There are many issues that have from the start surrounded the attempts to unwind Obamacare, with the actual attempt to get rid of this obnoxious piece of legislation only one strand, however important it might be. More important has been the imperative that Trump comes to understand the lay of the land. The one thing that is certain is that Trump has been around the street himself a few times, and while he is new to being an elected official, he is not new to politics. He does not and has always known that cannot trust Ryan but he also knows this is someone with whom he has to work. He knows there are endless agendas running even on the Republican side of the aisle, and in among all if it is the certainty that most of those he is dealing with are owned by others whose bidding they must do if they are to continue to fund their re-election campaigns. That among the Republicans there are 52 who would like to see the present arrangements sent packing is far from certain. The same interests that have backed the Democrats on the present system also back many of the Republicans. If it comes down to whom I trust, Trump remains near enough the only one since he is among the few for whom the kinds of policies I would like to see closely line up with what he himself most assuredly wants to do.
So this is where I think we are. First, however the Democrats may see some kind of victory in keeping Obamacare intact, they will continue to own its failures. It is true the Republicans have not been able to remove it as yet, but no one who wishes to see it go will see any reason on this account to vote for the Democrats instead. They are more than ever associated with this rotting system, and the worse things become, the more they will have it hung round their necks.
Second, Ryan has demonstrated that he may well not have whatever it takes to shepherd important parts of the Republican agenda through Congress, and the House in particular. Trump basically gave Ryan his head on the mechanics and Ryan has failed. Personally, I cannot tell whether the process that was put in place was the right way to do things – and many others who I do trust say that it was not – but the tactics were as much Ryan’s as anyone else’s.
Third, there are many other things that Trump will now do to continue his agenda, with tax and spending cuts apparently the most important. And there is no doubting that Trump means to get taxes down and is certainly doing what he can to cut spending at every turn. This will be the next test set before Ryan. We shall see whether he can deliver. It’s one thing to be in opposition where nothing depends on you if things are to get done; it is quite another to be expected to deliver in government. Trump – political neophyte though he may be – really means what he says and knows how to get things done. Ryan does not repreresent the Trump agenda, but if he cannot deliver, will be gone and never missed.
I have been reading the American press that I can find on the web and this seems the closest to what I think myself although nowhere near everything I personally believe: Ryan unmasks himself as biggest threat to GOP, Trump presidency. This is what he says:
House Speaker Paul Ryan didn’t just step in it again, big time, on the Ryancare bill this week. The Wisconsin Republican unmasked himself as the man most capable of demolishing his own party and the Trump presidency.
The Ryan American Healthcare Bill is a piece of moderate GOP trash that Mr. Ryan owns and has been trying and failing miserably to sell as the long-promised Republican repeal and replacement of Obamacare.
By telling conservatives in the House and across America to go have intimate relations with themselves and not meddle in the medical-care matters of him and the rest of what passes as House GOP leadership, he has done American politics a favor.
Specifically, he has convinced many conservatives that his time as maximum leader of House Republicans might best end before even more damage is done to the other lawmakers in his party, to President Trump and to the brand of the party and the president.
Politicians in both parties and the press call the bill “Ryancare.” If it passes — and it won’t — Democrats and eventually angry Republicans will be calling it Trumpcare. Talk about brand destruction.
Mr. Trump is not a policy guy. He doesn’t know the ins and outs of healthcare legislation, let alone of a bill that the tight little Ryan crew guided through the House this far, with no conservative consultation or approval.
Mr. Ryan, with the historically august title of House speaker, sold Mr. Trump a bill of goods, namely that the bill will appease conservatives and moderates in the GOP Congress and in the hinterland, get everyone re-elected in 2018 and 2020 and everyone could go to the seashore on Sunday.
This is March 2017. The election is in November 2020. This is the time for Trump to test the waters and to find out who he can trust and where he can find a realistic guide to policy. He is also saying to the Republicans in Congress that they must get their house in order, and the Senate as well, if he and they are to prosper together.