Healthcare

On Thursday, when it became apparent that there weren’t enough votes to pass Trumpcare, Donald Trump, the nation’s preeminent, petulant toddler told Congress to hold its stupid healthcare vote anyway and see if he cared. Then he washed his hands of the responsibility and said he never wanted to do it, it was dumb, and besides it was all Paul Ryan’s idea in the first place.

If it was a ploy to scare the ‘no’ voters to switch it failed miserably – as even more Republicans walked away from the expensive piece of nastiness. Worsening the outcome were shameless sops thrown at the ultra-rights to enlist their support, which only alienated the few ‘moderate’ Republicans who still put people first.

Sure enough, the Republicans had to admit the obvious. That this ill-considered piece of nonsense was beyond saving. And the AHCA was taken out back and shot in the head.

Trump likes to brag that he is master of the Art of the Deal – but his genius is in the Art of Assigning Blame. And after the disaster, he pointed his finger at …….. the Democrats. No doubt his increasingly small core of blind zealots will think this reasonable. But those, who are conservative because of its philosophy not because of its leadership, will further doubt his sanity.

Further, Trump made nice with Ryan and Congress, but you know that comity will be short lived. He even held hands with the Freedom Caucus, the initial naysayers of his stab at healthcare ‘reform’. Then he floated the idea that it wasn’t his choice – and besides, he hadn’t promised to tackle healthcare right away.

Will his spin and obfuscation work? Will Americans absolve him of responsibility of the abject failure of his health plan? Will Paul Ryan be the only one with pie on his face? Not that this sociopath in an Eddie Munster mask doesn’t deserve it.

Too much? Not really. Ryan is a man who has a pathological need to make the poor, the old, and the sick suffer so the rich can get another tax break. All the while promising that his actions are nothing more than ‘deficit reduction’ – or even more cynically ‘job creating’.

The excuses for the AHCA’s failure were pathetic. Ryan admitted that just saying ‘no’ was easier than getting things done. But his claim – echoed by Trump – that their failure was a product of their newness to governing, was absurd. Ryan has been in Congress for 18 years. He has been in a Republican House majority for six. Was he asleep?

Trump repeatedly crowed that his lack of Washington experience made him the better man. That the very fact he hadn’t been swimming in the swamp freed him to get things done. So his ‘new to the game’ whining is just another example of his cynical expedience.

Perhaps the Republicans can’t do healthcare. This exercise in nihilism has revealed a seemingly unbridgeable chasm between the ultra-conservatives in safe seats and the moderate Republicans who have to actually listen to their voters. So be it.

But Trump ensured there would be no meeting of the minds by threatening the Freedom Caucus. It was his typical bully move. Try the strong-arm – and if it doesn’t work say he was being funny or sarcastic. However, Republicans are not known for their sense of humor – nor their nuanced thinking. But they are sensitive to slights to their manhood. So Trump cemented their ‘no’ vote.

If Trump were a reading man, I would suggest he reads Robert Caro’s biography of LBJ – especially Vol. 111 “Master of the Senate & Vol. IV “Passage of Power”. But he’s not. So he’ll lurch from legislative failure to legislative failure – much as he lurched from bankruptcy to bankruptcy.

UPDATE: The early favorites for ‘under the bus’ are apparently Reince Priebus and Tom Price.

 

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Handicapping the GOP Field, Before We Even Know the Final Line Up.

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“He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career” ― George Bernard Shaw. Some candidates are in. Some candidates have promised to be in. And some putative candidates will demur. Regardless let’s handicap the GOP field. (Note: I have broken the field down into various categories. Where the […]

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“I hate news and information and anything that threatens to puncture the bubble of oblivion in which I live.” ― Augusten Burroughs. Conservatives have the remedy for what ails you. Unfortunately, their remedy is only wishful thinking, from the gut, because it feels right. And is usually totally useless. Here are a few examples. In […]

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When You Have No Substance to Offer, Attack the Process. And Sue.

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