What if the republicans had, post-election, said something like, “We’ve been able to have a closer look at Obama-care and we realize that it’s a good start that we can build upon. Therefore, over the next few years we’re going to implement incremental tweaks until it actually reaches a state that is satisfactory to democrats and republicans alike.”
Would that have worked or would it even be possible?
Its hard to say that Obama care is a good start that you want to build on when you’ve spent the last 7 years running on the fact that it was the single biggest threat to our democracy. It would be like Joseph McCarthy coming out and saying that after a bit of thought the communism might be the way to go. Or Netanyahu saying that come to think of it Hitler may have been onto something.
The Republicans have pretty steadfastly opposed the Democrats every single way they could for at least the past eight years, and now their guy (in theory) just won. Why on earth would they start working with the Democrats now?
They don’t care about anything of that. To hurt the party Obama led is their existence. Just as now the anti-Trumpistas consider Trump the Great Beast, so they truly believe Obama Satan. They told people that for so long they eventually believed it in the end.
Tut-tut! You’re being reasonable again! Try not to let that happen.
The Republicans, especially the “Freedom” Caucus, could never ever ever support anything that was tainted by being associated with that Kenyan-born, uppity, biracial-but-mostly-black Muslim pretender to the Presidency. Ewww. The very idea.
But yeah, in a normal world, where politics functioned as it’s supposed to, what you suggest would be extremely rational and grown-up. Which is why it could never happen in today’s environment.
It would not have played well with their base. At all. Particularly those who think that the ACA is a leftist nightmare instead of, at worst, a centrist nightmare. I would imagine that Democrats, who already had to compromise to a centrist bill to get the ACA passed, would not want to push it further to the right, particularly as far right as the Freedom Caucus wanted and in light of likely CBO findings that would show those FC ideas as disastrous as the last proposed bill.
In short, there really isn’t compromise to be had between those who are ok with millions losing healthcare and at least some of those not being able to afford the care to save their lives and those who are not ok with that. Life and death, and in a lesser sense quality of life, tend to polarize people.
While I fully understand there are many ACA supporters on this board, there are several major realities most people simply do not want to acknowledge. First, the Bill was written in such a way as to push the most painful elements out past Obama’s term. In addition, it was written with a lot of highly dubious claims and assumptions about rules and regulations that would be put in place - which weren’t, and which even the most hard-nosed Democrats showed very little inclination to pass.
The net effect is that the individual market, which supposedly was to get healthier, has been weakening and growing more unstable and expensive over time. The only way to "fix the ACA would be, in effect, for Republicans to take on all the political pain of doing the unpopular taxes, invasive regulations, and expensive changes - which again, were political poison even to the Democrats. This is rather unlikely given that the Republicans didn’t want it in the first place.
Your term “the Republicans” is a misnomer. There are two or three different strands of Republican in Congress. The only thing they agree on is that they hate each other slightly less than they hate Democrats.
If indeed there was one significant flavor of Republicanism they’d have done something. Probably not something incremental or intended to succeed like you propose, but something.
It’s obvious that the Republicans never put any thought at all into health care for the last eight years. Perhaps they thought reverting to their pre-ACA strategy would actually work. That is, doing absolutely nothing, in place of the ACA.
The main reason why suddenly changing the course of the entire Republican Party right after the election wouldn’t work, isn’t JUST because their base would revolt. It’s because after fifty years of building the party from people who think it’s enough to sternly dislike half of America, they’ve made sure that there’s no one left who is capable of formulating a balanced strategy of any kind.
The ACA was and is a terrible idea. It was based on a bad Republican idea (forcing everyone to get insurance, so that they could make the middle class and poor pay for everything), and then was crippled even more, by a President that genuinely thought that if he was nice enough to Republicans who openly declared that they were concentrating 100% of their energy on getting rid of him, that they would pause and smile and cooperate in building a viable health care system.
Instead, the Republicans purposely sabotaged the whole thing, so that it would have even more problems that it would have had it been done “right.”
Bottom line, as long as the only thing being talked about is insurance-based nonsense, everything will continue to be screwed up.
Expect the class warfare based politics to continue unabated for at least another four years.
True enough. But this is not about personal enmity. Every successful party is a “big tent”. All the more so in a widely diverse country with an entrenched two-party system. So some divergence in goals and methods is fully expected within any US party. Big organizations are not overgrown analogs of an individual human with a single consciousness and a single set of slowly shifting goals. Instead they’re much more scattered than that. That’s all bog-standard stuff.
What seems to be the particular case with the Rs in the last 10-ish years is the strains between the three main subgroups are really pulling out into the open. The Fortune 500 crowd, the Main Street merchant crowd, and the social reactionary crowd are each losing patience with the other two. Add in the tension between deficit hawks and war hawks and you have an especially febrile and schizophrenic mix.
The latest wrinkle is that although Trump is certainly nominally a Republican, my pet theory is that we are seeing the first 3rd party president in a century or more. In addition to the Congressional Rs & Ds, each with their factions, but each still with a decent dose of allegiance to their party flag, you’ve got the Trump White House which steers by no compass save their own.
Over time I have no doubt the Trumpish compass will align with the R’s compass more often than it does the Ds. But that’s an alignment of coincidence, not of design.