- - Monday, July 31, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

As a naturalized American with a strong British heritage, I have watched with increasing amazement the total incompetence of congressional members to avoid what will now become the collapse of the American health-care system.

As a youngster I recognized the value of the British system in which Parliament was dissolved prior to an election, and the newly elected one convened immediately after the result was announced. No lame-duck sessions during which those thrown out of office could still pass legislation.

The Democrats forced through a very poorly constructed, ill-named bill — the Affordable Care Act — without a single Republican vote during a lame-duck session. With seven years to consider an improvement, the Republicans managed to botch a proposed solution even while controlling both houses and the White House. In Britain, we had a name for such behavior: incompetence.

Another aspect of British life that I much respected was the recognition by public figures that if they had failed they resigned. I recall as a minister in the British embassy in Washington attempts to explain to Alexander Haig, the secretary of state, that Lord Carrington, our foreign secretary, had resigned after the invasion of the Falklands because he thought he had given bad advice to the Cabinet. Gen. Haig was convinced that Prime Minister Thatcher had fired Lord Carrington and wanted to know why.

Sadly it is clear that the incompetents in Congress have no intention of leaving of their own accord, and when the time comes for another election most of them will be returned by an electorate that tolerates such appalling behavior. President Trump is going to need much more help than he is currently receiving to make America great again.

STANLEY ORMAN

Rockville

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