The Republican Party can't get out of its own way in the continuing tax reform debacle, and now it simply looks like it's rearranging the deck chairs on a political Titanic. The deck chairs are all those contradictory, confusing, and badly-marketed GOP tax plans. And no matter how that plan might eventually be arranged, the GOP ship is still going down.
It's going down under the rushing water of a tax plan that still insists on creating new winners and losers with eliminated deductions for state and local taxes, medical expenses, adoption, and even alimony. Don't bother to obsess over every minor change. Remember that the deck chairs have already been rearranged furiously with the Border Adjustment Tax and the reduction of tax free contributions to 401(k) accounts, for example, already tried and scrapped.
Just know this: As long as the tax reform bill doesn't simplify things with tax cuts for everyone, it won't stand a chance of passing. And to do that, the GOP needs a captain who can set out a clear course. What we're all seeing now is what happens when Congress doesn't have a good enough leader to keep it focused on a national goal. Without that, each locally elected member simply starts a mutiny, looking out for his or her own constituents.
The Republican ship of state hasn't had a courageous, forward looking, or even competent captain in a very long time.
But here's when the GOP Titanic hit its proverbial iceberg. At what should have been the Republicans' great moment of triumph in a maiden voyage after winning the 2014 midterm elections and control of both houses of Congress, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell got overconfident and made the disastrous decision to immediately spurn the voters who provided their great victory. They did that by preemptively promising not to shut down the government in any effort to defund or strip down Obamacare. In so doing, they gave away the key constitutional negotiating tool against the White House.