Hey, no fair! Governing is hard!

March 14th, 2017 at 10:19 am

First, over at WaPo, check out my latest summary of the CBO score of the Republican’s just downright nasty, greedy “health care plan.”

Next, I agreed with David Leonhardt’s useful bit of history here, wherein he deconstructs the corner into which Republicans have painted themselves:

How did the party’s leaders put themselves in this position? The short answer is that they began believing their own hype and set out to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.

I agree, but I also think there’s something more prosaic going on here, and that is that it’s just way easier not to govern. That’s especially the case with health care, of which the politics are just wholly unforgiving.

Given today’s political dynamics, it is so much easier to be in permanent campaign mode, stoking your base, throwing endless spitballs at the folks trying to legislate. Moreover, these are precisely the things contemporary Republicans are good at: endless spin, endless shade throwing, fact-free opposition research, and very effectively–much more so than Democrats–applying those tools to getting elected.

You see the problem, however. Once you get so good at these techniques that the voters you’ve hoodwinked put you in power, you have to govern. That requires policy chops, real facts, and political compromise, all of which go in exactly the opposite direction of what got you into power in the first place.

I’m not sure where this ends, but my hope is that enough people in the electorate eventually decide they’ve had enough of the blatant contradictions to which they’re being subjected, e.g., “we’re going to give you an awesome health care plan that provides everyone with better, cheaper coverage” or for that matter, pretty much any other campaign pledge other than cutting taxes for the wealthy.

But until then, we will continue to be subjected to governance by those who are masters of the campaign but have no idea what to do when they win.



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7 comments in reply to "Hey, no fair! Governing is hard!"

  1. David Snyder says:

    Nailed it. May our lovely nation survive this rapiñe debacle.

  2. Smith says:

    The Democrats are just as hypocritical, or more so, than Republicans. That is not to say the Democrats are as bad as the Republicans. But the bar has been set so low, and the Democrats do not trouble themselves to exert an ounce more of incumbent vulnerability than necessary.
    Hypocrisy Reps, freedom to go without healthcare (poor), freedom to pay more (older), freedom to escape sharing costs (young and healthy), freedom from wealthy helping less fortunate (surcharge tax aids poor).
    Hypocrisy Dems, passing the Republican plan, Romneycare and then owning it, no plan for universal coverage, never ran a single campaign defending Obamacare (2010, 2012, 2014, 2016). Democrats all but conceded the issue to Republicans, admitting they couldn’t win running a campaign on that issue (except in the primary).
    When did Clinton say (in the general election), if you want to keep Obamacare, vote for me, if you want to repeal it, vote for my opponent? When? Which ad in what battleground state showed what would happen? (I don’t live in a battleground, so let me know, youtube replay or otherwise).

    • Gravymeister says:

      We are all hypocrites on occasion. FIFY.

      • Smith says:

        No. Saying we are all on occasion is a disservice to this debate, and a harmful distraction.
        Who are the biggest hypocrites? At least the Republicans come right out and say, we are for the wealthy, the corporations, the defense industry, the polluters, the health insurance companies, and capitalists.
        The Democrats on the other hand just pretend to be for the worker. They do just enough to get reelected. They only care about votes, not people. There are a few Senators (including red Ohio), and governors of California, and New York, who are the sons of governors of California and New York, but even they (excepting Ohio) can thank the blueness of their constituency for the ability to act (or in New York, force the action).
        The biggest hypocrisy is Democrats acting like everything was great, and a 3% lead in the polls was safe. How do you lose to Trump, a gift from the political gods? Run a continuity campaign in a change year (repeat 2008 mistake in 2012), run by ignoring angry rust belt white voters ( make the same mistake that almost cost you the nomination). How stupid do you have to be to lose to Trump?

  3. William Miller says:

    The Trump/GOP AHCA is a cruel unfair greedy redistribution of wealth to the rich and a death sentence to many poor and elderly Americans so that a) the rich will get higher after-tax incomes, and b) the poor and elderly will not be to afford insurance. According to the CBO – under the ACA a person aged 64 making $26K pays $1700 but under the AHCA the rate would go up to $14,600 and under AHCA about 14 million in 2018 and 24 million by 2016 will lose coverage that would have been affordable as coverage under the ACA. So under the AHCA, MILLIONS of Americans will prematurely suffer and die.

    Only a single payer system will fix the healthcare problem in the US that is caused by the theft of American wealth by plutocrats implemented by agents of the plutocrats like Ryan. In 2013, the US spent about two and half times on healthcare per person compared to what European countries spent because a single payer system permitted negotiated prices from providers similar to how Medicare operates in the US. And the single payer systems delivered better care.

    But how did Trump get elected and how did the GOP get a Congressional majority? Trump and the other GOP billionaire plutocrats are controlling the political agenda and the myopic press to never talk about their strategy, plan and history of controlling federal, state and local politics to move most of America’s wealth to themselves that has been playing out for decades. The public will continue to be conned by Trump and the GOP until the press describes the history of plutocracy in America. Trump is part of group of billionaire GOP plutocrats who for decades now have been gradually destroying democracy and moving all income and wealth to a group of 400 billionaires who own more than 61% of the wealth in America. To get political power these plutocrats have used brainwashing tactics such as putting Alt-right white male supremacist, xenophobic, misogynist extreme ideology into “churches” and “faith groups” they fund and control to preach a fake version of a religion (a fake version of Christianity) just like ISIS has done with a fake version of Islam. Trump’s hidden agenda in foreign policy is partnering with Russia to implement Globalocracy – a plutocracy that rules the world. To Putin, Trump says you can take back all of Eastern Europe in trade for granting $ billions to my businesses.

    The common link in tactics between terrorists such as ISIS and the GOP is false faith based propaganda based on suppression of free speech and other freedoms, promotion of hate, fear and intimidation, and destruction of democracy to promote interests of a small group – the billionaire plutocrats. If you search (ISIS, Alt-right) on Amazon Books, you’ll find what’s been researched and written linking the terrorist methods of ISIS to the methods used by billionaire GOP plutocrats like Trump (and Bannon in the WH) who combine extreme right wing politics of fear, lying and hate with a distorted version of a religion to manipulate the media, deceive the public, and gain power and wealth.

  4. Nick Batzdorf says:

    The story isn’t that the CBO score shows how absurd Txxxxcare is.

    What’s important is that every member of the Republican party knew it would stink, yet that didn’t stop them from trying to rush this bill through in the middle of the night. And call me cynical, but I believe the ones who spoke out only did so because they were afraid of losing votes, not because they care.

    Half the country votes to be represented by politicians who think nothing of murdering thousands of them.

    Utter dismay.