Friday, March 24, 2017

This Will Cut Deep

So what exactly just happened?

Republicans had campaigned for 8 years on obstructing Obama's Presidency as best they could, and spent 7 years campaigning against Obama's signature Healthcare reform package Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare).

Republicans finally had full control of the federal government. They controlled the House under Speaker Paul "Ayn Rand Is My Goddess" Ryan. They controlled the Senate - slightly - under Majority Leader Mitch "Burn In Hell For Your Obstruction" McConnell. They pulled off getting trump into the Presidency due to Russian involvement voter suppression and a broken Electoral College. Anything they passed in Congress, trump would happily sign off on. No more vetoes from Obama.

Republicans simply had to draft up a Health Care Replacement plan that could give them their desired Tax Cuts, give them their desired deregulation of industry, and still provide some semblance of coverage to make it look effective in comparison to a "flawed and broken" Obamacare they warned was going to make things bad.

Republicans came out with a Replacement bill - the AHCA - that actually kicked millions of Americans off health care coverage, reduced Medicaid AND Medicare funding, forced millions more Americans to pay more costs out-of-pocket, threatened to close hospitals and nursing homes, ruined health care protections for women, and did nothing to fix the dreaded deficits.

Republicans suddenly got an earful from millions of Americans protesting at town halls against their Replacement plan. They found no allies among their valued business buddies, many of whom were facing uncertainty and possible financial collapse with AHCA. They couldn't come up with sufficient excuses about why 24 million - at least - would lose health care.

Republicans could not rally around one coherent plan. When Ryan offered to make changes to the existing bill, the Far Right Freedom Caucus made harsher demands that actually made more Moderate members of The Tuesday Group (really? there's Moderate Republicans still around?!) reject those changes. And the Freedom Caucus wouldn't commit to the new changes either. It got ugly, fast.

Republicans just had to cancel in the House of Representatives their floor vote on their flawed, destructive Replacement plan, meaning they can't go through with their Repeal plan, basically meaning Obamacare remains intact (albeit vulnerable to Executive branch sabotage down the road).

In short:

MEEP motherfucking MEEP.

As I noted often before:

...The other thing Obama leaves behind is a broken Republican Party. Sure, they won the 2016 elections: but they lost every last shred of integrity, honesty, maturity, intelligence, wisdom, and long-term survival in the process. They ran on a platform of destruction: massive tax cuts for the rich a majority of Americans don't support, nuking health care that a majority of Americans are beginning to realize is gonna hurt them if it's taken away, rolling back civil rights gains, and discrediting every foreign policy success of the last 70 years (!) just to appease their new best friend Putin.
And having made this fantasy world of lies - where OBAMA was a FAILURE - the Republicans are going to try to reshape the real world to that fantasy. And they're going to find the real world doesn't work that way (and that Obama was more successful than they feared)...
...We're already watching the Republicans stumble on their attempt to purge Obamacare/ACA, but while they're setting up the first stage of launch they're finding out that "Repealing" is harder than they thought: Obamacare isn't just a layer added onto our existing Health Care laws, it BECAME our Health Care laws meaning any removal is going to leave a gaping hole in our economy that Congress HAS to Replace. Oh they'll still repeal Obamacare because they've made their Narrative and dare not deviate from script, but they're finding out NOW there's a huge price to pay and the Democratic Party is NOT going to be there to cover their asses...
I wasn't exaggerating. All they did was lie about Obama and Obamacare for seven years plus, and when it came time to deal with the Truth - that Obamacare was actually good for most Americans, that any repeal or cutbacks would cause damage to millions of lives - they had nothing.

The Republicans will still lie about this, of course. They'll point fingers, blame the Democrats for being so obstructionist - GEE, WHO TAUGHT THEM THAT, BOYS? - and they'll do everything to try and keep their base angry at the usual suspects. But it's out there, it's public and it's on the record: The Republicans themselves had Majority Control of the House of Representatives and they COULD NOT FULFILL THEIR BIGGEST CAMPAIGN PLEDGE OF KILLING OBAMACARE. This is on them. This is on a dying dysfunctional Party so obsessed with staying On Message for their Fox Not-News appearances - do read Frum's Waterloo follow-up he posted today - that they've forgotten how to do anything else.

This is what's called an unforced error: The Republicans had control of both wings of Congress, control of the Presidency, technically control of the Supreme Court, they had all the pieces in place to pass ANY bills they want... and they couldn't even agree on the biggest target they were aiming at, all because they fractured over the reality that their solutions were more disastrous than the "disaster" they were claiming to replace. For all the reputation Republicans have for being organized and On Message with their Narrative, this is a public display of ineptitude and incompetence that is rarely seen in our nation's history.

All those complaints about Democrats being too moderate, too calculating, too passive at times? It's called competence. They might screw up here and there, and act like cowards when they shouldn't, but the Democrats genuinely want to govern and make things work. When they passed ACA/Obamacare, it was with an eye towards making it work with the right organizations. Obama made sure to include the Health Care Industry as partners on the legislation: It may have pissed off the liberals who wanted socialized universal care, but it paid off long-term because those businesses recoiled from the Republican AHCA plan that created industry-wide chaos.

Like I noted before: Obama had to have known taking on a conservative model like ACA would wreck any future Republican sabotage because it took away any viable alternative the GOP could offer.

MEEP Motherfucking MEEP.

Tomorrow we keep fighting. The Republicans still have an agenda to dismantle every last bit of functioning government they can. Ryan may be wounded by this fight - can he still govern as Speaker if he can't even get his own Party aligned to vote his way? - but he still wants his precious precious TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH.

Tomorrow is another battle.



Denny from Ohio said...

Ryan has like a whopping three legislative initiatives that he crafted that have passed since becoming a federal politician. People are seeing through his soulless, lifeless shark eyes and the wonk facade. The country is gradually catching on to his smarmy schtick and will increasingly disregard him. I don't think he will last much longer, the rank-in-file see him as ineffective and the Tea Party nuts will run him out too. Putin's Revenge will label him a loser and actively work to neuter him.

Or not. Who knows with this bunch.

dinthebeast said...

Can you imagine Nancy Pelosi bailing on two consecutive votes with a 44 seat majority? Me neither. Love her or hate her she was good at her damn job, and I laughed my ass off yesterday when she called the failure of the AHCA a "rookie's error."

-Doug in Oakland