Is the Republican healthcare bill falling apart? Or is this merely the calm before the sh-tstorm? I can’t tell, mostly because I’ve gotten used to a newscycle that involves one hopeful story which is then followed by ten cataclysmic stories. For now, it looks like the Senate won’t be voting on their appalling, vile and contemptible GOP healthcare bill. The vote was supposed to be this week, just before the Senate went on recess for the Fourth of July holiday. So, what happened?
Mitch McConnell is a sad turtle. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was the one calling all the shots in the Senate’s GOP healthcare bill. He f–ked it up from the start, doing everything in secret and failing to inform Democratic senators and most of the Republican senators about what was going into the bill. As a result, this week’s whip count has been increasingly dire, even though the GOP has a majority in the Senate. If McConnell called for a vote on Thursday, the bill would likely go down in flames. So he pulled the vote. The Senate will vote after the recess… and after every senator goes home and talks to their constituents, I would hope. Politico has a good story about what was happening “inside the GOP’s surprise healthcare flop.”
Trump isn’t a closer. This NYT story says Trump, who has always referred to himself as a closer and a dealmaker, can’t really close this healthcare deal. The piece is interesting though – while it’s clear that Trump is an idiot incapable of seeing the larger chess game of legislating, it’s also clear that Trump and his associates are more than capable of maintaining petty, nonsensical grudges in the short-term, grudges that end up doing long-term harm. Basically, Mitch McConnell has kept Trump at arm’s length on the healthcare negotiations because McConnell knows – rightly – that Trump will end up blowing sh-t up with pettiness and stupidity.
Chuck Schumer, hero? Schumer is the Senate Minority Leader and he kept his caucus in line against the healthcare bill, and scored several moral victories in the process. Compared to McConnell and Trump, Chuck Schumer is the hero we deserve.
Still, McConnell will probably call for a vote after the recess, so be prepared. Attend the townhalls in your districts and states during the congressional recess. Call. Leave messages. Write letters and emails and tweets.
Photos courtesy of Getty.