Exactly two weeks ago, this author predicted the defeat of the American Health Care Act — and explained that it was a step towards the final, actual deal that will repeal and replace Obamacare.
President Donald Trump faces three irreconcilable factions: the GOP establishment, conservatives, and Democrats. He must bring them together — to “deliver the goods,” a key rule in The Art of the Deal. But first he must show them “the downside” — and convince them they will fail on their own.
The most difficult faction to deal with is the Republican establishment — not because they are politically strong, but because on policy issues like health care, they are convinced that they have all the answers and that Trump just does not understand.
So he let them make the first move — and he exposed two things about them: first, that they had not come up with a plan that was ready for prime time; second, that they had not done any of the political legwork necessary to sell their plan to voters.
Trump gave Speaker Paul Ryan and the House Republican leadership enough rope to hang themselves. Instead of dictating terms to him, they will now depend on him to save them, politically. They must accept whatever plan he will put forward.