Ding, dong, the bill is dead
For the second time in as many days, the House vote on the bill to take away 24 million people's health insurance was canceled because defeat was certain. The solid opposition of House Democrats was a necessary precondition for that defeat, but the Republican majority still couldn't pass it, because they were not similarly united. And it's important to remember why.
The grotesquely-misnamed "freedom caucus" (wingnuts even among wingnuts) opposed their own party's bill not because it proposed to sodomize the poor with jackhammers, but because they insisted that it ought to sodomize them with razor-blade-studded jackhammers. The thing was simply not brutal enough for them. Trump himself sought to negotiate a compromise, offering to coat the jackhammers with sandpaper in the form of removing guarantees of "essential health benefits", but his much-vaunted (by himself) deal-making skills failed here, as the ultras stood firm in their demands. It was razor blades or nothing.
Well, as tends to happen with people who take such a stance, they got nothing. "Obamacare is the law of the land..... We're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future." That's a direct quote from Paul Ryan, and one we should savor with the full measure of appropriate glee. Repeal has been the lodestar of Republican fervor for seven years, and even with the House, the Senate, and the Presidency in their grip, they could not get it done. They've given up, most likely permanently.
We can unite, despite our differences, for the sake of a higher good. They cannot, even for the sake of a higher evil.
Trump is doing what he tends to do when thwarted -- casting blame on others, most immediately the Democrats who bewilderingly refused to help him destroy their own party's biggest recent domestic achievement, and even denying that he had promised repeal in the first place.
The next project, he blusters, is "tax reform". Let's see how they bugger that up.