Sunday, January 8, 2017

A modest proposal to solve two big problems

Let's face it.    Republicans now have control of the White House and both houses of congress, and could also soon have control of the Supreme Court.   But the truth is, they're in the position of the dog having finally caught the bicycle it's been chasing -- they don't know how to run the damn thing.    And, more than that even, their ideas are totally out of touch with the American people.   On top of that, we have a president who knows nothing about governing.   This seems like a formula for chaos -- or an opportunity for Democrats to take advantage of.

So here's a modest proposal for slicing through that chaos and getting things going -- our way.   There are two parts to my proposal:

1.  Republicans have painted themselves into the proverbial corner by taking as their slogan "Repeal Obamacare."    But they have nothing to replace it with that would work half as well, and some of them know it.   So they wind up either failing on their defining issue -- or else doing serious damage to 20 million peoples' lives and to their own political future.

Solution:  Don't change Obamacare;   just say you did -- i.e., leave the program in place but change it's name and claim that you "repealed Obamacare."   Maybe even make a few small improvements, which the Democrats could go along with.   President Obama said almost as much in an interview this week:   he doesn't care what you call it;   just don't mess it up, for the good of the people.   People will eventually know the truth.

2.  Mitch McConnell looked ridiculous, being all peeved about the prospect that Democrats would block the Republican nominee to fill the Supreme Court seat that they stole from the Democrats.   Mitch said "the American people won't stand for it."

But they did -- when McConnell refused to let Obama's nominee even be considered.   So why not again?   Let's make them own that they did the same thing -- and then offer this compromise.   Because to leave the seat open would hurt the court and the people, badly.

Solution:  Convince President Trump to re-nominate Judge Merrick Garland.   After all, Obama did the honorable thing, in the last year of his presidency, by choosing a highly qualified, mainstream judge who should have been acceptable to the Republicans, if they weren't playing politics.   They wouldn't get any Democratic opposition.  And, since Garland has already prepared for the confirmation hearings, it should sail through in record time.   Then SCOTUS can start functioning fully again.

Yes, you say, but these are gimicky.   Shouldn't we force the Republicans to eat a couple of plates of crow before we let them off the hook?    I'd love to see that, but we have to face the fact that we could use the power of obstruction, but that makes us as bad as they were.    Do we want to win or to preserve health care and have a functioning SCOTUS?   Seems to me the combination of these two solutions is a good compromise -- each side gives up something and gets something.   It could be a good start on working together.    Trump might just go for it.


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