With the collapse of the GOP health bill, Republicans could use the moment to revive interest in genuine bi-partisan law-making or they can double down on a losing strategy to gut the entire Affordable Healthcare Act and start all over.

Democrats, led by California’s redoubtable former House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, can either sit back and watch the messy proceedings content with the mayhem it is causing in Republican ranks or take advantage of the moment to seek accommodation with a weakened president in some areas where they can find agreement.

There may be options short of summary dismissal of everything the beleaguered president proposes which will benefit all parties in the face of voters who have signaled they are adamantly opposed to scrapping the AHA in its entirety and throttling any expansion of Medicaid.

Voters increasingly fed up with more of the same congressional paralysis may be receptive to and less likely to punish legislators willing to take a different tact—including especially GOP incumbents in marginal districts who will face angry constituents in 2018.

Early signs are that the GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell is prepared to take his party over the cliff pushing for all-out repeal of the law without a replacement for two years throwing the dice in the 2018 elections when millions could be threatened with loss of medical protection if this draconian plan succeeds.

His desperation maneuver calls for a procedural vote as early as next week to have the Senate consider a “repeal-only” measure already dead on arrival with Sens. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Rob Portman of Ohio joining four other GOP Senators on record in opposition.

Depriving people of adequate health coverage to which they have become accustomed without any plausible substitute is a chimerical scheme not only destined for future defeat but in combination with multiple investigations into White House wrongdoing now going on undermines any prospects of congressional movement on other pressing issues.

President Trump has re-stated his position voiced repeatedly during the campaign that total repeal of the healthcare law was his “first priority from day one.” He has now been in office 180 days and any meaningful action on healthcare reform has about as much chance as snow falling in Los Angeles.

His boasting came before lawmakers got an earful at recent town halls across the nation from worried constituents who have come to rely on this controversial law and believe that unravelling Obamacare even with its shortcomings would be disastrous.

As slogans go, promising to get rid of a program that for most part is working well in place of an alternative which after seven years has yet to be formulated and has now been disavowed by members of his own party was a gamble that paid off for Trump.

But as a legislative mandate it was doomed to failure from the beginning because of a fundamental law of politics: Once certain rights are bestowed it is very difficult if not impossible to take them away!

The Social Security program adopted 82 years ago is living proof of that and let us not forget that it required new taxes to be implemented.

However the humiliation just suffered in the Senate with apparently more to come goes beyond questionable vote-counting by the leadership and dereliction by White House staff in doing more to corral misbehaving Senators.

It speaks to naiveté, inexperience and blind arrogance by top decision makers who believe the president can simply issue orders and they will be carried out by all the underlings who inconveniently occupy other parts of the government.

That self-assurance has driven the current group of top policy makers to take actions both domestic and foreign which is leading to mistakes that could result in the undoing of this Administration despite the unwavering allegiance of Trump’s base voters.

Congressional gloves are beginning to come off, and the demise of the healthcare bill shows the first cracks in the armor with GOP Senators at opposite political poles such as Maine’s Susan Collins and Kentucky’s Rand Paul openly challenging their leadership with others to following if Trump’s wishes are heeded.

Adding to this disarray is a president struggling to find footing in a universe distinctly unlike the hard-boiled but far more manageable real estate business where he first acquired a taste for power and built his empire.

Ironically his main hope if he wants to see any achievements after a bruising six months in office may be to seek common cause with Democrats he has lambasted at every turn.

Given his aversion to many in the Republican establishment who largely disowned him when he ran and would probably prefer Mike Pence or some facsimile at this juncture, if reaching out to the much- reviled Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi could result in cobbling together a few victories, Trump might just want to give it a try.

The president has one central guiding principle and that is winning at any cost.  It probably does not matter who that requires courting in the short term if it scores some wins.

President Clinton famously triangulated to the right to get policies such as welfare overhaul enacted even if it meant adopting some of the opposition’s philosophies. Many on the Left accused him of selling out.  A more charitable reading would suggest that he was merely practicing bipartisanship.

House Majority Leader, Paul Ryan, has only tenuous control over his troops with ultra- conservative Freedom Party dissidents ready to revolt at a moment’s notice. His ability to cull together a bi-partisan majority for anything is just about nil.

Trump will have similar results if he continues to hew to the strictly conservative line that Sen. Mitch McConnell is preaching with his urging which will alienate moderates in his party who may not be willing to sacrifice themselves in deference to Trump’s ambitions.

Now that defections have begun taking place, with other GOP stalwarts such as Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas willing to buck the party line, seeing that Trump is becoming vulnerable, more desertions can be expected.

Seeing the same thing, House Democrats who may have little interest in promoting Trump’s career but a strong desire to win back working class voters who Trump peeled away may sense an opening to do some negotiating on more favorable terms after the healthcare defeat that could assuage middle class defectors while giving a president desperate for victories anywhere something to crow about.

This is a somewhat mechanistic way of suggesting there may be room now for a bit of old-fashion bipartisan bargaining despite the hostilities that has Washington under siege.

One place to start is with the funding of the much ballyhooed infrastructure program which could put millions to work rebuilding and upgrading highways, bridges, reservoirs, rail networks and obsolescent water treatment facilities.

Another might be climate control initiatives and renewable energy investments less reliant on fossil fuels to combat global warming which naysayers continue to believe is a fraud perpetrated by misguided zealots while seas continue to rise that the vast majority of eminent scientists believe could inundate large coastal regions here and around the world.

These are not Republican or Democratic ideas. They are American priorities.

California is once again pioneering these initiatives although, while Jerry Brown is governor, they are not likely to make the daily highlight tweets emanating from the Oval Office.

But I digress.

If saving his presidency is foremost in his mind—and it may not be too late despite skepticism in many quarters–making deals with those whom Trump is constitutionally required to share authority may be less troublesome and dangerous than making deals with the Russians.

Many Democrats and Republicans alike will think the idea of trying to reason with someone preternaturally unreasonable is pure pollyanish poppycock—-and they may be right.

I am not trained in psychology.  But in every being—and especially leaders—unless he or she is adjudged insane or mentally and emotionally seriously impaired, it seems there is a tipping point where self-preservation overrides all else, and at that moment implausible deals are possible.

Trump should know. He wrote the book.