Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Greatest Dealmaker Ever





When you are bankrolled by Robert Mercer and daughter Rebekah and your former chairman is a close presidential adviser, the pieces you publish are significant.  And when the report pertains to Donald Trump's favorite female talk-show host, we should take notice that

During her opening statement on Fox News Channel’s “Justice,” host Jeanine Pirro ripped House Speaker Paul Ryan, calling for him to step down after his healthcare bill to replace Obamacare failed miserably.

“Paul Ryan needs to step down as speaker of the house,” Pirro began. “The reason? He failed to deliver the votes on his healthcare bill, the one trumpeted to repeal and replace Obamacare, the one that he had seven years to work on, the one he had under lock and key in the basement of Congress, the one that had to be pulled to prevent the embarrassment of not having enough votes to pass.”

Later, Pirro said, “I want to be clear, this is not on President Trump. No one expected a business man to completely understand the nuances, the complicated ins and outs of Washington and its legislative process. How would he know which individuals upon which he would be able to rely?”

Paul Ryan will not be replaced any time soon, in part because he owns with the President the failure to overturn the Affordable Care Act.  Fortunately for people who rely on such frivolities as hospitalization, maternity care, and laboratory services, Trump hasn't learned how to steer legislation.

Trump, who has told us "I comprehend.... better, I think, than almost  anybody," works alone. Rim Alberta of Politico writes 

For starters, Trump kept the GOP health care bill at arm's length for more than a week, offering a smattering of favorable remarks but failing to embrace it in convincing fashion. Ryan's rivals on Capitol Hill got the message: The president was lukewarm about the legislation. According to interviews with officials in all three camps—the White House, the Republican leadership and the Freedom Caucus—conservatives saw a schism between Trump and Ryan, and seized on the perceived opening.

Someone should have told Trump that the good-cop, bad-cop routine works only if both teammates know the game is being played. Instead

Early last week, during a budgetary meeting at the White House, the two leaders of the Freedom Caucus—chairman Mark Meadows and former chairman Jim Jordan—kept diverting the discussion to health care, much to the annoyance of Budget Committee chairwoman Diane Black. When the meeting broke, Meadows and Jordan swiftly sought an audience with the president to discuss Ryan's bill. Trump granted them the meeting, during which the conservatives complained that Ryan was presenting them with a "binary choice"—either vote for the bill that had been introduced, or vote to preserve Obamacare—that was doing the president a disservice. Trump replied that he was open to negotiation and new ideas, and Meadows and Jordan left the White House thinking they had a powerful ally. Ryan’s team was less than thrilled at the narrative of a good cop, bad cop routine.

If the other team believes it is getting played, it's not likely to end well for you.  Compounding the error by publicly embarrassing a potential ally- especially someone with clout- is a classic mistake of the haughty, so it's not surprising that

After singling out Meadows and asking him to stand up in front of his colleagues, Trump joked that he might "come after" the Freedom Caucus boss if he didn't vote yes, and then added, with a more serious tone: "I think Mark Meadows will get on board."

He may have thought a humiliated Meadows would "get on board," but he almost asked him not to, given that Meadows

has been determined to please both the White House and his conservatives colleagues on the Hill. Upon assuming the chairmanship of the Freedom Caucus earlier this year, Meadows was viewed suspiciously by some of his members who worried that the North Carolina congressman is too cozy with Trump and would hesitate to defy him. Meadows campaigned extensively with Trump last fall and struck up a relationship with White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who communicates with him almost daily by text. Meadows knew the health care fight would be viewed as a test of his independence from Trump, and the moment the president called him out, he was boxed in.

Trump may not sincerely be displeased with Ryan. If he is, and somehow is able to effect his removal from the position of Speaker, it will be both a loss to the GOP and (not coincidentally) a boon to the country.  It probably is a more patriotic move than we have any right to expect Donald Trump to make.








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