Rss@dailykos.com (mark Sumner) · Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 9:52 am
Donald Trump’s major business is putting his name on things. Whether it’s giant letters on the side of buildings someone else built, failing airlines, tough steaks, ludicrous vodka … Trump is a living label machine. So you would think that legislation addressing one the key features of the campaign— legislation that Trump demanded of Congress and which he’s celebrated as both great and the only opportunity to replace “failing Obamacare”—would get extra gold letter treatment.
The cascade of opposition within Trump’s movement started flowing soon after the bill was unveiled last week and picked up speed this week. On Breitbart — the anti-establishment, conservative news site that has been a platform for Trumpism and was once run by Bannon — article after article has railed against a bill its headline writers excoriate as “RyanCare.”
At the moment, Republicans seem to be divided into three categories. There are the “mainstream” Republicans who love the bill because it takes from the poor and delivers a big tax cut for the wealthy, the way that all legislation should. There are the conservative wahabis of the Freedom Caucus who think the bill doesn’t take enough from the poor or give enough to the rich, and who are particularly upset that the bill doesn’t pause to dance on President Obama’s legacy by burning down every line of the ACA. And there are the Republicans whose biggest concern is how they can use this bill to get more television time for themselves—which seems to be the majority.
With the Freedom crew seeming to dig in their heels and Trump’s in-house magazine, Breitbart, organizing get-togethers for Republicans who hate the bill, it may seem that Team Trump has completely washed their hands of the bill. In fact (ready your best Admiral Ackbar) some Republicans are even calling the bill “a trap.”
From headlines at Breitbart to chatter on Fox News Channel and right-wing talk radio, as well as among friends who have Trump’s ear, the message has been blunt: The plan being advanced by congressional Republican leaders is deeply flawed — and, at worst, a political trap.
But flawed, awkward, RyanCare, trap … none of that means that the bill is actually dead,