This is as much as I am willing to say about American politics this year.
It’s tempting to conclude that our politicians are incapable of learning.
The Republicans could have seen this coming with the Affordable Care Act, the Democratic legislation that rearranged 18 percent of the American economy but did nothing to arrest the rising cost of healthcare. Yes, it was a “win” for the Democrats, but it cost them their Congressional majority for the next three election cycles.
But the Republicans are politicians, just like the Democrats, and they wanted a “win” of their own. They have passed something that leaves the hated US tax code just as Byzantine as it ever was and has handed the Democrats their usual talking points about hating poor people, which may or may not be true, but again, “truth” and “learning” and “politicians” aren’t words often found in the same sentence.
If these buffoons could do things in increments — requiring family insurance policies to cover kids up to the age of 26, fixing the corporate tax rates to match those in other developed countries — they could pick off support from the other side.
This technique, known as “working together,” could give way to shifting coalitions and responsiveness to popular concerns. Could get more done with less noise.
True, the opportunities for triumphalism would be fewer, but the genuine accomplishments over time might cause people not to hate politicians quite so much as they currently do.