There are so, so many reasons to doubt the theory behind U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's latest bright idea to eradicate Obamacare, to simply vote to repeal the sweeping measure in two years time and come up with a plan to replace it in the interim.
One is that the debacle he's just overseen had made it clear just how divided the Republicans are on the underlying policy questions.
Another is that things generally don't work that way.
Want evidence of the latter? Just check out the slow-moving showdown over Louisiana's taxing and spending practices.
Gov. John Bel Edwards is urging Louisiana House Speaker Taylor Barras to form a bipartisan w…
McConnell's plan calls for creating something akin to the "fiscal cliff" that Louisiana lawmakers built last year when they temporarily raised the state sales tax get them through an immediate crisis, but added an expiration date.
The idea behind cutting off more than $1 billion in annual revenue on July 1, 2018 was that it would force lawmakers to get down to work, revamp the tax laws, scale back those pesky exemptions everyone complains about and come up with a more sustainable and financially responsible plan in 2017, the last regularly scheduled fiscal session before the tax falls off the books. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards wanted to, as did many lawmakers. But a cadre of conservative Republicans who hold power in the House effectively blocked action.
Instead, lawmakers kicked the can again, and basically put off any hard choices until Edwards calls them into a special session. And now, he's threatening not to, unless they show ahead of time that they'll provide a "good faith commitment to remove the partisan barriers and solve this problem," as Edwards put it in a letter to House Speaker Taylor Barras this week.
Where this leads is unclear, but the stage is now set not for a careful consideration of options but a mad dash to avert catastrophe.
This much, though, is clear: It takes more than a looming deadline to get some politicians to put gamesmanship aside and do the responsible thing.