Congratulations to the Republican Party. It took a long time, but it seems they have finally figured out how to be an effective governing party. The recipe:

• Don’t even worry about working with the other party. Find procedural mechanisms if necessary to avoid bipartisan legislating.

• Do as much as possible behind closed doors, with limited input even from your own, possibly recalcitrant, members.

• Don’t worry about analysis and evaluation. Facts and objective projections about the impact of your proposals will only serve to get in the way.

• Avoid hearings and open forums, and move as quickly as is humanly possible: The more time you allow for opposition to a proposal to mount, the more difficult it will be to pass.

• Don’t worry as much about the content of the legislation as about the possibility of claiming a political victory.

• Sprinkle in enough sweeteners to sway outlying votes, and add a few morsels as well that may be irrelevant to the bill but will attract more supportive votes.

• Have a concerted strategy to spin the bill in a way that glosses over the more troublesome aspects and exaggerates the benefits.

Now that they’ve figured this out, who knows what they may be able to accomplish!

Doug Zlatin