Paul Ryan fell for the Barzini trap

Michael Walsh:

Well, it’s not like wiser heads didn’t warn him:

And yet Paul Ryan walked straight into the Barzini trap that president Trump set for him. By insisting that the voters desired “Repeal and Replace” when in fact all anybody wanted was “Repeal, full stop,” Ryan’s inner wonk superseded his duties as the speaker of the House to ensure the votes were there for the “Replace” part of the equation. That they weren’t should be the end of his speakership.

Apparently, Ryan had been listening to the die-hard never-Trumpers too much, and actually thought he could skate on his opposition to the insurgent outsider, whose entire campaign was based on his contempt for the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party and apparatchiks like Ryan. Once the bright shiny penny of young GOP congressmen, Ryan blotted his copybook badly in his disappointing vice-presidential debate performance against a gibbering Joe Biden. He then played coy after House conservatives finally managed to sack former speaker John Boehner, but eventually accepted the proffered crown. During the election, he fought Trump every step of the way and lied about it.

So heading into round one of the health-care debate, there was no love lost between Trump and Ryan. Despite the fact that the House had already voted some 60 times to repeal Obamacare — which is all GOP voters had been asking for — Ryan got it into his head that what was really needed was a Republican version of Obamacare: “a better way.” And so he set about crafting the latest version of GOP me-tooism, the American Health Care Act, which was ignominiously yanked this afternoon when it was clear there were not enough votes to pass it.

If the House GOP had wanted to insult and infuriate their voters, this bill was the best way to do it. Sin in haste, repent at leisure.

Yeah, wiser heads warned him. But you get the idea that at least some in the House GOP really do want to insult and infuriate their voters.

If you’ve been reading here you know that I’ve said all along “repeal” is the comfort word for the Democrat version of government-run healthcare, “replace” is the spoiler word for the Republican version of government-run healthcare. The people and a lot of House members, such as the Freedom Caucus, don’t want either (or any) brand of government health care. Ryan could have seen that coming if he’d bothered to look.

All of Michael Walsh’s piece is worth reading.

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