The general press coverage of Trump’s failure to repeal and replace Obamacare portrays it as a crushing defeat. I call it a win.
I don’t know if it is because of incompetence or caginess, but this result was best for the “president” all things considered. I have read nothing that supports the notion that Trump actually knows anything, or really cares, about healthcare. In fact he has said: “Who knew healthcare could be so complicated?” Well, Mr. “President” I would say anyone with the sophistication to distinguish between a campaign slogan and an actual plan knew. The fact that the Obamacare plan took over 2,000 pages to describe is one clue of how complicated.
Trump just cares about looking like a winner who cares. He promised to replace the flawed Obama plan with something really great and he wants to appear to keep his campaign promise. It is like the temporary travel ban that appeared to add to our security. But he singled out seven predominantly Muslim nations, none of which has produced a terrorist action in this country, while ignoring the other Muslim nations in the Mid-East that have.
Even if you like the idea of some kind of ban, this one makes no sense. But it appears to make sense which is good enough for our “president”.
Yes, he’s that shallow and that narcissistic. A former business associate once described him as being “the most self-absorbed and least reflective” man he had ever met. Trump has a depth of being about as thin as his skin. That to me is the most frightening thing about him. Even when he loses he wins because it is attention that he craves. Cable news seems al least 80% about him. No matter what he does he is the star of the show.
Of course, to he truly happy he must have adulation, not available in his every day life, which is why he continually stages “campaign” rallies around the country as if he were still running. He needs to see adoring fans like a vampire needs blood. Yes, despite the bluster, he is that insecure.
The final plan that he and Speaker Ryan were trying to push through the house made so many concessions for conservative buy in that “some of the biggest losers in the Republican plan are in counties that supported him,” according to this article in the L. A. Times. Also, according to a number of others sources, the biggest winners would have been the very rich (through tax cuts), just the opposite of Trump’s B. S. about fighting for the little guy.
No bill would have had a chance because there are too many fissures within the Republican controlled congress that are irreconcilable on this issue, at least for now. With that in mind pushing for any kind of a bargain immediately seems incompetent, but perhaps at some point it occurred to Trump that, what with 17% approval of the jerry-rigged health replacement bill, that it was best to put it out of its misery and demand a vote that they surely were going to lose.
Why is that loss a win for Trump?
Had this bill actually passed many of his fanatics who hate Obamacare would have eventually found Trumpcare to be worse and what a fake he is, which is what Trump fears most of all. The onus for healthcare would switch from Obama to Trump. The last thing he wants is to be blamed for anything, which is why he is so good at blaming others. Can anyone recount any failure that he has ever taken responsibility for? Name one.
This way he can continue to talk about Obamacare being so terrible it will fall by its own weight (with Tom Price, the Secretary of HEW likely to help by adding to that weight by doing what he can to dismantle parts).
Trump can continue to say that he tried to live up to his repeal and replace, but everybody else made it impossible. First, Paul Ryan pushed it too hard as if it could easily pass. Second, the Democrats didn’t help at all (not that he asked for their help). Third, the conservatives in Congress, and outside groups like the Club for Growth, scuttled it. He accused them of being disloyal Republicans (i. e. not loyal to Trump) who blew the deal.
So, to his fans at least, Trump ends up looking like a heroic battler for great health care against foes of all stripes (a complete fabrication) and with the defeat his bluff won’t be uncovered any time soon. Despite not winning, Trump looks decisive and saves his party from breaking apart like Humpty Dumpty, for the moment. Perhaps it was through incompetence in both the White House and in the House. Perhaps there is something cagey about it. With this “president” I never quite know.
Bottom line, the longer Trump can appear to keep his election promises the better for him. My hope is that eventually it will be clear to most Americans that this has all been a show, that like the Wizzard of Oz, the real Trump is a little man hidden behind a curtain while projecting an image of great strength.
I can’t wait to see more and more people peek beneath that curtain and see how little is there.