Friday, March 24, 2017

Republican Defeat? Don't Be So Sure

Republican Defeat? Don’t Be So Sure
P. Schultz

            The headline in Politico: “Republicans Yank Obamacare Repeal Bill: It’s a Staggering Set Back for President Trump and Speaker Ryan.”

            Well, maybe so or maybe not. Certainly it is setback for Trump but whether it’s a setback for Ryan and the Republicans remains to be seen and depends on what the Republicans wanted to achieve. If, for example, they wanted to perpetuate the status quo and to corral Trump, who has a tendency to think that he dictates what is going to happen, then this eventuality is anything but a setback for them.

            While is commonly thought that political parties are most interested in putting forward an agenda and then enacting it, because they are convinced that that agenda is in the public interest, it is just as commonly overlooked that our politicians are most interested in staying in power, which means very often perpetuating the status quo. Ask yourself: What interest did Republican members of the House of Representatives have in voting for the Trump supported Obamacare replacement legislation when they couldn’t even be sure that it would pass the Senate? Hence, they were put in the position of voting for a replacement that seemed anything but an improvement on Obamacare and which was and would cause them quite a bit of constituency dissatisfaction, when they could not be assured that their votes would be ratified by the Senate. So, they would put themselves on the line, put their offices on the line, only to be left swinging in the breeze by the Senate.  This is not a scenario that self-interested politicians embrace, whatever their “principles.”

            And they are no worse off for having opposed the Trump supported legislation. The only one worse off is, I am happy to say, the president. And it looks like Trump is going to have his hands full, to say the least, in successfully navigating or “dealing” with the political waters in D.C. 

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