Donald Trump tweeted this morning that “the Senate must go to a 51 vote majority instead of current 60 votes. Even parts of full Repeal need 60. 8 Dems control Senate. Crazy!”
He may be right that our system of checks and balances, and our tradition of separation of powers, is crazy. It is certainly inconvenient right this minute for a Republican president and a Republican House and a Republican Senate. The Republicans control the Supreme Court too. But their control is apparently not yet solid enough to erase “Obamacare.” (Their control over the hearts and minds of Americans is also apparently not solid enough for them to take a real stand against foreign hostile powers such as Russia hacking our next election.) So Mr. Trump in effect calls George Washington a loser and a fool. Really, you may say. Yes, really: according to Moncure Conway, writing in 1872, “there is a tradition that Jefferson, coming home from France (after the Constitution had been drafted), called Washington to account at the breakfast table for having agreed to a second, and, as Jefferson thought, unnecessary legislative chamber. ‘Why,’ asked Washington, ‘did you just now pour that coffee into your saucer, before drinking?’ ‘To cool it,’ answered Jefferson, ‘my throat is not made of brass.’ ‘Even so,’ rejoined Washington, ‘we pour our legislation into the senatorial saucer to cool it.'”
The Senate was not designed to achieve the rapid resolution of conflicts possible in a parliamentary system. Our second legislative chamber’s “cooling saucer” has blockaded and obstructed plenty of social progress (civil rights being Exhibit A) but it has also slowed or stalled plenty of horrible ideas, as 2017 (so far) shows.
If the president is fed up with all the obstacles to absolute rule, and wants to toss the Resolute desk over and go home to Manhattan, I say let him go . If, however, he can overcome his snowflake personality and offer any ideas whatsoever that would improve upon the many flaws in the delivery of health care in this country, let him speak now. Let him spell out in detail just how he proposes to reshape the American healthcare system, or else be judged as the shallow and vindictive blowhard he now appears to be. George Washington is watching him–and the rest of us too.
P.S. Donald Trump on Twitter, September 26, 2012: “Obama’s complaints about Republicans stopping his agenda are BS since he had full control for two years. He can never take responsibility.”