Bob Brady is built like a heavyweight, his muscles ripping through his shirts. His mind is the same way, expansive and unlimited. When it comes to politics and government, he has extraordinary instincts. He doesn’t miss a thing. Some of the elites in Philadelphia society will say that he doesn’t exactly talk like a professor. But he talks the language of politics more smoothly than just about anyone I know. This veteran of eighteen years in Congress has taught at Penn and his class was hard to get in to. After all, the students got more of a real look at politics . Unlike many Congress members in Washington the Philadelphia Democratic Party chair, is void of the usual phony-baloney politics speak.
So, when we first chatted on KYW Newsradio, I got the numbers and the nuances to the Friday health care collapse for the Republicans. As we continued talking, it all came out and clearly.
Brady said, “It’s real simple. Not rocket science. The R’s needed to change 33 to 37 minds. In the last day, Ryan and Trump kept modifying the bill. They made compromises to the Freedom Caucus. That would piss off the Tuesday Club moderates, five of them from our area. They would then try to make changes for the moderates. That would really make the Freedom Caucus members irritated. So the more they talked, the more they started cancelling each sides votes out. It was a circle of failure.
I asked him about Ryan’s future.
“He’ll probably survive it, but the White House may try to squeeze his power.”
So that’s a leading Democrat’s look.
What about the Republicans? The truth is that no one wants to talk on the record, at least for now. But there was a show of guts this week by some area GOP lawmakers. Frank LoBiondo of South Jersey, Brian Fitzpatrick of Bucks, and Charlie Dent of Lehigh Valley, were potential “no” votes. Pat Meehan of the western suburbs was leaning “no”, and Ryan Costello of Chester and Berks might have gone either way.
You’ll be hearing a lot of analysis paralysis on this one. But here’s the definitive look at the near future.
It’s more than ideology. Whether you brand yourself as pro or con Trump, Republican, Democrat, Independent or otherwise, we need a government that works. And this version, on the executive and legislative levels, is not working. The Judicial branch is under fire from the White House.
Some recommendations. You can skewer me or get positive via twitter @larrykane
First, the two parties, along with TrumpWorld need to have a bunch of gatherings to find out what they can accomplish. Trash talk should end, and American should be first. If you don’t govern well and informed and for the people, than the words “America First” are as useless as they were in the thirties when aviator Charles Lindbergh and others used them as code words for appeasing the fascist in Germany.
If Donald Trump wants to put America First, he should stay informed, and the people who care about him should order an intervention to kick his twitter and cable news addictions. Those habits have to go. The Congress and the President need to be more engaged. Did you know that the Republican leadership never even bothered to negotiate with a single Democratic House member? Did you know that the whole issue could have been resolved with modifications to Obamacare? But passion trumped patriotism in this debate.
It seems that everyone is going to extremes, This is not about winning. This is about uniting the country with a purposed-filled agenda.
I am just one voice, but I’ve been reporting on politics for 55 years, and I can tell you, with confidence that the mess has to be fixed (see above report) even faster. While Russia and other important stories have damaged the White House, there are several issues that have to be addressed now. The President needs to hire professionals. He has made a few great hires at the National Security Council, National Defense, and in the financial arena. But, right now, Donald Trump has a chance to succeed by prioritizing expertise over loyalty. Consider this. There are many career government executives who have worked for both parties and several Presidents. A large percentage of them have been let go, leaving vital agencies understaffed and with novices at the steering wheel.
The White House has purged most of the people who served Barack Obama, some of them with no political loyalties at all.
Purges never work, except in places like Russia.