Earlier on Saturday, we gave you our interpretation of Donald Trump’s message to the American people delivered Friday evening following the administration’s decision to cancel the vote on the GOP health care bill.
Here’s what we said:
It didn’t seem to occur to Trump that i) just getting Congress to vote doesn’t count as a victory – the goal is to actually win the vote, and ii) the last thing you want to do when you’re trying to get something controversial by lawmakers is back them into a corner and dare them to vote for something their constituents hate.
Well, it all crashed and burned. Trump’s dealmaking prowess was tested for the first time and not only did he fail miserably, his naiveté with regard to politics was laid bare.
Trump’s message to the American people after the vote was pulled:
- TRUMP SAYS BEST THING WE CAN DO IS LET OBAMACARE EXPLODE
That proves (again) that the President has the mentality of a spiteful toddler.
More worrisome however, is what it conveys about how Trump really views Americans.
Voters are just pawns useful only to the extent their problems can be exploited for political gain.
As long as America’s trials and tribulations with regard to health care premiums helped validate one of the campaign promises (“repeal and replace”) that got Trump elected, then great.
But the second it became apparent that “repeal and replace” wasn’t going to work, it was “yeah, f*ck those trials and tribulations – let Obamacare ‘explode’ so I can say ‘I told you so’ later.”
Note the bolded passages.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Trump and the GOP simply don’t care about getting anything done. It’s almost as if they’re happy to simply sit back and gloat about the fractured state of the Democratic party.
To be sure, it shouldn’t be this difficult to get things done when you’re in complete control of government and the President has billed himself as one of the greatest dealmakers in the history of the world. Seen in that light, Friday’s decision to pull Paul Ryan’s health care bill was a colossal failure.
In short, in failing to deliver on one campaign promise (to repeal and replace Obamacare “immediately”), Trump has delivered on another. That is, he always said he’d get tired of winning. If Friday is any indication, that fatigue set in this week.
Here’s more from the Wall Street Journal:
House Republicans pulled their health-care bill shortly before a vote on Friday, and for once the media dirge is right about a GOP defeat. This is a major blow to the Trump Presidency, the GOP majority in Congress, and especially to the cause of reforming and limiting government.
The damage is all the more acute because it was self-inflicted. President Trump was right to say on Friday that Democrats provided no help, but Democrats were never going to vote to repeal President Obama’s most important legislation. And that’s no excuse. Republicans have campaigned for more than seven years on repealing and replacing ObamaCare, and they finally have a President ready to sign it. In the clutch they choked.
The Washington chorus now claims Mr. Ryan made a mistake by leading with health care, and perhaps in retrospect he did. But he was responding to demands for immediate repeal by the same conservatives who later abandoned him. They wanted a repeal-only vote that had no chance of passing, which is why Mr. Ryan and Senate Republicans worked on the compromise of repeal and replace.
The critics assailed the bill as “ObamaCare Lite,” but the result of their rule-or-ruin strategy will now be the ObamaCare status quo, and Mark Meadows (North Carolina), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Louie Gohmert (Texas) and the rest own all of its problems. Please spare everyone your future grievances about rising health spending or an ever-larger government.
The grand prize for cynicism goes to Senator Rand Paul, who campaigned against the bill while offering an alternative that hasn’t a prayer of passing. “I applaud House conservatives for keeping their word to the American people and standing up against ObamaCare Lite,” said Dr. Paul. “I look forward to passing full repeal of ObamaCare in the very near future.”
There will be no such repeal in this Congress, and probably not in any other. Republicans run the government and that means they are responsible for what happens in health care. Messrs. Trump and Ryan are right that the ObamaCare markets are imploding, and prices will rise and choices will shrink again next year on present trends. Republicans can try to blame Democrats, but they’re in charge.
Much of the current conservative establishment profits from fanning resentments, not governing. Legislative compromises don’t help Heritage Action raise money for its perpetual outrage machine. An earlier generation of leaders at Heritage understood that the goal of winning elections was to achieve something. The current leaders seem happy with failure.