The debt ceiling requirement is more than just a technical matter. Failure to lift the ceiling could have terrible consequences. Still, it remains very important to do it to REMIND everybody, everywhere that we are paying attention and are conscious of the consequences.
Trump’s relations with “his party’s” leadership is so touchy and itchy that he did something quite surprising. He turned to his hated Democrat friends in Congress and did a pretty smart thing. He fixed the debt ceiling issue and on time. Kudos where it is due!
While that is certainly a good thing, it also worries me.
If Trump regularly plays ping pong BETWEEN the parties, there may be no limit to the damage he could do. Washington is so riddled with fear and ambition that our party leaders may be sorely tempted to turn on us so they can gain an inch or two here or there vs the other party in elections.
We have all been screaming about the ills of extreme partisanship and hoping the parties will talk and work together for the good of the country. Now that such a moment has come to pass, we should be pleased but cautious.
It should not take a lot of imagination to see what could be in store ahead. There are enough loose Democrat and Republican votes in both the House and Senate that if Trump plays his cards smartly he could do serious damage to the overall national interest in taxes, immigration, health care, infrastructure, and the budget.
We all know –I hope–that there is no single way to resolve each of those crucial issues. And, well thought-out compromises, openly discussed and arrived at will be essential.
The way forward will be to insist, up front, that all deliberations between the President and the Congress must be conducted with openness to enable our free press to get into the act early enough to get serious public input into the process and ensure no late, ugly surprises.
The recent healthcare debacle shows that these ‘deals’ cannot/should not be hashed out behind closed doors.
Yes, the free press is on our side most of the time.
So we must remain vigilant.
And while we are at it, we should keep our eyes open for some possible realignment of our political parties that could give greater weight and power to the overall national interests.
We need more and better GOVERNANCE than more GOVERNMENT.