The One Sentence That Explains Washington Dysfunction

What is wrong with American politics? Washington D.C.?

According to the editor of the Washington Free Beacon, it boils down to one sentence: “The political class never expected Donald Trump to become president.”

That is the reason for all of the problems.

[F]rom June 16, 2015, to November 8, 2016, the feeling among the elected officials, party functionaries, consultants, strategists, and journalists in our nation’s capital was that Donald J. Trump stood no chance of becoming president of the United States. And because the political elite held this view with such self-assurance, with all the egotism and snobbery and moral puffery and snarkiness that distinguishes itself as a class, it did not spend more than a second, if that, thinking through the possible consequences of a Trump victory.

And what are the consequences of Trump’s victory?

Republicans need to live up to what they have promised their constituents for the past eight years.

And they were not prepared to do so.

Instead, they became so distracted by the antics of the presidential campaign and “the ramifications of their coming defeat” that they did not focus on what they should do, how they should move forward, if they actually win.

We were so prepared to lose that we had no plan after a win.

Instead of building coalitions and creating legislative proposals, politicians simply sat stunned on election night as they watched the final electoral votes come in.

Furthermore, for those who might have known that Trump could win, they didn’t exactly know where Trump stood on various issues because of his “mutability.”

In other words:

It wasn’t clear whether Trump wanted full repeal of Obamacare with a replacement to come later, or repeal-and-replace with no gap, as he told 60 Minutes in November, or which taxes and regulations he wanted to keep, or how much he wanted to reform Medicaid. What matters to this president is the accomplishment, the signing ceremony, the trophy, the result. How he gets there, the details of legislation, are less important to him. That’s what he has Congress for.

No expectation that Trump would become president.

No preparation for Trump to become president.

No direction from Trump once he became president.

That’s three sentences…but it really just boils down to one:

They just didn’t think Trump would win.