Putting Party First
Avery Anapol at The Hill:
The Senate's third-ranking Republican ripped his retiring colleagues for their criticisms of President Trump.
In an interview with NPR’s David Greene, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said that it would have been better if Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) had expressed their criticisms of Trump in private, rather than in public.
“I think that there are always going to be differences of opinion and disagreements, and that’s true in any family,” Thune said. “But I just think it’s better if you can keep those in-the-family feuds and fights within the family.”
Asked for his position on the bill, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told reporters he's "with the president." But asked to clarify where the president is, the GOP's No. 2 leader threw his hands up and disappeared into the Senate chamber.
Greg Weiner at The Washington Post
It is true that Congress is increasingly unable to concur on legislation. In many ways, and for myriad reasons, that is a problem. But it is worth recalling that Congress’s job is not to legislate. It is to represent what Madison called “the cool and deliberate sense of the community.” Congress is designed to move slowly in order to dissipate passions and allow the public’s reason to take hold. It is not supposed to be able to generate major legislation on which broad and sustained public consensus does not exist.
To be sure, Congress has been in decline for generations. What is alarming recently is the extent to which the organizing principle of Congress is members’ attitude toward whatever administration is in office. This phenomenon may be inflamed by the intense feelings Trump arouses, but it is hardly confined to him.
In a reversal not only of the Founders’ expectations but also of their hopes, the presidency is now the sun around which all constitutional bodies orbit. At intervals, that is convenient for either side’s policy preferences. But if constitutionalism commends any principle, it is for all players in the system to remember that today’s winners will be tomorrow’s losers. Institutions are our hedge. Bargaining them away for temporary advantage — a game both sides have played — is a loser’s gamble.