If the GOP can’t work with themselves, maybe they’ll work with Dems

Published 8:50 am Thursday, July 20, 2017

Republicans in Washington have once again dropped the ball on healthcare.
From here, it appears that divisions between extreme right wing Republicans and middle of the road Republicans will not allow for the passage of any repeal of Obamacare or any replacement or improvement.
In addition, I understand many Republican governors like many aspects of Obamacare—including treatment for drug addiction and expanded Medicaid services and so they, too, are pushing against the radicals in their own party.
For that matter, the president, Donald Trump, said in February of last year that his healthcare plan would not allow people to “die in the streets.”
He said this in response to Ted Cruz, who of course is our senator and also one of the more rightwing in the Republican party.
Cruz is also one of the senators pushing for big cuts in Obamacare and tax cuts for the wealthy—which would mean less coverage for poor people. But this past June, Trump called the House’s version of a replacement bill that did much of the things Cruz wanted “mean.”
In other words, it seems plain to me that the president wants a less costly healthcare system and he would like people who need coverage to get coverage.
Say what you will of the president’s other initiatives, but this one seems reasonable. To be clear, Trump’s Twitter statements and debate statements and so on are not fully fleshed policy. Trump offers no details—and no defense—of any healthcare plan. But, at least, he seems to want something that takes care of people.
And this is something most Democrats say they want, too.
So far, the Republicans have crafted these bills behind closed doors, offering no public hearings and requesting no Democratic input. So, it’s not a surprise the GOP gets no Democratic support when it came time to vote.
But, then, even members of the GOP won’t support their own bill.
I have written before on the need for bipartisan cooperation. One may not rule by fiat if one does not have absolute control and, despite having the White House, the Senate and the House, the GOP still, mysteriously, lacks the absolute authority to pass anything.
Next year will see congressional and senate races. Sen. Cruz is up for re-election as well as Rep. Randy Weber, and while I understand the former is seeking another term, I have not heard whether the latter will seek another go.
No matter who is running, it is important to pay attention to the language, this time around.
Weber, in a tweet, compared President Obama to Adolph Hitler. In addition, during the 2012 State of the Union, he tweeted that Obama was the “Kommandant-In-Chef” [sic] and a “Socialist dictator.”
Assuming Weber is not as ignorant as the tweets suggest (though if he cannot spell “chief,” then who knows) they nevertheless suggest a man who will not work with the target of those tweets. Indeed, if one believes one’s opponent is Hitler, why should you work with him? Hitler was evil.
It’s one thing for a radio personality or a cartoonist to call Obama a Communist or Hitler or whatever. Pundits don’t matter. They seek ratings and attention—not the passage of legislation.
Legislators, however, do matter. When we elect men and women who vow to never work with a president or another party, we set our selves up for a legislative session ruled by incompetence rather than reason. And so we find ourselves with a single party, unable to agree to anything and unwilling to work with Democrats.
Inter-party gridlock is one thing, but when the party in control can’t accomplish anything—that’s award-winning idiocy.
If our representatives won’t work with Democrats or other Republicans then at long last, it’s time to elect people who will.
Jesse Wright is editor of the Port Arthur News. He can be reached at jesse.wright@panews.com

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