Broken parties in Washington?

From our Gastonia, NC Correspondent

And now, only a month or so behind schedule, the Republican health care plan is ready to come to a vote … or is it?  With more than a dozen recalcitrant Republicans refusing to join the rank and file to move the GOP plan forward, President Donald Trump is facing a huge challenge early in his reign.

What a shift in the way the parties behave!  When President Barack Obama moved to get his health care bill passed, the problem was within the Democratic Party.  The usual lovable bunch of fractious ultra-liberals wouldn’t play nice with the compromise plan that Obama ended up introducing, and it was more their action than the lockstep refusal of the Republicans to play along that endangered the plan.

Part of the current problem is the man at the top of the totem pole.  With an oval office inhabitant who seems to drunk-tweet the nation in the wee hours (even though he doesn’t drink) making accusations of wiretaps, attacking corporations and generally giving the voices in his head free rein, it’s tough to throw one’s political future behind him.  When the commander in chief holds meetings with world leaders like Angela Merkel, which turn into festivals of awkwardness and off-the-cuff slams of the previous administration, it’s hard to base one’s future political success on his charisma.

Another part, and this is true of both parties, is that they’re not truly single parties anymore. Within the GOP, you’ve got the tea party, the centrists, the protectionists, the Log Cabin Republicans and a host of other factions, discussion groups and beer pong leagues (one sincerely hopes) that all have their own agendas.  They are beholden not just to their groups, but to the constituents in their gerrymandered districts back home who expect them to toe the line … whatever line that might be.

Speaker Ryan, you have my sympathies.

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