It’s no secret that past November’s election was an ugly symptom of America’s increasing polarization towards parties that the public vastly disapprove of anyway. Nearly halfway into his first year in office, the Trump Administration has seen this trend accelerate: with only 45% of Americans reporting that they support the administration.
At first glance, the recent attempted repeal of the ACA and ongoing Comey hearings paint a Washington more marred in chaos and gridlock than ever. But out of this chaos comes hope.
Trump voters had high expectations for the Trump administration- especially during his first 100 days. During his campaign, Trump preached slogan-like policy initiatives that were lofty to begin with notwithstanding being pushed through a poorly oiled machine- it’s naïve to expect a smooth result. However, Trump’s rhetoric, which often suggests the admiration rules by fiat, oversimplified a system that a vast majority of Americans already do not understand.
Despite high approval ratings among original voters, Trump supports are beginning to lose hope. The administration’s upcoming trip to Wisconsin is indicative of this trend. Residents of the state worked to put Trump into the White House and are impatiently awaiting the jobs that the administration has not- and perhaps cannot- deliver.
While voters are slowly turning away from their President, GOP congressman have slowly begun to take larger strides.
Earlier last month, as the administration pushed for their promise to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. Twenty Republicans, largely from moderate or swing districts voted against the GOP’s new healthcare solution. While the rest of the House voted strongly on party lines, these votes represent small cracks in an seemingly unbreakable wall along the aisle.
More recently, the already unprecedented Comey hearings, held last week, revealed the new progression of party politics in Washington. The hearings did not proceed in “the usual partisan brawl” but rather showed a strong bipartisan tone. GOP members of the Senate Intelligence Committee pursued mildly in trial. Despite Comey’s very critical and candid tone of the Republican President, nearly all the senators in the Committee approached questioning in a similar manner: prioritizing honesty over loyalty.
When it comes to challenging the current administration, there is hope that the spirit of cooperation might continue. Just yesterday, in the wake of the Sessions hearings, Senate leaders are working towards increasing sanctions on Russia for their increased aggression and possible involvement in the election. Both sides of the aisle shared a similar message: as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) affirmed, “No nation state should be able to attack our sovereignty without suffering an unacceptable response.” This message was echoed by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who said, “We are ensuring that the United States continues to punish President [Vladimir] Putin for his reckless and destabilizing actions.”
Schumer demanded, “A powerful and bipartisan statement to Russia and any other country who might try to interfere in our elections that they will be punished, and that Congress will stand firm in making sure they are punished, Democrat and Republican.”
As the GOP in congress seem on track to increasingly distance themselves President, the use of vetoes will likely remain a powerful tool for the White House that is now up against combating its increasingly bipartisanship opposition.