entire world has become a Monty Python sketch.

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