A Shift From Zealotry to Pragmatism?


“Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio, television and the internet. To hell with them. They don’t want anything done for the public good. Our incapacity is their livelihood.” — Senator John McCain (R-AZ), casting the deciding vote killing the Republicans’ extremely flawed plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

As Donald Trump and Republicans appear to make concessions to congressional Democrats on a federal budget, avoiding a government shutdown, on amnesty for dreamers, and possibly on health care, gridlock in Congress may end for the first time since 2011.

“Gridlock was built into the American political system by DESIGN,” a friend writes. It’s true that the American system is designed to slowly reach compromise and consensus. But Congress has been dysfunctional since about 2011, creating unnecessary crises, refusing to deal effectively with long-festering problems like immigration, tax reform, infrastructure, health care reform, or even pass annual budgets.

“We seem convinced that majorities exist to impose their will with few concessions and minorities exist to prevent the party in power from doing anything important,” McCain wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/f62a3e0c-8cfb-11e7…

McCain, who has cancer, returned to the Senate after receiving an emergency craniotomy to remove a blood clot. On the Senate floor, he declared:

“I hope we can again rely on humility, on our need to cooperate, on our dependence on each other, to learn how to trust each other again, and by so doing, better serve the people who elected us.”

Sadly, as a result of his declaration of independence, McCain has suffered in popularity among Republicans. More than half have an unfavorable opinion of their 2008 nominee.

‘A new strategy’ for Trump? Democrats cautious but encouraged by fresh outreach (Washington Post)

“President Trump on Wednesday vowed not to cut taxes for the wealthy, extolled the virtues of bipartisanship as leading to “some of the greatest legislation ever passed” and then — in a surprise move announced deep into the night — agreed to cut a deal with Democrats saving hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants from deportation.

“That Trump did all of that while declaring himself “a conservative” only heightened the sense of surrealism that has wafted through the nation’s capital over the past eight days, as the president has expressed a newfound, if tentative, willingness to work across the aisle — a development that has left many Republicans chagrined and some Democrats cautiously optimistic.”


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