Tags: Donald Trump | Healthcare Reform | Paul Ryan | GOP | mcconell

Trump Can't Advance His Agenda by Blaming Others

Trump Can't Advance His Agenda by Blaming Others

Protesters gather across the Chicago River from Trump Tower to rally against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act on Friday, March 24, 2017, in Chicago. Earlier, President Donald Trump and GOP leaders yanked their bill to repeal Obamacare off the House floor Friday when it became clear it would fail. (Rex Arbogast/AP)

By Friday, 31 March 2017 03:56 PM Current | Bio | Archive

It was 1986, Game Six of the World Series, the New York Mets versus the Boston Red Sox — tenth inning. At stake. A championship that had eluded Boston since 1918 — the "Curse of the Bambino."

The Red Sox were one strike from victory as the game-ending groundball approached first baseman Bill Buckner. But the ball passed through Buckner’s legs.

The rest is history. The Mets won Game Six, and went on to become world champions.

Had Buckner blamed the Mets for his error, he would have been laughed off the planet. But he didn’t, because nobody would ever say something so removed from reality, especially given that the world had just witnessed the event.

Right? Wrong.

That is exactly what President Trump did by blaming the Democrats for the failure to repeal Obamacare. That bears repeating. Mr. Trump faulted the Democrats for the Republicans’ humiliating defeat.

You can’t make this up.

The president has not learned that outrageous statements may drive ratings for reality television, but in politics, they don’t cut it. In fact, they serve only to widen Mr. Trump’s credibility gap, and put a stake through the heart of his political, and personal, capital.

Here is a "carnage analysis" for the listing GOP:

The non-vote. No promise was ever so oft-repeated and "guaranteed" — Obamacare would be "repealed and replaced." Republican leaders, therefore, should have crafted a bill acceptable to both caucuses and the president, since they had seven years. That way, they could hit the ground running with a "tune up" victory.

It’s why powerhouse Division 1 football teams schedule weak opponents at the start of each season: they tune up for the more significant challenges ahead by working out the kinks and building self-confidence.

But instead, the GOP rushed a bad bill. And they can blather with inside-the-Beltway jargon about how it was necessary to pass "budget reconciliation" first, but that’s simply not true.

Inexplicably, they didn’t run bills that would have passed, such as medical malpractice reform, allowing healthcare purchases across state lines, extending prescription drug patents, and treating health insurance as we do life, auto and homeowners.

Not hard, guys.

That said, they were right to shelve the bill, since a non-vote is infinitely better than a defeat. Republican leaders should have decalred, "This is merely a temporary setback. We will start fresh, and develop a plan that better addresses how to fix healthcare."

And next time, they should spend $100 million on a nationwide ad campaign outlining what they are advocating, instead of letting the ads of special interests run unopposed.

But they won’t — because they never do.

Worst of all was the reaction that "Obamacare will be the law of the land," as U.S. HouseSpeaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said. And Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., punted, too. So you just skulk away, wallowing in self-pity and blaming everyone else for your self-induced mistakes?

And no, the president didn’t "win" under the rationale that Obamacare will collapse.

Sorry. That’s not a solution. People did not elect Donald Trump and the Republicans to sit idly — but to get things done. If they can't, or won't, they’ll face the consequences.

Some are blaming Speaker Ryan for "pushing a bad bill on the White House." 

Here's the newsflash! The president is the leader, and has more influence than anyone.

If Mr. Trump didn’t like the bill, he should have collaborated to craft something better.

And Sean Spicer’s all-or-nothing “there is no Plan B” was preposterous. It’s politics!

There is always a Plan B. And Plan C, D and E — if need be.

The GOP’s answer is to 1) admit that the proctologist found their collective head, 2) gain support from the Freedom Caucus and/or Democrats, and 3) pass a healthcare reform bill that actually reforms healthcare.

The outlook. Some say the President’s agenda is crippled. Not true. At least not yet.

This failure was not Mr. Trump’s first big test. How he responds is. To that end, he’s not doing particularly well. He blamed Democrats, lambasted the Freedom Caucus (not smart since he needs them for the rest of his agenda), and seems content to move on to tax reform — arguably, an even harder challenge.

The political and personal capital of "The Art of the Deal" negotiator is on the line.

As party leader, the president always takes the brunt of criticism for failures, and most of the accolades for victories. Mr. Trump, despite his best efforts, can’t pick and choose when such accountability suits him.

What the president and Congress both need are victories, on immigration reform, a reinstated refugee ban, revamped trade policies, tax reform, energy independence — and yes — healthcare reform.

As Michael Douglas said in "The American President," "We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them."

Mr. President, it’s time to get serious.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.

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The president has not learned that outrageous statements may drive ratings for reality television, but in politics, they don’t cut it. In fact, they serve only to widen Mr. Trump’s credibility gap, and put a stake through the heart of his political, and personal, capital.
GOP, mcconell
Friday, 31 March 2017 03:56 PM
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