Nowhere during Thursday's night's two GOP presidential debates did anyone talk about cooperation or ways to bring the political parties together.
My first day in office I will repeal Obamacare.
My first day in office I will tear up the Iran agreement.
My first day in office I will eliminate the Department of Education.
Either the folks running for president on the GOP ticket have an expanded view of the authority of the office, or they haven't been paying attention to how the government operates in this country.
Now, if the GOP candidate wins and the party retains control of Congress, performing some of those actions might be a bit easier. But the truth is that no matter who is elected president -- Republican or Democrat -- they will face an uphill battle moving just about any policy initiative forward.
Look at the issues of the day. Just about everyone from both parties agrees we need some sort of immigration reform. It hasn't happened. Just about everyone agrees we need some sort of tax reform. It hasn't happened. The list goes on. With every major issue there is broad general agreement that we need to do something, the sticking point comes when our elected leaders try to hammer out the details of what that something should be.
And the president doesn't do it alone. We don't live under a dictatorship where one person gets to decide what's best for all of us. As a result, whoever gets elected, a big part of their job is assembling broad coalitions -- often across party lines -- that can come to consensus. And that has proven a stumbling block for presidents Democratic and Republican in recent years as partisanship and posturing has taken center stage over doing what is right for the country.
Maybe when the field of GOP candidates shrinks a bit the folks putting on debates will find time to squeeze in a question or two -- especially when a candidates makes a declarative statement about doing a specific action -- about how they intend to accomplish that. Or perhaps those questions won't come until the parties have decided on their candidates and those people face off against each other prior to the General Election.
Ultimately though, we need to focus more on how the candidates intend to unite what has become an increasingly divided country if we are to have any hope of overcoming today's challenges and moving the country forward.