This week the House Republican leadership introduced their long awaited and much anticipated plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.
As soon as it was released it was ruthlessly attacked by members of Congress and I don’t mean by the Democrats who seem resigned to the fate of seeing their signature initiative being scrapped.
After all it has cost them the last three national elections so they are more than happy to see the Republicans try to fix this mess.
No, it was the Republicans of the Freedom Caucus who raised their voices the loudest and said that they couldn’t support the leadership’s plan.
And on the Senate side, Rand Paul and Mike Lee offered the Freedom Caucus their full support and said they too would oppose the House leadership plan.
For his part, President Trump told everyone to calm down and that a workable plan that can pass both houses of Congress will emerge and he will sign it.
The media is enjoying the spectacle of Republicans disagreeing on an issue they have campaigned on for three election cycles.
But as long as it doesn’t turn into an internal civil war between Republicans, healthy disagreement on such a critical issue is a sign that the majority understands how important this moment is.
When tax reform comes up later this year there will also be disagreements in what the final product will look like but its passage coupled with an Obamacare “repeal and replace” could lead to an economic boom not seen since the days of Ronald Reagan.
Republicans should keep this in mind as the negotiations proceed. If they want to really bury the Democrats in 2018, pass these two pieces of legislation this year and watch the opposition scramble for the lifeboats of their sinking political party.
On the foreign policy front, Don Quixote John McCain and his Sancho Panza Lindsey Graham continue to tilt at the windmills they have created in their own minds.
And they have returned to their roles as the mainstream media’s favorite Republicans as they use their position to question President Trump’s every foreign policy move and pronouncement.
When President Trump says he will increase Pentagon spending, McCain says it isn’t enough. He then makes a secret trip to Syria to meet with anti-Assad rebels and acts like he is the President and Secretary of State.
News flash Senator McCain: You lost eight years ago. Get over it.
Now I am not expecting all Republicans to march in lockstep like Democrats. And there should be a robust debate about the best way to get rid of and replace Obamacare and significantly reform the tax code for the first time in 30 years.
And on foreign policy we need to speak with one voice and that voice at this time is President Trump.
Republicans should heed the words of Ronald Reagan who 50 years ago this April in 1967 shortly after he was sworn in as Governor told a group of California conservatives the following:
“Within our tent there will be many arguments and divisions over approach and method and even those we choose to implement our philosophy. Seldom, if ever, will we raise a cheer signifying unanimous approval of the decisions reached. But if our philosophy is to prevail, we must at least pledge unified support of the ultimate decision. Unity does not require unanimity of thought”.
Reagan was interested in getting the job done and advancing conservative ideals.
But he also understood the limitations of what was politically possible. He also understood that change wouldn’t come with the passage of one or two pieces of legislation. And if you didn’t get everything the first time you kept coming back.
Today’s crop of Republicans who love to quote Reagan should read what he actually said and understand its meaning.
So here is your Cowboy Wisdom for the Week.
“Only a buzzard feeds on their friends”.
Republicans need to stop feeding on each other which only gives comfort to Democrats, the New York Times and the Washington establishment.
They ought to be feeding on the decaying carcass of the Democrat Party by passing legislation that will help lift up those desperate Americans who put their faith in them at the ballot box last November.
They have been handed a golden opportunity to restore America.
If they fail they will only have to look in the mirror to find someone to blame.
The choice is simple. Be bold or be gone.