If you are a Democrat, you’re probably fuming over the latest Republican effort to strike down the Affordable Care Act, the signature accomplishment of President Barack Obama. Of course, you already had plenty to dislike in President Donald Trump: from his relentless taunting of your defeated candidate to his travel bans, to his persistent talk of a wall with Mexico, to his racially charged statements, to his jousting with North Korea, to his slams on professional athletes … I won’t go further because I don’t have all day, and you probably have your own list taped to the refrigerator.
But do you know who might be even angrier? Republicans. Think about how long they waited for this magical convergence in which their party controls the White House, both chambers of Congress, more legislatures and more governorships than the Dems. If they’d coalesced in a disciplined manner back in January, they would have been virtually unstoppable. Any programs they did not like from the Obama years could have been rolled up and tossed like cheap rugs. They could have rewritten tax laws, immigration policies and trade deals, pushing a freight train of reforms toward the president’s eager pen.
Even against the court challenges that would have followed, they could have substantially changed the playbook for this country.
But have they passed any major legislation? Nope. Have they presented a unified front on major issues? Um … no. And for eight years of preparation and all their swings at Obamacare, they’ve been like a hapless 6-year-old who can’t even get a hit in tee-ball.
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Sure, they have seated a Supreme Court justice, and that is no small thing. But the president has often overshadowed their modest gains with torrents of headline-grabbing tweets, barrages of unexpected and unproven claims and his scorched-earth war on the media – leaving some of his staunch allies sputtering for explanations.
In simple terms, the first year of this overarchingly Republican government is already, rapidly winding down, and for all the sweeping changes they promised to their supporters, they have precious little to show. And unless they find a way to fix that situation soon, they may find even loyalists questioning just what they are being loyal to.