Correspondent explains the 'Trumpified' GOP's struggles with debating policy
With the flurry of unfavorable reports circulating about the Republican Party, one report is now highlighting another challenge the political party appears to be facing. HuffPost correspondent Jonathan Cohn is breaking down a number of theories that may explain the party's struggles with debating policy.
Over the last several weeks, Republicans have been relatively mum about Democratic lawmakers' sweeping, historic pieces of proposed legislation that are on the brink of becoming solidified law.
In wake of Democratic lawmakers preparing to cast their final votes on major healthcare reform and proposed legislation to combat climate control, Republican lawmakers appear to be taking a relatively drastic stance.
According to Cohn, "they were going to force votes on an array of controversial amendments, pull out every available procedural delay and rouse their supporters at the grassroots level, all in the hopes of breaking Democratic unanimity or, absent that, making the final vote on the legislation as politically painful as possible."
He went on to explain why Republicans weren't motivated to push forward as he explained Republicans' actions amid proceedings.
"They passed up an opportunity to demand a reading of the bill, which alone would have taken several hours, and they eventually agreed to tighten the time of debate on each amendment," he wrote.
Cohn continued, "During the proceedings, GOP leaders put out press releases, throwing out familiar arguments about Democratic tax hikes supposedly killing the economy or reforms to prescription drug prices supposedly killing Medicare. But the whole effort had a bland, perfunctory feel to it ― this was nothing like the emotional outbursts during the final days of debate over the Affordable Care Act.'"
"So what gives?" Cohn asked. "Why have Republicans offered such weak resistance to this sweeping, potentially historic piece of Democratic legislation? A few theories come to mind ― including one that may say a lot about the state of the Republican Party, now that it’s been fully Trumpified."
He went on to suggest that the legislative design may be problematic and the party's transformation may be creating obstacles that are difficult to argue. Another issue is that the Republican Party's economic and social welfare ideologies remain largely unpopular.
"One reason Trump didn’t talk a lot about policy is that he understood instinctively how wildly unpopular many core GOP ideas are," Cohn wrote.
"People forget that he ran in the 2016 primaries as a different kind of Republican, one committed to protecting Medicare and Social Security ― and that his vow to repeal “Obamacare” came with a promise of great health care for everybody, which is not anywhere close to what GOP repeal schemes actually offered. Today, Republicans mostly know better than brag about their designs for curtailing popular spending programs."
Cohn also noted: "Whether this ultimately helps or hurts Republicans politically remains to be seen. Ignoring debates about economic, environmental and health policy in order to focus on grievances with leftists and their allies in the media and intellectual elite might turn out to be a winning long-term strategy for the GOP."
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