For now, though, Trump is letting House Speaker Paul Ryan lead the way. This is how Trump pays Ryan back for all that help Ryan gave him in the Wisconsin primary and the general election.
If Trump's strategic goal in letting Ryan lead with his plan on healthcare reform was to isolate and minimize Ryan, it's working.— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) March 14, 2017
The people in Washington D.C. don't get what is going down. But here in Poca, West Virginia, I can see what Trump is doing -- as I have for almost two years now.
Donald Trump became president despite Ryan. President Trump just began taking the speaker down a peg or two as Trump pays the speaker back.
In the Wisconsin primary, Ryan and Governor Scott Walker supported Ted Cruz, who trumped Trump. The president has made his peace with each man over that.
But then there was the Billy Bush tape released in October in which Trump bragged that because he was rich, beautiful women let him grab them by their -- well, readers know the quote.
“Speaker Paul Ryan told House Republicans on a conference call Monday morning that he’s done defending Donald Trump and will focus on maintaining his party’s increasingly imperiled House majority, according to sources on the call,” Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan of Politico reported on October 10.
To say that annoyed Trump understates the situation. Now that Trump is president, he can teach Ryan a lesson.
And so Trump let Ryan roll out the plan, and the president let Ryan take the heat from both the Freedom Caucus in the House, and the RINOs in the Senate.
Ryan made the opening bid.
President Trump will make his counter-offer, likely letting Secretary Dr. Tom Price take the heat for it. Then Trump will enter later, cut, and close the deal.
This looks more like a Lyndon Johnson move. If we had sane Democrats -- say a half-dozen who are willing to cut a deal -- things would go smoother.
By the way, I noticed Chuck Schumer has threatened The Wall with a government shutdown. Don't leap on that. He is looking for a way to throw Trump off his game.
Thus far, Schumer has not succeeded.
The slow-walking of the Cabinet (the Senate still has not seated four Cabinet members nearly two months into the presidency) drew nary a tirade from Trump. That's unusual. Perhaps Trump's disinterest shows the unimportance of the Cabinet to President Trump.
More likely, Trump is picking his battles better these days. Presidential appointments are where the president kisses the ring of the Senate. He's not in the mood.
At any rate, I like Ryan Care but I see the plan lacks support.
Trump does too.
This is not the final plan.
From the New York Times:
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, facing a formidable new impediment thrown in his path by the Congressional Budget Office, worked Tuesday to line up support for his bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
The C.B.O. on Monday predicted an increase of 24 million people without health insurance by 2026 under the Republican plan, but also forecast $337 billion in deficit reduction over the same period, a better-than-anticipated assessment that House Republican leaders hoped would help quell a revolt from their most conservative members. A vote could come next week.
Mr. Ryan was counting on that deficit reduction — as well as tax cuts for high earners and insurance and medical device companies — to entice members whose Republican constituents have been itching to see the law crumble.
“I think what we unite upon is much greater than what divides us in this,” Representative Kevin Brady, Republican of Texas and the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, which is responsible for part of the repeal measure, said on Fox News on Tuesday. “We have some ideas that have been brought to us, and I certainly have worked with our House conservatives to make major changes already in this.”
Mr. Ryan’s calculus at this point is less strategic — how to actually get a bill that would replace the health care law to final passage — than tactical: how to muster enough votes to get the measure through the chamber he leads. If he can do that, the Senate would almost certainly alter the bill significantly, a fight likely to take weeks.What the New York Times misunderstands is that 14 million of those 24 million will leave willing.
They do not want to pay for health insurance.
So the Republican plan has far more support than the Democratic plan. Republicans need to realize that.
And President Trump does.
Right now, President Trump is watching Ryan spend his political capital on a plan to nowhere.
That has to amuse Donald Trump almost as much as playing Rachel Maddow last night like a French horn. Trump released those two pages from his 2005 tax return, just like he gave the New York Times his 1995 return last October.
In both cases, Trump came out ahead.
People keep falling into his traps because they think they are better than he is. But they are fools.
Ryan is good. Very good. Washington insiders tagged Ryan as an up-and-comer when he moved to Washington after college and became a staffer.
He served six years, then went home to campaign for Congress, and he has been there for 18-plus years. In fact, this is his tenth term.
The rookie candidate president is schooling him on how things work outside Washington. Welcome to the bigly leagues.
Ryan may not realize that now, but when he does, he may want to thank Donald Trump for what will be a very expensive lesson.
"Trump the Establishment" is now on Kindle.
"Trump the Establishment" is also available in paperback.
This is the sequel to "Trump the Press," which covered the nomination. The original -- "Trump the Press" -- is available on Kindle, or in paperback on Amazon.
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