Politics, Moderate



'Reasonable' Republicans are betraying us, too

Catherine Rampell on

President Trump clearly has no clue what's happening on health care, taxes or really any other major policy front. He has also made abundantly clear that he has no interest in getting up to speed.

Unfortunately, Trump's unseriousness has become so grotesque, so all-consuming, that it has distracted us from dozens of other dilettantes and demagogues in Washington -- far too many of them other members of Trump's own political party.

Trump may be a toddler, we keep telling ourselves, but at least some (comparative) grown-ups on Capitol Hill are thinking things through. Maybe we don't agree with them all the time; maybe they have a different vision for the role of government than many of us do. Still, at least a few thoughtful, moderate, principled, solutions-oriented people in the legislature are working to offset the White House's abdication of policy leadership.

The flaming turd that is Cassidy-Graham should disabuse us all of that notion.

What's been threatening the health-care coverage of tens of millions of Americans isn't Trump. It's the entire Republican Party.

This garbage bill, currently looking dead but with a few days left to revive itself, should teach us two things: Republicans don't care about process, and they don't care about policy. You could be forgiven for also concluding, as they've increasingly suggested this week, that they don't care about regular Americans, either.

For years we've been told that the original sin of the Affordable Care Act was that it was procedurally flawed. It was passed in the dead of night, constructed in smoke-filled backrooms and only passed thanks to partisan budget gimmicks.

These critiques were mostly nonsense, of course.

Obamacare went through a painfully slow, yearlong process. It was considered at lots and lots of hearings. It received multiple assessments from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and attracted a supermajority of Senate votes.

Contrary to popular misconception, the bill was not even passed using the budget reconciliation process.


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