Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, wrote to her Republican counterparts extending “the hand of friendship” and offering “to work in a bipartisan fashion” to fix the flaws in Obamacare.
Let’s hope she really means it. Let’s hope Democrats won’t use the collapse of the Republican health care effort simply to score political points against an irresponsibly inept president and continue his record of legislative futility.
The temptation is great. Donald Trump is clearly unqualified to be president. His favorable ratings are dreadful. His new chief of staff, John F. Kelly, probably won’t change a 71-year-old man who refuses to adapt his impulsive and undisciplined style to the demands of governing.
In next year’s congressional elections, too, Democrats will be eager to exploit Trump’s dismal performance. And the poorer his record of accomplishment, the better their chances of defeating him in 2020 — assuming he lasts that long and runs again.
But Democrats must face an inconvenient truth. They own Obamacare. They are responsible for it, with all its many benefits and failings. They made a huge mistake by passing it without a single Republican vote. Then they compounded that error by underestimating problems and overpromising results.
And now they owe it to the millions of people who rely on their program to improve it, to stabilize the marketplace, to focus on actual policy for a change and not just politics.
It won’t be easy. Hardline leftists in their own party will call any Democrat who works with the GOP a soft-headed traitor. And pragmatic Republicans will be pressed by ideological purists in their own ranks to reject Pelosi’s “hand of…
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