March 25th, 2017

Have you noticed…

…that it’s not just the Democrats who are crowing over the GOP failure to pass the replacement for Obamacare? Have you noticed the over-the-top hype the MSM is currently making of that failure? This is the worst debacle ever, etc. etc. etc…

I wonder if the ordinary voter feels that way. I wonder if he/she doesn’t care more about other things right now, and just sees this as part of typical DC gridlock. I wonder if he/she doesn’t think that perhaps a bill on the subject will be passed later, in the not-altogether-distant future.

I think what happened with the Obamacare replacement was a failure and an enormous error, but I certainly don’t see it as insurmountable. What will be insurmountable is if the GOP keeps on being unable to come up with some sort of solution to the problem—perhaps not a perfect one, but an improvement. And what will be even more insurmountable would be if the failure on Obamacare were followed by similar miscalculations and broken promises on other issues of importance.

48 Responses to “Have you noticed…”

  1. Oldflyer Says:

    I posted elsewhere that the Democrats and the Media will have a field day with this; but, there will be other days and the agenda must not be sidetracked.

    I don’t know if President Trump actually meant it when he said he would not re-visit healthcare; or whether that was one of the fabled negotiating ploys. I suspect that there will be a clamor to come back to this; and his hand will be stronger at the time.

    I would love for him to say something along these lines to put it behind him–for now. (sic) “I made a mistake in the campaign. I underestimated how much in lock-step the Democrats would be in opposition, even when it is detrimental to the country. I also underestimated how set in concrete some Republicans would be in their opposition to any compromise. I have learned. I will never again promise more than I am confident that I can deliver given what I have to work with and against. Make no mistake about this, the Democrats own Obamacare, and they will not be allowed to disown it if they will not help fix it. So, we move on to other important agenda items; but, first let’s review what has been accomplished in two short months…”

  2. Tom Says:

    For my part, I have been almost completely unable to follow politics since the election. The Democrat’s and the MSM’s response has been so completely over the top it sickens me. Trump has done some things that have impressed me, but then offset them with things like (so far) unsubstantiated claims of wiretapping. I always knew, and so did the Democrats, that once Obamacare became law, it would never be overturned. That’s why they burned every ounce of political capital to get it done. Once a thing has been given to someone, it can’t be taken away. I maintained a tiny bit of optimism, but it was never very high. I’ve always had this silly dream that if the Republicans could get control of all three branches that they’d be able to trim the government back to something closer to it’s constitutional limitations. It turns out I was a fool. I find that I’m much happier since I just quit paying attention.

  3. Tim P Says:


    “that it’s not just the Democrats who are crowing over the GOP failure to pass the replacement for Obamacare? Have you noticed the over-the-top hype the MSM is currently making of that failure? This is the worst debacle ever, etc. etc. etc… “

    Yes, of course it has been noticed. This type of gloating and over the top tripe has been non-stop since the election. One thing that the media does understand is that you repeat the lie often enough, loud enough, and continually, then that will be ‘the story’.

    Fortunately there are other sources, of news, for now anyway. Additionally, this will help to frame the story for the next phase of the healthcare implosion. The republicans will somehow be blamed for the coming debacle of the Obamacare implosion. As we ll as the 20-trillion debt and coming financial crisis.

    This obviously has nothing to do with facts, let alone the truth, and has everything to do with the partisan political ‘narrative.’
    Part of the disinformation campaign.
    The nonstop hounding of this administration is one part of a coordinated political soft coup. Its intent is to de-legitimze this administration. To ham-string any efforts to act and thus convince the public that the republican majority is a mistake and to sweep them out. Possibly even to impeach Trump.

    It also serves as distraction from the real issues and problems. One big one being the fact that the Obama administration actually was spying on Trump.
    From John Nolte:

    Our national media has known for months that the Obama administration spied on Team Trump. This was not only common knowledge within the media community, it was no secret. In fact, as you’ll see below, for two big reasons, the media was overjoyed that this spying had occurred: (1) they got scoops damaging to Trump, and (2) in their provincial and cultish minds, the very fact that the oh-so pure Obama administration felt the need to spy, could only mean Trump was in bed with Putin.

    In fact, the media was actually having a big public party using Obama’s spying. Hoo-hah here’s a scoop! Whee-hee Flynn said this! Woo-woo palace intrigue! Ha-haaah here’s what so-and-so said! Tra-la-la here’s what so-and-so did!

    And then on March 4, in a series of tweets that had the exact same effect as political nukes, Trump himself confirmed what the media had already told us, that the Obama administration had spied on him and his team. Trump’s brilliance was focusing on the sleazy and illegal act of the actual spying. And this is when the media realized that all their ha-has and tra-la-las were about to backfire. Their Precious Barry was now at risk, and so the shameless cover up and lying began …”

    As more of the criminal misdeeds of the Obama administration surface and as the public slowly begins to realize what a seriously horrible situation Obama and the democrats put is in, the noise and distractions will become ever louder and more shrill and strident.

    You also wondered,

    “I wonder if the ordinary voter feels that way. I wonder if he/she doesn’t care more about other things right now, and just sees this as part of typical DC gridlock.

    For me, and I suspect many others, I do not feel that way, and yes I do think there are more pressing problems. I do not see this as typical gridlock. I see this as the ongoing war against a legitimately elected president and his administration.

    There can be no doubt at this point that we are living in post-constitutional times. The problems we face are serious, but still fixable. But the democrats and the bureaucratic deep-state, along with many establishment republicans will fight tooth and nail against any real reforms. They have too much vested in the status quo and do not care about anything else. These people are that bad.

    Why the fact that North Korea is testing ICBMs while saying they plan to destroy us and that our 20-trillion dollar debt are not front and center is telling about the media’s priorities. Why there is no real healthcare reform being discussed. Because you cannot fix the economy without fixing healthcare. Why there is no real discussion of the fact that Canada just passed the M-103 bill and what it entails. Because rest assured that the democrats will do the same here when given the chance.

    As the economic problems mount, as they will and the situation becomes more precarious for regular people, the politicians will not come together to actually attempt any real change, as Trump said in his statement yesterday, they will push their petty agendas even harder figuring that this is their moment. You can’t underestimate these clowns.

    I only hope that enough citizens are aware of the game being played at their expense. However, when I talk to many democrats, it’s as if they live in an alternative universe. Nor will facts alter their view. Many (not all) are willing to bring everything down rather than admit they are wrong. Very disappointing.

  4. Sam L. Says:

    The media are Democrat shills. As Instapundit says, they are Democrats with by-lines.

  5. GRA Says:

    I routinely check my facebook since I belong to a group that deals with a class of mine. On my feed there’s at least a couple of anti-Trump posts, usually from the same leftist “friends” of mine. Strangely enough one of them says they have talked to “many” conservatives despite him never actually listing specifics. I never see an outright pro-Trump post – the closest was a Milo Y. type.

    It is clear that the MSM want Trump to fail. But then again why should I or anyone else take them seriously after they have proven they are political hacks. Trump won. They hate that. Now, they want every thing that doesn’t go as planned as a sign of complete failure. It’s more of a defense mechanism on their end.

  6. DirtyJobsGuy Says:

    The GOP had good plans that they passed in prior congresses but Obama would not sign. Unfortunately Trump has no interest in both health insurance or the details and Congressional Republicans tried to pull something together for his benefit that was more populist. Big mistake. As it starts to come out of how detached and incompetent the Trump team was in dealing with congress you can see how this came about. As I have said before Donald has never had a boss in his life, nor real business partners. The great businessman has no managerial talent and it shows.

  7. Griffin Says:

    As for the MSM it would have been negative no matter how it went. If the thing would have passed all we would have heard about is the people that will lose their coverage and when it didn’t pass now it’s Trump and Ryan failed blah blah blah.

    The next thing they will move onto is somehow blaming the Republicans when Obamacare continues it’s path to collapse. I suspect blaming the HHS secretary for fiddling with regulations will be a popular strategy here but I could be wrong.

  8. Wry Mouth Says:

    The failure to pass the bill is HORRIBLE! I don’t know if I can ever get used to this new debate, discuss, haggle, horsetrade, and if not enough people agree, DON’T pass legislation. I’m too used to the lock-step, no-discussion, shut-up-and-do-as-you-are-told Progressive model of the last 8 years.


    Honestly? It is refreshing, and I trust Mr. Trump, esp. , and Speaker Ryan are largely immune to people crowing about their maneuverings, and seem to be the type of people who will just try to get things done, and if not, try again. I fully expect another go-round after tax reform.


  9. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “Once a thing has been given to someone, it can’t be taken away.” Tom

    Throughout history, reality has demonstrated that what cannot be sustained is taken away. A House of Cards eventually collapses of its own weight. The longer is takes the more painful will be nature’s correction.

    “the democrats and the bureaucratic deep-state, along with many establishment republicans will fight tooth and nail against any real reforms. They have too much vested in the status quo and do not care about anything else. These people are that bad.

    As the economic problems mount, as they will and the situation becomes more precarious for regular people, the politicians will not come together to actually attempt any real change, as Trump said in his statement yesterday, they will push their petty agendas even harder figuring that this is their moment. You can’t underestimate these clowns.” Tim P


    “I only hope that enough citizens are aware of the game being played at their expense. “

    Half of America are liberals and leftists. A quarter are establishment status quo. 3/4 of our representatives reflect those percentages and are deeply opposed to a full return to sanity. Either ideologically opposed or unwilling to endure the surgery’s aftermath.

  10. T Says:

    “What will be insurmountable is if the GOP keeps on being unable to come up with some sort of solution to the problem—perhaps not a perfect one, but an improvement.” [Neo]

    And with this statement you, if only unconsciously, hearken to your previous post about Krauthammer’s observation of Obamacare creating the belief that this is a government problem to solve. IMO this is not the government’s problem because it is not the government’s domain.

    The simple solution is a simple repeal bill to take effect perhaps 18 months from now and a face-to-face conference between the White House and executives from the various health care providers. Letting them know that the government is getting out of the health care business, including the prohibition of interstate purchase, and they have 18 months to design their programs to accomodate that. Private industry will make it happen. It won’t be perfect, but it will be a damn sight better than anything the government would design because in the real world, business must take note of and respond to the conditions on the ground; such a program will adapt.

    I recently saw that happen in the financial industry. I have never in my 30 year career seen as much cooperation communication and idea sharing between broker/dealers as I have over their preparation for a specific Department of Labor rule which was to be imposed on the industry by Obama’s DOL (and which now, under the Trump administration will hopefully be scuttled altogether).

  11. Quiet Conservative Says:

    I do not think that the withdrawal of the vote is necessarily a bad thing. First, the Republicans were rushing it, and more time may allow for a better bill. This happened just too darn fast and the result can be poorly thought out legislation. This can be attempted again. Secondly, Obamacare will almost certainly collapse- dropping a replacement effort now and reminding the public that the Democrats still own it was a good move, because they do own it. This will only be disputed by those who dishonestly pretend to have no memory whatsoever; it is clearly their baby and when it fails, they will dance on the head of a pin to blame the Republicans, but everyone knows this is simply not true. The Republicans have left it untouched. The MSM is touting the bill withdrawal as a defeat, but if you think about it strategically, it may work out better this way.

  12. charles Says:

    Over-the-top hype is what the MSM has been doing with EVERYTHING since Trump won.

    I also wonder if others – beside those of us who pay attention – see it as well.

    However, I do not know as so many who were in the Never Trump crowd have stopped talking to me.

  13. Tom Murin Says:

    Yes, I’ve noticed. Let’s see what happens in a year or so. I don’t get this “now or never thing.” Like everything has to be done immediately (or within 100 days). I don’t think the average voter cares and – even if they did – there are no elections happening for a while. Lord knows there are a lot of other things going on in the US (and the world). Many, many moving parts.

  14. huxley Says:

    I don’t think it’s an insurmountable failure and I do hope Trump and the GOP get their act together on this. (Though I’m not optimistic.)

    But it does a blow a big hole in the Trump mystique as a wizard dealmaker because he’s a billionaire from the business world and thus knows how to get things done.

    I’ve always found that line on Trump dubious once I read up on his history.

    Obamacare is a huge deal for the Trump administration and they screwed the pooch right off largely due to shoddy execution.

  15. huxley Says:

    Scott Adams is taking the “glass-10%-full!” position by saying “Look! Now they’re saying Trump is merely incompetent instead of calling him Hitler. That’s a good week for Trump.”


  16. The Other Chuck Says:

    Trump has an enormous ego to stroke. Down the road he will do whatever it takes to fulfill his desire to win. If that means selling out Republicans to accomplish it, he will. He has other important things on his agenda like trade and works projects that will need full congressional support. Want to bet he will not cut a deal with Democrats on health care to achieve his other objectives?

    Remember, this is a man who has said we need universal health care like they have in Canada, and in the aftermath of of ACHA defeat said he would be totally open to Democrat help in the future.

  17. huxley Says:

    The Other Chuck: With Trump, anything is possible. As neo said elsewhere: “…yet he is also one of the Republicans in government who is furthest to the left on health care reform. ”

    GB and others may wish to blame Ryan and the RINOs, but either Trump is in charge or he isn’t.

    This bill died because Trump failed to lead the Republican Party.

    I see no excuse for sending a botched bill to Congress and not realize until too late you don’t have sufficient support in your own party.

  18. huxley Says:

    I made my career in Silicon Valley/SF/Marin working in startups. I did more than OK.

    Which is to say, I’m familiar with the entrepreneur model. It’s a tough, tough, Darwinian world. Startups are like rock groups — almost all die. It’s cool because if enough groups throw mud at the wall, eventually something sticks.

    But I don’t want the US run that way. The stakes are way too high. Most people can’t walk away if the US becomes a dead startup.

    So I’m not pleased to hear Trump saying, “We all learned a lot. We learned a lot about loyalty. We learned a lot about the vote-getting process. We learned a lot about some very arcane rules in obviously both the Senate and in the House. … Certainly, for me, it’s been a very interesting experience.”

  19. AesopFan Says:

    Tim P Says:
    March 25th, 2017 at 12:42 pm
    * * *
    Nolte’s piece was very good – kind of blunt, but it needed to be.
    This one by Stewart Baker of the Volokh Conspiracy is also worth reading. (It’s WaPo, but somehow out from behind the pay wall for me today.)

  20. Rufus Firefly Says:

    ” … the Republicans were rushing it… “

    You’re correct, Quiet Conservative, but that only makes it a bigger disaster. The Republican Congresspersons and GOP leadership had over 7 years to develop something. They’ve had 4 months knowing who the players would be in Congress and the Oval office; an innumerable number of attorneys on their payroll and in their midst, and the ability to convene any group of Insurance Execs, Doctors… any professionals or experts they need.

    And they put forth something that did seem hastily slapped together, and they scheduled a vote without even knowing if their own party would vote on it.

    As a former reality TV star often tweets, “Sad.”

  21. Brian E Says:

    Rather than considered a debacle, Republicans need to emphasize that unlike the Democrats, their party allows healthy debate– even disagreements aired in public. That’s healthy.

    Rather than recrimination between wings of the party, the message needs to remain positive, as immigration and tax reform have the likelihood of being just as contentious.

    In a way I wish the conservatives and passed on the bill to the senate so the president can see first hand how petty and vain the senate can be. I suspect certain senators would sabotage their own position to signal their power.

    The wouldn’t do that because they knew if the bill didn’t roll back the essential health benefits and other costly provisions of the ACA, it was only going to become more generous– more Obamacarelite.

    What I haven’t heard from conservatives is why they think Obamacare repeal is as popular as it was seven years ago. The people most negatively affected by the ACA are a minority. Expanded Medicaid doesn’t affect those people, which is the majority of new coverage. Of those buying insurance plans on the exchanges or open market, the majority of those people are receiving subsidies. The people facing the brunt of the ACA are some of the same people that previously got hosed by the old system– those paying cash for their health care. No discounts, no subsidies for those folks.

  22. Brian E Says:

    When Republicans talk about the ‘death spiral’ of Obamacare, I think they need to be more specific. As insurers pull out of markets– I think a large minority of states already only have a single insurer, Democrats don’t see that as a problem. Because cost to them isn’t a problem.

    Republicans need to become the party of fiscal sanity. They need to push the costs to the government of the three ‘entitlements’- Medicare, Medicaid and ACA.

    And to those Republicans who want these government entitlements and real world plan on how to pay for them.

    Of course the administration won’t want to talk about this, because tax reform on the short term could break the budget. Economic growth– true full employment, rising wages is, of course, the only solution to expanded government.

  23. Big Maq Says:

    @huxley – at 11:46pm – great point!

    bunion recently said (about infrastructure spending) to throw it on a wall and see what sticks. A rather cavalier and nonsensical approach to using public funds.

    That thinking probably permeates his advice to trump.

    And, trump’s life seems to one big series of risky gambles, largely in a narrow industry. A pattern he seems to be following.

    Investors (and lenders), at least, know (or should) that they are taking on significant risk. Sometimes trump left them holding the bag.

    trump can personally win big if things go his way, but he gets to walk away in the ultimate game of OPM (other people’s money) if things go south while he is POTUS.

  24. Frog Says:

    Big Maq’s remark, attributed to “bunion” was hardly original to Bannion. It dates back to the 1960s as best I recall. It has been applied to any number of things by a large amount of people since.
    Big Maq seems to revel in snarkiness

  25. n.n Says:

    The Obamacare replacement did not recognize individual rights and it hedged on restoring a capitalist market. It was Obamacare but without the reduced burden of a “universal” mandate and progressive public debt. Still, both its offering and rejection are a realization of positive progress, albeit with baby steps.

  26. M J R Says:

    huxley, 11:32 pm — “This bill died because Trump failed to lead the Republican Party.”

    Let us bear in mind that Trump ran against not only the Democrats but against the Republicans, often called here and elsewhere the GOPe [GOP-establishment or GOP-elite]. He won during the primary season not only because of the crowded field, but because he insulted his way to the top.

    Well, good for him. It is hardly a surprise that the Republican side didn’t line up for him the way he expected (at least I am led to believe how he expected). Never mind that it was largely the Freedom Caucus — not quite the GOPe — that abandoned him. Clue: when you elbow people around with your puerile insults and juvenile jabs, you should be not surprised at a lack of loyalty on the part of the insulted.

    Trump remarked that he had not been aware that dealing with health care would be so complex. Well, well. I said many times during the campaign, although I don’t believe I said/wrote it here, that Trump doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. In terms of coalition building (and that can easily apply to so-called moderate Republicans and more conservative Republicans as easily as to Republicans and Democrats), he still doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. Except now he may be willing to try listening to something other than his outsized ego.

    Some have tried to blame it on Paul Ryan and there’s something to be said for that. But appearances can easily trump reality, and the way this all plays in the mainstream media is a major factor, like it or not. It smells.

    Thanks for nothing, Trump.

  27. Cornflour Says:

    However we define the terms, it’s been a long time since we’ve had Republicans run a conservative government. So far, they’ve failed, and it shouldn’t be a surprise. The more they fail, the harder success will be. That kind of momentum happens everywhere, not just in politics. I can’t deny the obvious, simply because the media says it’s so.

    Still, I much prefer what we’ve got to the alternative: eight years of Hillary Clinton and the inexorable growth of an authoritarian left-wing state.

    Is that what the average voter thinks? I have no idea, and I’ve been wrong about most things lately, so I’m not gonna guess.

  28. Frog Says:

    Brian E’s two posts, at 1:09 and 1:35, are quite sensible.
    I’ve posted here before that 85% of the pre-Obamacare uninsured are now on Medicaid. That is income redistribution, not paid to insurance companies, thus is NOT insurance!
    A large pool of non-Medicaid insurance enrollees gets
    tax subsidies; again, income redistribution. From the gubmint.Again, not really insurance. We keep spending, borrowing, spending, just to keep the lower ranks of our population in some form of “coverage.”
    We are insane.
    $20 trillion in debt and we just keep it up with the bread and circuses.
    Medicaid enrollees do not hardly at all have diseases that become fatal if untreated. But we gotta cover them! We gotta treat their obesity, not by cutting food subsidies but with bariatric surgery! Poor babies. And obesity is said to be our nation’s #1 health problem.
    It’s all nuts.

  29. The Other Chuck Says:

    On March 19, 2010 prior to the passage of Obamacare I wrote this at another blog:

    I skimmed the bill online last night. It is a massive takeover of health care. There are provisions for setting up nurses clinics, fines for doctors & hospitals, fines for failing to buy insurance, money directed to special health related services run by community groups, fines for businesses that fail to provide insurance for employees starting at $100.00 p/day, fines for willful disregard of provisions that run into the hundreds of thousands, fines for individuals at 2 1/2% of gross income, enforcement entirely through the IRS…and on and on.
    This does not appear to be simple state socialism. That is much cleaner. This monster is so complex that it will be difficult for those affected to know if they are complying. It’s made for capricious enforcement and is totalitarian in nature.
    It’s a huge power grab.

    In retrospect and after 20,000 plus pages of regulations I think what I wrote stands. It was meant to facilitate the destruction of private health care in this country. What the Republicans came up with to replace it was little better. It is so bad that single payer will seem like a godsend.

    We’re willingly giving up freedom in this country. We want a nanny state to save us from our own inability to be self-reliant, responsible, thinking human beings. In the process we are mortgaging our children’s future with never ending budget deficits. What we’re doing is unconscionable.

  30. huxley Says:

    And, trump’s life seems to one big series of risky gambles, largely in a narrow industry. A pattern he seems to be following.

    Investors (and lenders), at least, know (or should) that they are taking on significant risk. Sometimes trump left them holding the bag.

    Big Maq: Ain’t that the truth. Those who invested in Trump Casino — a major enterprise which Trump actually ran as opposed to licensed his name — lost all their money.

    A friend Trump supporter acknowledged Trump’s bankruptcies but said that just meant Trump was a savvy — win some, lose some — businessman. That’s fine for business, but I’m not keen on a one-out-of-three chance Trump will mismanage the US into oblivion with his grandiosity and hubris.

    We’ve already had enough mismanagement.

  31. Irv Says:

    Thank goodness the healthcare bill failed. It did so because Ryan hasn’t figured out yet that it was him and the establishment republicans that really lost this election. He thinks because Trump ran as a republican then the republican party won. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. This election was about one thing and one thing only…..throw the establishment out. It was the same with Brexit.

    Ryan thought he could offer an establishment solution even though he got his job because Boehner did exactly the same thing. It absolutely amazes me that he and the media and the democrats and the establishment everywhere just didn’t get the message that the people sent by having one of the most revolutionary elections in this country’s history.

    Obamacare is presently supported by over half of the country. If you look at them you’ll see that they are mostly comprised of democrats and people receiving subsidized healthcare from a failing system. When the system goes a little farther into failure they will be clamoring for change and that’s when it will happen and not before.

    And anyone that thinks Obama wasn’t using the agencies of the federal government to spy on Trump and aid Hillary, just wasn’t paying attention. Obama corrupted every agency. Just try to think of any agency of the federal government that the people still have any faith in at all…..IRS?….EPA?….FBI?…..SECRET SERVICE?……HHS? Need I go any farther?

  32. neo-neocon Says:


    I already responded to your assertion about Ryan, the establishment, and Trump. I did so in this post. Here’s what I wrote:

    In yesterday’s thread on the pulling of the bill, several commenters remarked that the 2016 election sent a message to establishment Republicans that they had lost, but they didn’t get the memo. I understand what people who say that are getting at, but I disagree at least somewhat. After all, on the subject of replacing Obamacare, the person whose election most represented that anti-establishment message was Donald Trump, and yet he is also one of the Republicans in government who is furthest to the left on health care reform. No, this does not break down to a simple “establishment versus the right.” Trump’s victory was not a victory for conservatism, you may recall. Although he’s certainly a lot more conservative than Hillary would have been, his conservatism is spotty and inconsistent, and does not include his attitude on health care reform.

    Trump is slightly to the left of the “establishment” position on health care reform. He would have been happy to have seen the Ryan bill pass; he did not oppose it, he championed it. He backed the establishment here.

  33. huxley Says:

    Irv: (1) That’s a whole lot of mind-reading.

    (2) Trump is President, not Ryan nor the GOPe. If the healthcare bill didn’t meet Trump’s standards, that’s on him. If the process to get it through Congress was botched, I say that’s on Trump too.

    The healthcare bill is one of the huge issues facing the Trump administration. It seems to me Trump should have watched it like a hawk, especially after the earlier stumble with the travel ban EO, and exerted all his vaunted dealmaking skills to push it through.

    But no, it was a rushed, sloppy job, and Trump was unpleasantly surprised.

    Back in the real business world, executives don’t survive long if they keep getting surprised by how complicated things are and how hard it is to maintain support for your projects.

  34. huxley Says:

    However, I don’t think this is the Trump death spiral or anything.

    I do think it’s a black eye and a warning.

    Trump needs some solid wins. He’d better get on it. I’m glad he can do “presidential” and he has picked some good talent. Now he needs to execute.

  35. Tim Turner Says:

    The GOP is sitting on a bombshell, but it will all be forgotten if they pass something before the next elections.

  36. Brian E Says:

    Blaming Trump or Ryan or even the Freedom Caucus is counter-productive.

    Given Trump’s position on the matter, based on his campaign promises, there was no way any bill passing muster by the conservatives would have passed in the senate. The conservatives couldn’t budge because they knew that any provision added for their benefit would have been stripped by the senate, and would never have been added back in reconciliation.

    So in that sense, the negotiating skills of the house leadership need some sharpening. Trump needs to learn that negotiating in congress is unique, unlike business. I assume Trump’s half serious, half joking promise to campaign against members of the Freedom Caucus was totally serious. But I would assume these folks are in solidly conservative districts that will be somewhat immune to Trump’s populist agenda.

    Let’s hope they do a better job with tax reform, since that is a core component of revitalizing the economy and reinforcing domestic job growth.

  37. huxley Says:

    There is another way of looking at the failure of the healthcare bill — that it was Trump’s wily trap to take down Paul Ryan. I’ve heard it in a number of places but Michael Walsh devotes a whole blog post to it.

    “Paul Ryan Takes the Barzini Meeting”

    Despite Trump’s lip service in favor of the bill, it’s hard not to believe that Ryan was set up for disaster. The bill had the speaker’s fingerprints all over it, so it was a win-win for the White House. If the bill passed, fine: bad as it is, it was a marginal improvement on Obamacare, and Trump could be seen as having fulfilled a campaign promised. If it died, it was all on Ryan. And with it dead, the American people can continue to be tortured by the long, slow, painful death of Obamacare until they finally cry uncle and come begging to Trump to end the misery.

    I suppose it’s possible. But even if so, I wouldn’t necessarily expect this scenario to play out to a happy ending.

    First, Trump ran as a get-it-done, the-buck-stops-here anti-politician. He didn’t get it done. He didn’t even have the support of his own party. And he didn’t seem to know it until it was too late.

    Inside baseball pundits like Walsh may believe the real defeat is Ryan’s but I wouldn’t assume American voters see it that way. They may still be waiting for the chance to be tired of all the winning Trump promised them.

    Second, if it was a cunning plan, it evinces a real lack of seriousness about fixing Obamacare, which I would think insults voters as well.

    Third, it strikes me as more 3-D chess talk rationalizing carelessness. I didn’t believe it about Obama. I don’t believe it about Trump.

  38. IGotBupkis, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." Says:

    The reason it failed is that it was yet another half-assed piece of crap the voters did not ask for.

    They voted Trump in to REPEAL OBAMACARE.

    What part of that says “replace it with more of the same”?

    Fuckin’ sick and damned tired of these POS RINOs. Need to toss every one of the useless bastards out of office.

    Ryan is right up there at the top.

  39. huxley Says:

    Hey Trump supporters! Your man is President. You don’t get to blame Ryan and the RINOs on this.

    Trump had the ultimate say on this bill and he put his weight behind it. He sent Steve Bannon to the Freedom Caucus and here’s what Bannon said:

    “Guys, look. This is not a discussion. This is not a debate. You have no choice but to vote for this bill.”

  40. Brian E Says:

    “They voted Trump in to REPEAL OBAMACARE.”- IGotBupkis

    That may be the reason you voted for Trump, but that is not the reason some/many/most people voted for him. Because that wasn’t part of his campaign platform.

    His platform was to replace Obamacare with something better.
    Here are some of his statements according to the website On the Issues:

    Keep pre-existing condition coverage; not individual mandate. (Feb 2016)
    Removing cross-state barriers solves many insurance issues. (Feb 2016)
    Taking care of poor sick people isn’t single-payer. (Feb 2016)
    Insurance companies love a lack of competition. (Nov 2015)
    The insurance companies have total control over politicians. (Aug 2015)
    Don’t cut Medicare; grow the economy to keep benefits. (Jun 2015)
    Make health insurance premiums tax-deductible. (Mar 2015)
    Save Medicare & Medicaid without cutting them to the bone. (Jan 2015)

  41. huxley Says:

    Although to be fair, I do wonder what Republicans have been up to since 2010 besides naysaying and grandstanding about Obamacare.

    I thought the leadership and wonks had some real plans worked out by now, but judging by the current healthcare bill, apparently not.

  42. Big Maq Says:

    @Frog – while what you say wrt how “throw it on the wall and see what sticks” is not original to bunion, and others have used it, it doesn’t address the fact that he said this, and it reflects his kind of thinking about how to go about making policy.

    BTW, not sure what was snarky – calling him “bunion”? Gosh, that pales in comparison to what trump has said and done.

    How many here refer to obama as Barry Sotero or something less complimentary? Did you speak up then?

    But, yes, I am having a little fun by creatively showing I am less than impressed by some individuals in high office.

    Probably picked up that idea from listening to Limbaugh and Levin, way back when, before they found out hyperbole and negativity builds an audience and sells.

  43. Big Maq Says:

    “Hey Trump supporters! Your man is President. You don’t get to blame Ryan and the RINOs on this.” – huxley


    It used to be that the POTUS sets and drives the agenda, and uses his unique position with the “bully pulpit” to make the case to build public support for a position.

    That seems to be out of fashion nowadays, where leading from behind means others take the blame for failures.

    As we all know, obama did his fair share of blaming, especially on the GOP, when, in fact, he may well have been the one at fault (by design or by flaw).

    Don’t think we gave him a bye on that.

    Not sure what changed now?

    trump is probably the closest of any elected GOP federal office holder to the dems. That ought to make him the prime / lead RINO.

    Because of (ab)uses like this, “RINO” has become rather meaningless, as it merely signals “person I disagree with”, given the changing standards that people throw out that term.

  44. Brian E Says:

    “trump is probably the closest of any elected GOP federal office holder to the dems. That ought to make him the prime / lead RINO.”- Big Maq

    Labeling Trump by current conservative-liberal labels is a mistake/isn’t accurate.

    While this may be true on health insurance, it certainly fails on illegal immigration/trade.

    From an academic perspective, it would have been interesting to see the dynamic had the AHCA made it to the senate. Would McCain/Graham- who no doubt loath Trump, made nice to pass the bill, or would their pettiness/egoism got the better of them?

  45. Big Maq Says:

    “Although to be fair, I do wonder what Republicans have been up to since 2010 besides naysaying and grandstanding about Obamacare.” – huxley


    This now just comes across as cynical partisanship rather than principled, as they implied all along.

    Especially so with a bill that wasn’t anywhere close to what they implied they’d replace obamacare with.

    This is where the GOP has run into trouble, and opened the door for a man like trump. They never really defined a positive vision, let alone try to sell it to the public.

    They got wrapped up in the tactical day to day politics, being anti-obama.

    It is also a big reason why “not clinton” is not sufficient.

    Yes, it got trump an extremely low margin win, but a great many GOP voters stayed home (there was such a low percentage of eligible voters for trump – and clinton).

    The combative, rush, rush, distractionary politics being run on “our” side is not engaging those missing voters, and is rather off-putting, to say the least.

    There is a great deal of distrust from this in trump and the GOP right now (not just the overblown stuff from dems and the msm, but an honest one from their own side!), and this was very much reflected in the outcome of this (so-called) “repeal and replace” AHCA bill.

    Back to the term “RINO!”. It used to mean something, but the definition of what it is to be a Republican seems to have “changed”, and is still very much up in the air, with great uncertainty all around.

    It’s just a reflection of the times, and why we so often say…

    “We’ll see”

  46. Big Maq Says:

    @Brian – a great many, probably including most commenters here (I’d guess), over the past decade or so, have declared “RINO!” on GOP officials for far lower transgressions than trump has positioned himself on.

    A person yelling “RINO!” today at those who don’t support a bill that leaves much of obamacare intact is pointing that gun in the opposite direction than it would have been fired in the recent past (2014/15?).

    See my immediately previous comment for more on “RINO!”, and why this might be.

  47. Brian E Says:

    Big Maq,
    I think RINO has been replaced by GOPe.

    My point was labeling Trump a RINO isn’t accurate. His protectionist illegal immigration/trade philosophy is 180° from RINO’s, who, I believe, favor globalist policies.

    If national populism survives another couple of election cycles, it will confound all current labels.

  48. Big Maq Says:

    @Brian – I’ve seen GOPe applied more towards “the establishment” who were / are also identified as “RINOs”.

    Maybe there is a separation, however, Mr. Bupkis chose to blame the “RINOs” – very probably (given his wording) referring to those same “Freedom Caucus” representatives that “conservative” media are blaming.

    AFAIAC, what is a Republican, has become an open question, BUT, by what it USED to be, from things people would yell “RINO!!!” at, as a baseline, trump has no problem supporting and pushing things that would deserve that label, and calling FC members this is flipping of the term on its head.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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