Mitch McConnell is delivering an urgent warning to staffers, Republican senators and even the president himself: If Obamacare repeal fails this week, the GOP will lose all leverage and be forced to work with Chuck Schumer…. [In addition v]oters expect Republicans to deliver on their long-held promise to repeal the law, McConnell said….
Trump has … privately told activists and administration officials that Democrats would own the failure of Obamacare and that it could be a political boon for Republicans. But some of his senior officials believe the White House would take at least some of the blame if markets imploded.
How deep into the abyss of absolutism the GOP has gone. A mere 20 years ago one would have strained to imagine a Senate majority leader bemoaning being "forced to work with" the Senate minority leader. Today we worry about the authoritarian tendencies of Trump, but in fact the GOP at large has become an all-or-nothing party utterly uninterested in pluralism and governing, where compromise reigns.
As for the sheer politics of it all, I tend to differ with McConnell and agree with Trump, although my differences with McConnell are likely a phantom. That is, I simply don't believe the majority leader when he mourns the Senate's failed health care bill. I believe, rather, that he was praying for its merciful death. What Republican senator up for reelection in 2018 would have wanted to defend that monstrosity?
The ease with which Republican pols can continue assailing Obamacare is far preferable, politically, to the labors of championing the worst piece of legislation in decades. The Republican base loves to hear about Obamacare's "collapse" (which Republican pols will persist in pursuing), and this, I believe, is where Trump (probably McConnell, too) is correct. Just keep feeding the base poisoned raw meat. Such is the stupendously successful Republican platform, so why would the party stop now? Virtually all it has to thrive on is nihilism and hate.
Oh, and tax cuts, which are up next. On that, Republicans will hang together, since moderates love irresponsible tax cuts as much as conservatives. And therein will lie their "legislative success."