The past week has not been encouraging for freedom lovers and liberty-minded individuals who hope to work with President Trump. Trump has effectively thrown the House Freedom Caucus under the bus after they refused to pass unpopular health care legislation.
The American Health Care Act (AHCA) was the baby of House Speaker Paul Ryan. It was crafted in back rooms, saved most of the harmful anti-market provisions within Obamacare, and would have put the GOP on the hook for the impending disaster. Trump should be thanking the House Freedom Caucus for helping to torpedo this mess. Instead, Trump has waged war against them.
Trump has gone on a Twitter rampage against the Freedom Caucus. He is pushing the same asinine talking points as the Neocons in the media. Trump’s surrogates have directly threatened Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) and Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI). He is incredibly angry over the failure of a bill that has a 17 percent approval rating amongst the public. On this issue, Trump clearly is missing the forest for the trees.
Making matters worse, Trump seems to be seizing on advice from establishment liberal Republicans such as Ohio Governor John Kasich. Trump has indicated that he is pivoting left-ward to get deals done on health care. It follows the Kasich legislative blueprint, according to a CNN report:
“You cannot have major changes in major programs affecting things like health care without including Democrats from the very beginning,” Kasich, a Republican, said in an interview with Dana Bash on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Republicans have pledged to repeal and replace Obamacare since it became law in 2010. But after several weeks of fraught debate and a lack of support from many within the GOP as well as the full Democratic caucus, Republican leaders pulled their bill on Friday…
For his part, Kasich called for a centrist approach, saying those with extreme views on both sides of the aisle needed to be “marginalized” and that many Democrats would work with Republicans given the chance. Without bipartisan buy-in, “What you pass will never be sustainable,” he said.
Gov. Kasich is the liberal Republican who implemented Obamacare in Ohio through executive order against the will of the people. He was one of the most ardent anti-Trump politicians in last year’s Presidential race. It was even reporting that he was taking George Soros money to stay in the race and sabotage Trump many months after it was known he had no chance at winning. John Kasich is bad news, and not the man Trump should be taking cues from.
President Trump is clearly mad that he wasn’t able to ramrod the AHCA down the throats of the public, and then proclaim himself as a big winner. Nevertheless, he needs to see the big picture and remember his electoral mandate. He was not elected to do the bidding of Paul Ryan and other Congressional weasels. He was not elected to listen to the advice of sniveling liberal moderates like Gov. John Kasich. He was elected to fix problems and drain the swamp. The AHCA only compounds the problems while empowering swamp interests.
Trump lovers have assured me that this is just another round of hyper-dimensional space chess that he is playing on all of us mere mortals. They assure me that we should trust in Trump blindly, as Obama worshipers did for their idol. Trump has certainly maneuvered in bizarre ways to great success in the past, but his agenda seems rather straight-forward in this case. He tried to strong-arm, was rebuked in his attempt by the Freedom Caucus, and now is doubling-down to fright good legislators into compliance the next time the vote comes up.
The situation is not hopeless though, as Trump met with Sen. Rand Paul and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney this past weekend on the golf course. Presumably, they were talking health care and other matters of national importance. Let’s hope that Trump listens to the smart folks with the integrity who have his ear and not the many vipers he has allowed in to his inner circle. Perhaps his rapidly dissolving public support moving even further down the tubes would give President Trump added motivation to find his conscience and do the right thing.