Mainstream media outlets varied in their description of the severity of this failure, from “career-ending debacle for Paul Ryan” to “cataclysmic event the earth has not seen since a meteorite wiped out the dinosaurs.” Many were also sure that this — this! — was the stumble that was going to finally bring down Trump, in spite of being wrong about the previous 976 scandals, flubs, controversies, gaffes, and boners that were absolutely, positively going to bring down Trump.
As someone who’s only paying attention to politics now because I can’t help myself, I don’t know everything about this story, but I know enough that I have to take issue with the coverage.
First of all, to the people who cover politics for a living, the sausage-making of the legislative process will always seem more important than it does to people who live outside the Washington DC bubble. When the majority party makes a priority of passing a bill and then fails, the political press covers it like Cleveland sportswriters covered LeBron James leaving for Miami. Meanwhile, a bookkeeper in El Paso doesn’t even know who LaDon Jones is and couldn’t care less.
But the Republicans have failed do to something they’ve been promising for seven years. That’s bad, right?
Bear in mind that there’s been a president who would actually sign repeal legislation sitting in the White House all of two months. I don’t think even the most irate anti-Obamacare voters (like the one I see in the mirror every day) are ready to declare failure sixty-something days into an administration.
But the Republicans should’ve had all their repeal legislation prepared and ready to go!
Let me take a moment to remind the reader that, on the morning of November 8th, the only thing Republican Congressmen were preparing were the barricades against their office doors to keep out the hell hounds that would be unleashed after the Hillary landslide. If it takes them a little while to get their feet back under them after the most unlikely thing to ever happen in the history of American politics, I’m not going to hold it against them.
What I will hold against them is passing a bad bill, and the American Health Care Act was, by many accounts, a bad bill. It was written and pushed through the process in haste, because the Republican leadership wanted to look like they were doing something.
Doing something for the sake of doing something is how we got into this mess in the first place, so let’s say goodbye to that mindset. And when a bad bill doesn’t get passed, I consider that a win, not a loss.
That’s my take, such as it is, because I’ve been wrong about… pretty much everything lately. But then again, so have all the people who are saying this is a disaster.