Mike ‘Payola’ Allen, take it away!
When the balky hardliners of the House Freedom Caucus visited the White House earlier this week, this was Steve Bannon’s opening line, according to people in the conference room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building:
“Guys, look. This is not a discussion. This is not a debate. You have no choice but to vote for this bill.”
Bannon’s point was: This is the Republican platform. You’re the conservative wing of the Republican Party. But people in the room were put off by the dictatorial mindset.
One of the members replied: “You know, the last time someone ordered me to something, I was 18 years old. And it was my daddy. And I didn’t listen to him, either.”
Started on the wrong foot: Repeal-and-replace was always snakebit. Ryan had begun the process before Trump’s inauguration. “He boxed us in,” said one person close to the fight. “We didn’t have any choice.”
Was always wobbly: Trump relied too long on assurances from Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and HHS Secretary Tom Price that they had the process in hand. And “Ryan was telling him it was fine, and they’d bring it together at the end.” Instead, the bottom fell out.
We are left with the Russian Usurper’s words ringing in our ears, You’re gonna be tired of so much winning. OK, snark aside this means that whatever momentum The 4th Reich had is probably over. It certainly means that Hair Führer’s first 100 days will come and go without a major win on any legislation. And they control the ENTIRE federal apparatus.
And so a week that began with the FBI directly saying that our illegitimate preznint is a liar and that seemingly his transition team is under investigation for, well, being paid Russian apparatchiks (if not spies), ends with a pie in his art-of-the-deal face and a much-awaited slap-down of the emptiest suit in DC, Paul Ryan. Both of ’em were revealed in public as frauds.
Make no mistake about this, either: Wingnuttia was counting on shifting $1 trillion Ameros in Obamacare taxes to finance the tax cuts for billionaires. The YUGE tax reform shell game is going down in flames because of this defeat.
The best news this week for The Russian Usurper was that his SCOTUS nominee didn’t hang himself on his own petard, but the Democrats—in a strange display of vestigial spine—have declared that they are filibustering Gorsuch.
What a week!
Housekeeping note: I’m taking a break this weekend (from all that winning!) and going on a road trip to do some wine tasting here in Washington. I may or may not post (and I may or may not be tipsy if I do). I put a few things in the queue. Talk amongst yourselves.