Delaware

The Open Thread for March 25, 2017

President Trump told the Washington Post: “We just pulled it.”   The vote was scheduled to take place at 3:30 pm but Speaker Ryan called Republicans into a conference meeting instead.

It’s a massive defeat for President Trump and the Republican leadership.

Trump called up Robert Costa of the Washington Post, and then made a little statement in the Oval Office, both blaming Democrats for not repealing their own healthcare bill which they passed after considering dozens of Republican amendments.  Yes, Mr. President, we will take the blame, we did not vote for your horrible bill that would have thrown 24 million American off their health insurance.  We gladly accept the blame.  In fact, we are cutting ads claiming credit for it right now!

But for the record, President Orange Head and his minions in Congress never consulted a single Democratic lawmaker on this bill.  So if you officially want to blame us, you cannot.  Because it is your fault for not reaching out to Democrats.   But now you want our ideas on healthcare?

Fine.

HR 676, Medicare for All. Pass it now, you fucking piece of shit.  It does all the things he promised: Gives good-quality health care to everyone at an affordable price. It truly is the most conservative answer to healthcare policy there is.

Or this:

This is a must watch Bill Maher on the long con of Donald Trump:

Washington Post: “For Trump, it was never supposed to be this hard. As a real estate mogul on the rise, he wrote The Art of the Deal, and as a political candidate, he boasted that nobody could make deals as beautifully as he could. Replacing Obamacare, a Republican boogeyman since the day it was enacted seven years ago, was Trump’s first chance to prove that he had the magic touch that he claimed eluded Washington.”

“But Trump’s effort was plagued from the beginning. The bill itself would have violated a number of Trump’s campaign promises, driving up premiums for millions of citizens and throwing millions more off health insurance — including many of the working-class voters who gravitated to his call to “make America great again.” Trump was unsure about the American Health Care Act, though he ultimately dug in for the win, as he put it.”

“Republicans’ spectacular failure to repeal and replace Obamacare threatens to sabotage another cornerstone of their agenda, tax reform — because of simple math,” Politico reports.

“The GOP was counting on wiping out nearly $1 trillion in Obamacare taxes to help finance the sweeping tax cuts they’ve got planned for their next legislative act. And now it’s unclear where all that money will come from.”

Phillip Klein says this is the biggest broken promise in political history, surpassing the elder Bush’s “Read My Lips, No New Taxes:” “Republicans ran on repealing and replacing Obamacare for seven years, over the course of four election cycles… Republicans were always moving the goal posts on voters.”

“That is, during campaign season, they made boasts about repeal, and then once in office, they talked about procedural complications. In 2010, they campaigned on repeal, but by 2011, they said they needed the Senate. In 2014, they won the Senate, but by 2015 they said as long as Obama was in office, nothing would become law. In 2016, they told conservative voters, even reluctant ones, that if they voted for Trump despite any reservations, they’d finally be able to repeal Obamacare. In November, voters gave them unified control of Washington. And yet after just two months on the job, they have thrown in the towel and said they’re willing to abandon seven years of promises.”

McKay Coppins: “The GOP’s inability to maneuver a health-care bill through the House this week—after seven years of promising to repeal and replace Obamacare—is, indeed, emblematic of a deeper dysfunction that grips his party. But that dysfunction may not be as easy to cure as Ryan and other GOP leaders believe.”

“That’s because it has been nearly a decade since Washington Republicans were in the business of actual governance. Whether you view their actions as a dystopian descent into cynical obstructionism or a heroic crusade against a left-wing menace, the GOP spent the Obama years defining itself—deliberately, and thoroughly—in opposition to the last president. Rather than engage the Obama White House in a more traditional legislative process—trading favors, making deals, seeking out areas where their interests align—conservatives in Congress opted to boycott the bargaining table altogether. Meanwhile, they busied themselves with a high-minded (and largely theoretical) intra-party debate about what 21st-century conservatism should stand for. They spent their time dealing in abstract ideas, articulating lofty principles, reciting memorized quotes from the Founding Fathers.”

“In many ways, the strategy paid off: Republicans took back Congress, slowed the progress of an agenda they genuinely opposed, and ultimately seized control of the White House. But it also came at a cost for the GOP—their lawmakers forgot how to make laws. Indeed, without any real expectation of their bills actually being enacted, the legislative process mutated into a platform for point-scoring, attention-getting, and brand-building.”

“According to multiple Trump administration officials speaking to the Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity to talk freely, the president is angry that his first big legislative push is crumbling before his eyes—and his chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon is advising him to take names and keep a hit list of Republicans who worked for Trumpcare’s defeat.”

Said one official: “Bannon has told the president to keep a shit list on this. He wants a running tally of the Republicans who want to sink this. Not sure if I’d call it an enemies list, per se, but I wouldn’t want to be on it.”

Jonathan Swan: “What leadership keenly understands is that the bottom falls out on a vote like this. It’s not like Trump will get a clear read on who is with him and who’s against. Members that are currently in the ‘yes’ column will not vote for a bill that is going down and will have the negative implications hung around their neck in the fall of 2018. If GOP leaders put the bill on the floor without the votes to win, it won’t lose by a handful, it will lose badly.”

A new Quinnipiac poll finds American voters oppose the spending cuts listed in President Trump’s proposed federal budget, including 70% to 25% against eliminating the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

By wide margins, however, American voters say other proposed cuts are a bad idea:

  • 87% to 9% against cutting funding for medical research;
  • 84% to 13% against cutting funding for new road and transit projects;
  • 67% to 31% against cuts to scientific research on the environment and climate change;
  • 83% to 14% against cutting funding for after school and summer school programs;
  • 66% to 27% against eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities;
  • 79% to 17% against eliminating the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Eric Trump told Forbes he will keep his father “abreast of the family business’ profits.”

Said Trump: “I am deadly serious about that exercise. I do not talk about the government with him, and he does not talk about the business with us. That’s kind of a steadfast pact we made, and it’s something that we honor.”

However, just two minutes later he admitted he would give his father reports “on the bottom line, profitability reports and stuff like that, but you know, that’s about it,”  adding that the updates will be “probably quarterly.”

President Trump has been in office for 64 days and the Washington Post reports he’s made 317 false or misleading claims so far.

Gabriel Sherman: “The failure to repeal and replace Obamacare would be a stinging defeat for Trump. But it would be an even bigger defeat for Paul Ryan, who has all but staked his Speakership on passing this bill. And in the hall of mirrors that is Washington, the big winner to emerge out of the health-care debacle could be Steve Bannon. That’s because Bannon has been waging war against Ryan for years. For Bannon, Ryan is the embodiment of the ‘globalist-corporatist’ Republican elite. A failed bill would be Bannon’s best chance yet to topple Ryan and advance his nationalist-populist economic agenda.”

“Publicly, Bannon has been working to help the bill pass. But privately he’s talked it down in recent days. According to a source close to the White House, Bannon said that he’s unhappy with the Ryan bill because it ‘doesn’t drive down costs’ and was ‘written by the insurance industry.’ While the bill strips away many of Obamacare’s provisions, it does not go as far as Bannon would wish to ‘deconstruct the administrative state’ in the realm of health care. Furthermore, Bannon has been distancing himself from the bill to insulate himself from political fallout of it failing. He’s told people that Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn — a West Wing rival — has run point on it.”

But Trump may want to hold off on encouraging the ouster of Ryan as Speaker. An internal GOP battle to replace him will get ugly and take months off the legislative calendar. Trump’s agenda will almost certainly stall.  And as Republicans found when John Boehner was ousted, it’s not easy to find someone in the GOP caucus who can even win the job.

New York Times: “Mr. Trump has told four people close to him that he regrets going along with Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s plan to push a health care overhaul before unveiling a tax cut proposal more politically palatable to Republicans.”

“He said ruefully this week that he should have done tax reform first when it became clear that the quick-hit health care victory he had hoped for was not going to materialize on Thursday, the seventh anniversary of the act’s passage.”

Meanwhile, CNN reports Trump has “increasing concerns” about how Ryan has handled this process.

The Washington Post says the Democrats let their grass roots lead on healthcare and they won:

“It was the town halls, and the stories, that convinced me that people might actually stop this bill,” said Tom Perriello, a former Democratic congressman now running an insurgent campaign for governor of Virginia, with his career-ending vote for the ACA front and center.

The outsider approach to lobbying grew from there, in ways that quickly came to worry Republicans. Indivisible-affiliated groups advertised congressional town halls and flooded them. Like the Jan. 14 rallies, the town hall tactic mirrored what the tea party movement did in 2009. Like the Democrats of that year, many Republicans responded glibly, blaming out-of-state (or district) rabble-rousers and searching for the invisible hand of George Soros. Among the Republicans who took the protests seriously was Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), who would go on to oppose AHCA from the right.

“I don’t know if we’re going to be able to repeal Obamacare now because these folks who support Obamacare are very active,” Brooks told a radio host in February. “They’re putting pressure on congressman and there’s not a counter-effort to steel the spine of some of these congressmen in tossup districts around the country.”

Politico has that memo about the 33 point approval hit.

The survey finds that information about the Republicans’ plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act—combined with voters knowing theirRepublican member of Congress supports the plan—results in a net 13-point swing away from the Republicans in the vote for Congress, including substantial movement in districts President Trump carried in November.

1 comment on “The Open Thread for March 25, 2017

  1. I viewed the whole event as a win for the Dems and mutually assured destruction for the Republicans, at first I thought that they would pass a bill, horrible or not. But I underestimated the war within the Republican party and that both sides would be jumping ship before it sank. This is may not be Waterloo for Ryan and Trump, but it will do until the real thing comes along. And now let’s talk about Russia……….

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