These hostage videos are so heartbreaking pic.twitter.com/3uoU8E90r0
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) July 19, 2017
Who’s got a sturdy cudgel? Yes, the ongoing fight to protect Obamacare is serious, but watching the REPUBS IN DISARRAY! is delicious. Alice Ollstein, at TPM, “Trump’s Ham-Handed, Incoherent Health Care Message Leaves Senate Flailing“:
… On Wednesday, [Trump] summoned all 52 Republican senators to the White House to try to browbeat them into passing some form of a health care bill. The president previewed his message for the lawmakers in an interview with televangelist Pat Robertson—saying he’ll be “very angry” if they can’t pass a bill—and in tweets Wednesday morning that made no case for the merits of the legislation or the difficult politics of curtailing the benefits of millions of people.
At the meeting, he threatened bill critic Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), asking as TV cameras rolled if he wants to “remain a senator,” and demanded the Senate stay in session through the summer recess until they “get it done” on health care…
Trump’s tin ear for Washington politics was on full display Monday night—the night Republican defectors drove the final nail into the coffin of the latest Obamacare repeal bill. The president hosted a group of senators at White House ostensibly to discuss health care over an elegant steak dinner, but did not invite any of the on-the-fence lawmakers he needed to convince to support the repeal effort. Instead, he dined with a group that already supported the bill, and according to the Washington Post, spent most of the evening recounting his recent trip to France…
“For seven years, Republicans have told the voters: ‘If you elect us, we’ll repeal Obamacare,’” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), carefully choosing his words as he walked through the Capitol’s underground tunnels surrounded by half a dozen reporters. “I think we will look like fools if we can’t deliver on that promise.”
But that message is unlikely to resonate with the moderate senators opposing the legislation who have repeatedly promised to protect their constituents’ Medicaid benefits and advocate for people with pre-existing conditions.
“Any time you’re over at the White House and the president is talking to you about his opinions, it can provide a pretty strong case,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) acknowledged. “But,” she added with a laugh, “we have our strong opinions too.”
Hmmm… piss off their voters, or Ted Cruz? How tough a choice is that?
Trump's evolution on health care: from “so easy” to “nobody knew” pic.twitter.com/o7BCk2qpoR
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) July 18, 2017
Literally Obamacare every three weeks since 2016 pic.twitter.com/XbcahxprC6
— Steve Morris (@stevemorris__) July 18, 2017