The season, at the start, revolves around the plot twists over Obamacare, Ryancare, Trumpcare, the Affordable Care Act, and the American Health Care Act.
Besides the three
And, our story line develops from there
Besides reminding us of a classic classic rock song, here with a new cover by Reservoir Dogs:
"Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, Here I am, stuck in the middle with you" isn't totally true, per the pic, which I saw, with this caption, from a TrumpTrain rider on Twitter. Trump is actually as much a clown or joker than either of them.
And, he got punked, in part because between Nov. 8 and Jan. 20, he never stopped to realize that health care is indeed hard. (Well, if you have a single-payer system, with one set of rules, it's not quite so hard.)
Now, per some of the inside-the-Beltway chattering class postmortems, Trump may eventually learn more of a political game. Or, he may remain like a more narcissistic Ross Perot, thinking he can be CEO to Congressional mid-level business execs, with him just snapping his fingers and getting results. (That igmores that when Trump snapped his fingers in the business world the results were often bad, except in cases where he often allegedly had the help of organized crime.
But, Trump's going to have to do a lot more political learning.
His threat to primary House Republicans who wouldn't get on the Trump Train basically got laughed at by the likes of Gohmert Pyle and other teabagger members of the House Freedom Caucus. More quietly, House GOP non-wingnut conservatives (please, don't call them "moderates") laughed at Trump their own way.
Speaking of the House GOP, Speaker Paul Ryan has already been labeled a poseur and dilettante by the chattering class. More clearly, he's now damaged goods. Will he be considered damaged enough that Gohmert Pyle and other Freedom Caucus members threaten him with a leadership challenge, just like they did with John Boehner? It wouldn't surprise me. Breitbart already has out the long knives; stay tuned for what Faux News says in days and weeks ahead.
Question No. 2 and related — if this drumbeat against Ryan increases, will he stop kissing Trump's ass and try to find his own long knives? Or more subtle anti-Trump sicarii?
Next loser? Rinse Penis, that is Reince Priebus, is already getting dinged. Besides GOP civil war, Trump staff civil war will surely increase. Eminence grisé Steve Bannon is already pulling out some long knives there, but more toward Eddie Munster, which is surely what's fueling Breitbart. That said, Bannon, contra his nominal buss Trump, is being honest that this was a big defeat.
Related to that, Bannon reportedly wanted to force a public vote, so that he had his own "enemies list" over the issue in the House.
Trump himself is reportedly boo-hooing over letting Ryan do the bill-writing. But, that's simply bullshit. Congressional GOP has been calling for more action, more leadership, from Trump for some time. If Bannon wants to play this game, at least some in the House are more savvy than Ryan in knowing who they're dealing with.
Winner of sorts? The Turtle. The bill never got to the Senate. He never had to threaten a nuclear option requiring actual stemwinder filibustering from Senate Dems. And, he can now play himself up to Trump as elder statesman, vs. Ryan. And, Bannon knows (I think) that even he can't mess with McConnell.
Tom Price, Trump's new HHS secretary, has been named in that last link above, as another loser. If so, that shows every Trump cabinet member who came from Congress is on some sort of hot seat. Given his role in many spots, OMB Director Mick Mulvaney shouldn't sleep easy.
Loser again? Trump. His own aides are all but calling him an idiot for trying to put blame on Dems for the bill's failure.
Loser again again? Trump. That info above is coming from a flood tide of leaks inside his staff.
That said, I disagree with the likes of Washington Monthly when it says Trump didn't care. No, he did care a lot — as long as it was easy. As soon as the going looked tough, and it looked like he could still blame Ryan et al, and not take too bad a hit himself, he bailed.
Don't forget, WM is part of the neoliberal wing of the Beltway chattering class — the type of folks who agreed with Hillary Clinton 12 months ago on trying to promote Trump's candidacy over other Republicans.
Mixed loser/quasi-winner? House Freedom Caucus. Trump himself called it a loser, as noted here, where its head, Rep. Mark Meadows, thinks O-care can still be defeated. That intensifies the loserdom, if he's that clueless. (And he is; none of the Freedom Caucus members chair any committees, let alone one in position to put forth O-care repeal bills.) But, it's a quasi-winner to its diehard wingnut supporters.
Meanwhile, the American public, even though not the Biggest Loser, remains a loser.
- The Congressional GOP stands officially exposed as having no desire to make Obamacare actually better;
- A full 25 House Progressive Caucus members have yet to cosponsor HR 676, John Conyers' single-payer bill;
- Bernie Sanders has yet to introduce a similar bill in the Senate, and his last excuse has now been removed.