The Republicans are reeling from defeat and the Democrats are relishing a victory. When the Republicans abruptly pulled their health care bill from the House floor on Friday, just minutes before the vote was to take place, was it the last and only chance to repeal and replace Obamacare? Was it really the “only train leaving the station” as Sean Spicer declared? What does it mean for President Trump and especially Paul Ryan?
Speaker Paul Ryan was quick to share his emotional reaction: “This is a disappointing day for us. Doing big things is hard. All of us, myself included, will need time to reflect how we got to this moment, what we could have done to do it better.” President Trump was quick to blame the Democrats: “With no Democrat support, we couldn’t quite get there. We were just a very small number of votes short in terms of getting our bill passed. I’m disappointed,” Trump said, adding, “I’m a little surprised to be honest with you.”
Trump praised Ryan for his hard work and confessed that they had learned a lot about loyalty as well as the vote-getting process. He said, “We learned a lot about arcane rules.” You can imagine how hard it must be for the man who wrote “The Art of the Deal,” to come up short in actually closing the deal.
Although the House Democrats were a formidable force of unity, it was the Republicans who sealed their own fate. They were unable to unify even though they were focused on the repeal for six years. In the end, the moderates and the conservatives just could not come together and compromise. This stalemate continued even after the president gave a grave ultimatum about the price those who voted “no” would pay when they went back to their constituency and had to explain how years of campaign pledges failed to come to fruition. Republicans sent bills to former President Obama several times all of which were vetoed but the one time it counted they couldn’t get it done.
Do you think this is a deathblow to Trump’s presidency? Where do you think the primary blame lies? How would you have handled things if you were in Paul Ryan’s shoes? We are very interested in your comments.