When House Republicans secured their 216th “yes” on the American Health Care Act Thursday, Democrats immediately began taunting their across-the-aisle rivals.
“Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey, Goodbye,” Democrats sang at Republicans. A few Democrats even waved goodbye.
The implication was obvious: Democrats believed many Republicans had just cost themselves their political careers by voting for an overhaul of Obamacare.
And the DC political class wonders why people hate them.
I understand that Democrats not only didn’t like the way this bill was passed – without any estimates on what it might cost or how many people might lose coverage as a result – but also believed the policies contained in it would leave the country and its people considerably worse off.
That is a worthy conversation to have. But, that’s not what Democrats were doing. Instead, they were jeering and mocking their colleagues.
Look. We have two parties in this country for a reason. Democrats and Republicans don’t always disagree on the problems the country faces but do almost always disagree on how to solve them.
Debating those differences is the stuff of democracy. Giving the public the chance, every two years, to render their judgment on who has more of the right in the argument is the backbone of our political system.
Poll after poll suggests that one thing both sides broadly agree on is that they prefer bipartisan compromise to go-it-alone-ism. When House Democrats act like they did today – or President Trump acts like he does almost every day – we get further and further from even the possibility of finding common ground or even just talking to each other like human beings.
It also convinces people not in Washington or not involved in politics that the people who are representing them in DC have no real idea what they care about or value.
That’s a very bad thing for the long-term health of our democracy.