Today President Trump blamed the right wing of his party for the defeat of the American Health Care Act. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus suggested the administration might try forming a coalition with moderate Democrats to further the President’s agenda.
Could it be? A swing to the moderate center? I could get behind that.
I have suggested, even before Trump’s nomination, that the Republican Party’s only chance to save face and preserve influence was to jettison the far right and collaborate with centrist Democrats and Independents. It would cost them hegemony but win them respectability. I hope and pray this is what we see happening today.
These are the next steps forward I see for the Democratic Party:
- Confirm Gorsuch: If I ever find myself in trouble, I could only hope to stand before a judge so thoughtful and reasonable. By confirming his nomination to the Supreme Court, the Dems can show themselves reasonable, workable and grown-up. I think it is more destructive to discredit the nomination process than it is to empanel a conservative bench. There is much more to be gained through collaboration, cooperation and compromise than through obstruction.
- Fix Obamacare: The ACA survives, but it is still certainly flawed. Perhaps now, after seven years, the Republicans will be ready to collaborate on improvements and correctives to achieve our common goals. Rework the subsidy / penalty scheme to be more equitable; adjust coverage limits to maybe reduce premiums a little; liberalize the insurance industry a little to increase competition. Nothing prevents you.
- Attack the Cost of Health Care: The whole ACA defense has been a colossal feint to deflect attention from the root issue: the unsustainable cost of health care itself. If all automobiles cost $300,000, no scheme of subsidies and rebates would magically produce the wealth to enable every American to drive such a car. As long as health care costs 18% of GDP, no redistribution scheme can make it affordable! What are the root sources of this crazy-high cost? I can only spot a few of them; I’ll write about it elsewhere. This is the bogeyman that, if left unchallenged, is going to wreak the final havoc.
- Participate in tax reform: There will be no better chance to influence this administration for the good.
Republicans: Take the bitter pill of your own self-destruction; you’ll come back better than ever in a few years.
Democrats: Cooperate and compromise in good faith with your adversaries. Do the most good for the most Americans.