Howard Kurtz was on the right track when he wrote that Republicans shouldn’t be surprised that President Donald Trump cut a deal with Congress’ Progressive-Democratic Party* leadership regarding our debt ceiling and financial aid for Harvey and Irma victims.
However, Kurtz’ laying the blame on House Speaker Paul Ryan (R, WI) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, KY) is misplaced, though. Ryan did get one Obamacare compromise repeal passed in the House. McConnell did get 49 out of his 52 Senators to vote for that bill. It’s the rank and file—the party as a whole—who are failing their duty.
The question of whether the Trump deal is good or bad in its own right also is irrelevant.
Trump has been saying since the Republicans collectively chose the first time to perpetuate Obamacare rather than pass a compromise, however flawed but that would have been an important first step toward remove and replace that he would have to work with the other party.
Since that initial failure, since that initial betrayal of each Congressman’s home district constituents (and yes, that includes Senators, whose home district is statewide) and of their not-too-distant secondary constituents, all of us Americans, those Republicans have continued to choose to inflict Obamacare on us rather than pass successive efforts at compromise toward remove and replace. They have quibbled with each other over budgets, spending, and on and on, rather than passing Conservative budgets, spending bills, and on and on. In the Senate, the Republicans won’t even take action on a House-passed bill that would rescind a destructive CFPB regulation.
Republicans still have no plan for removing and replacing Obamacare. They still have no plan for reforming our mendaciously byzantine tax code. In fact, here, they’re behaving even more shamefully: instead of acting on their own initiative, they’re meekly pleading for Trump’s tax reform plan details.
Since the Republicans in Congress have chosen not to act for the good of their constituents—either set of them—instead preferring to engage in the personal ego boost of virtue signaling, or preferring to wait to be told what to do, Trump had to act on his threat.
No, his deal with the Progressive-Democrats is no surprise. Who else is he going to work with, since the Republicans won’t work?
*My term, not Kurtz’, which I use because there’s no daylight between today’s “Democrats” and the Progressive beginnings of Herb Croly, TRoosevelt, Woodrow Wilson. Even today’s party bigwigs brag about being Progressives.