Congressional Republicans, who craved unified control of the government to secure their aggressive conservative agenda, have instead found themselves on a legislative elliptical trainer, gliding toward nowhere.Some of this is because Republicans believed their own worse-than-Hitler hyperbole about Obamacare and were blindsided by the fact that some people actually like the program and are angry about repeal plans. Some is because Republicans never realized that it would be ridiculously easy for Democrats to reverse-engineer GOP obstructionist tactics, for which Republicans, of course, paid no political price.
After moving to start rolling back the Affordable Care Act just days after President Trump was sworn in last month, Republican lawmakers and Mr. Trump have yet to deliver on any of the sweeping legislation they promised. Efforts to come up with a replacement for the health care law have been stymied by disagreements among Republicans about how to proceed. The same is true for a proposed overhaul of the tax code.
The large infrastructure bill that both Democrats and Mr. Trump were eager to pursue has barely been mentioned, other than a very general hearing to discuss well-documented needs for infrastructure improvements. Even a simple emergency spending bill that the Trump administration promised weeks ago — which was expected to include a proposal for his wall on the Mexican border — has not materialized, leaving appropriators idle and checking Twitter.
But the big problem for congressional Republicans seems to be that they're still waiting for the unsupervised, sugar-rushing, ADHD third graders who now make up the executive branch to settle down and do some serious work:
... The inactivity stems from a lack of clear policy guidance — and, just as often, contradictory messages — from the Trump administration, which does not appear to have spent the campaign and transition periods forming a legislative wish list....Just write the bills, you idiots. Do you seriously think this administration remembers its own pronouncements from one day to the next, however angrily delivered they may be? Do you think the president remembers?
Congressional Republicans seem wary of offering their own bills, lest Mr. Trump or one of his aides, who have largely been distracted by personnel and intelligence scandals, undercut their efforts. This was most visible when Mr. Trump demanded that Republicans come up with a replacement plan for a health care law they had hoped to simply repeal, sending members flailing. The administration also gave conflicting messages on a tax plan embraced by House Republicans that would apply the corporate tax rate to all imports while exempting exports.
“On our side, it’s pretty clear who drives policy,” said a Republican aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid being written about by Mr. Trump on Twitter. “But take any issue and try to figure that out from their side.”
If you're really afraid that you can't proceed on legislation without first having it carefully crafted by the White House, then you're going to be waiting a long time. The only work being done in this White House that's even vaguely along those lines seems to be the crafting of executive orders that are more like manifestos from a radical group that's actually one foul-smelling sociopath in a cabin in Montana.
Well, congressional Republicans, you bought this ticket, so take the ride. You thought Trump would govern like a normal person. You thought he really meant it when he said he'd surround himself with "the best people." You thought he'd "grow in office." Welcome to a hell of your own making.