Op-Ed: Republicans display lack of internal cohesion after healthcare defeat

By Nick Riebel || Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of abcnews.com

It’s pretty clear that, in addition to being corrupt, the Republican majority in Congress, under Trump’s and Paul Ryan’s leadership, is also quite incompetent. I think it is important to note that the Republicans not only control the presidency, the Senate, the House, and (possibly soon) the Supreme Court, but they also control most governor’s mansions and state legislatures as well. This is the strongest, politically, the Republicans have been in a long time. Aside from perhaps gaining a few senate seats in red states in the 2018 midterms, they are unlikely to grow any stronger, particularly as demographic trends push America in a progressive direction politically, socially, economically, and culturally. So, this is their greatest opportunity to pass their agenda through, as they cannot assume they will get another like chance like this in at least the near-term future. Yet, on this day (Thursday, March 23rd), Republicans failed to even bring up their health care bill for a vote in the House. What can we conclude from this, other than that they are incapable of governing, and thus unfit for leading our nation?

We have to remember that the Republican party was the “opposition party” all throughout President Obama’s term, and was largely ineffective at passing their agenda due to only having partial control over government, absent the times the Democrats would cowardly back down, desperate to be the adults in the room as they hemorrhaged seats in the Congress and in state legislatures across the nation as they attempted this brilliant strategy. Yet, President Obama and our country were fortunate, in that the Republican caucus was not unified enough to even present a cohesive minority that could effectively be compromised with. This is because if Obama compromised more, in his desperation to be a “bipartisan” and “moderate” president, we would have seen our national budgets even more influenced by extreme conservatism, and right-wing philosophy, which would have done even greater damage to our nation. As the Republicans did not have to be overly concerned with governing, it mattered little that Democrats were too over-eager in their zeal to compromise— the Grand Old Party could afford to be irresponsible, as they only controlled at most Congress, and seemed unlikely to control the White House given the nomination of Trump.

Yet, the unthinkable happened, and Trump was elected, Republicans kept control of Congress, and they now have no excuses, on a purely partisan basis, of being unable to pass their legislative priorities. They can claim that they cannot control the factions within them, but if a party controls the government, they ought to be able to control it, or they should concede control to a party or group which can. I disagree strongly with the Republicans on almost every issue, but I am genuinely worried if, even when they have complete control of the legislative and executive branches, they are still too divided to accomplish the repeal and replace of Obamacare, something they have had since 2010 to plan.

There is also the fact that the Congressional Republicans have, for the most part, bent over backwards to support their president, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that Donald Trump does not deserve to be defended. When there are legitimate concerns over whether our president is a foreign agent for a nation adversarial, even hostile, to us, one would think that an independent investigation, at the very least, would be in order. Yet, Republicans seem more concerned to persecute the patriots who are revealing our president’s alleged duplicity to the American people.

Fellow progressives, liberals, and left-wingers— just because the Republicans are disorganized doesn’t mean we have to be. Let us stop their agenda until the midterms, which we will work together to win. The alternative is to concede our future to those who are too incompetent to pass their own legislation, and those too corrupt to care about good governance.

Let’s work together to elect a Congress, and governors and state legislatures, and all manner of elected officials, to stand up to Trump. We cannot trust him and his Republican cronies to look out for us.

After all, why should we trust a leader under FBI investigation?

Senior Nick Riebel is a staff writer. His email is nriebel@fandm.edu.

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