The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, September 07, 2017


The last time I checked, the GOP has a majority in both the House and the Senate. And yet, they are caught up in intra-party fights in which a band of ideological conservatives have jettisoned pragmatism and compromise for what they claim is "principle." So called GOP moderates and the leaders of the Congress combine an inability to lead with a passive aggressive #NeverTrump resistance of a GOP president they dislike. The result is as simple as it is frustrating. Nothing gets accomplished.

On the Democrat side, #Resistance rules the day. The Dems are unified in their hatred of Trump and will do everything possible to impede and obstruct anything that might give him a victory.

And yet, Trump somehow achieves small victories. In an impressive political move, he has aligned with the Democrats to extend the debt limit briefly and get aid into Houston (and soon) Florida. He has sent a message to an intransigent GOP leadership that he can and will move forward without them. And maybe, just maybe, that's exactly the message that is needed.

The editors of the Wall Street Journal comment:
Part of the problem is that Congressional Republicans once again helped put themselves in this box. Congress can’t let the U.S. default on its debt, so the majority party has to raise the debt ceiling whether it likes it or not. The smart GOP play was to attach a long-term debt increase to some other must-pass legislation and get it over with. One and done.

In familiar self-defeating fashion, the usual House suspects refused, insisting that the debt ceiling get a stand-alone vote. House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows and Republican Study Committee leader Mark Walker also claim to be miffed that the debt-limit increase won’t include spending cuts.

Yet most of these same Members won’t vote to raise the borrowing limit no matter what they’re offered. They find the actual work of governance beneath their dignity. Their mutiny means that Mr. Ryan lacked a GOP majority to raise the debt ceiling, which meant he had to go hat in hand to Mrs. Pelosi for Democratic votes. She and Mr. Schumer came up with their three-month gambit, which Mr. Ryan immediately labeled “ridiculous” and “unworkable,” only to be sandbagged by Mr. Trump.

This may all sound like inside baseball, but it’s politically relevant because it illustrates the Republican inability to govern. The Senate killed health-care reform. The House can’t pass a budget resolution that is essential for tax reform. Mr. Trump is sore that Republican leaders failed on health care, so he now undermines their fiscal strategy and all but hands the gavels to Democrats. Readers might take note and hold off on spending that tax cut.
The Democrats continue to be fiscally irresponsible, but that's their reality. The Republicans continue to be doctrinaire "conservatives" who can't get out of their own way, and that's their reality.

Here the reality—the United States needs a fiscally responsible budget with reduced spending in many areas, better healthcare that won't bankrupt the taxpayer, meaningful tax reform, a reconstructed infrastructure, and immigration reform. If the GOP can't lead in getting these things done, then they should get out of the way.