Pur Autre Vie

I'm not wrong, I'm just an asshole

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

And For What?

I'll have more to say about the gratifying death of the latest Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. For now I just want to note that the entire exercise was remarkably fruitless for the Republicans.

Don't get me wrong, for some of them it might have been worth rolling the dice, even against daunting odds, given the importance that they attach to dismantling the welfare state (or, perhaps more accurately, to cutting taxes). But a lot of Republicans cast hard votes for a bill they didn't like, and that voters overwhelmingly hate. Their only consolation is that memories of the AHCA might fade by 2018, although I assume the Democrats are prepared to spend a lot of money reminding voters. "What did the Republicans do the moment they got power? They tried to get rid of your preexisting conditions protection! You can't trust them to stand up for you!"

Now quite possibly this was all baked into the cake after years of Republican lies about the ACA. Quite possibly this is one of the less bad outcomes that the Republicans could have suffered. But they have paid a remarkably high price for the questionable benefit of lancing the boil.

What is particularly interesting is the complicated dynamic that's playing out, in which Trump takes relatively little blame for the stalled Republican agenda. There's a certain kind of rough justice to this, since it's not even his agenda! It's Paul Ryan's! But anyway that's a topic for another post.


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