A clearly frustrated Trump White House has signaled that it may be time to work with moderate democrats to move his agenda forward. The failure to pass health care reform last week has pushed to the forefront the gaping divides of the Republican party and in turn, has pushed the Republican leadership into damage control. As blame is passed around and finger pointing abounds the mainstream media is driving a narrative that Republicans are incapable of governing. With Republican majorities in both the house and the senate and control of the White House it is not much of a stretch to come to that conclusion.
Now President Trump, suffering his first major defeat, is reacting to that narrative by attempting to shake things up. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, on “Fox News Sunday” had this to say,
“This president is not going to be a partisan president,” He said that “I think it’s time for our folks to come together, I also think it’s time to potentially get a few moderate Democrats on board as well.”
The question will be whether he will be able to get any Democrats on board to support any of his policies. With the Democrats and the mainstream media still pushing the Trump colluded with Russia to win the election story, without any proof I might add, is it possible for them to go from the narrative of an illegitimate President, to then being key in helping Trump get things done. There is also their constituency, who went from being euphoric early on election night, when they were convinced Clinton was going to win, to outright dread after the results were in, to now absolute resistance to anything Trump proposes. It is hard to see Democrats, even moderate ones, risk the wrath of their suddenly energized base to be seen helping Trump.
Something else to consider. With the health care debacle, Democrat leadership should be thinking that with the chaos happening in the Republican party, they have a golden opportunity to completely stall Trumps agenda. Going forward it is increasingly looking like Trump will need at least a few Democrats to achieve success. Even on issues that should attract bipartisan support i.e. the trillion-dollar infrastructure bill and curbing illegal immigration, a strategy the Democrats might pursue is to be the party “no” and stay on their side of the isle. Without a united Republican front, this would effectively neuter Trump and make him largely ineffective early in his Presidency.
Things look dark now for Trump and the Republican party. But this is not the end of the world, sure mistakes have been made on the roll out of big issues, and that’s to be expected with a Rookie politician. If Trump can make sure he gets behind good bills that can achieve consensus among most Republicans and know what is in those bills before putting his name on it, that will go a long way in avoiding embarrassment of last week. It will also stop the media from painting Trump as incompetent and the Republicans as hopelessly fractured. Learn from this, it is much easier to fix the mistakes made than having to cater to Democrats. We have all seen how that works out. Republicans always end up getting the short end of the stick.