Donald Trump is a winner. Just ask him. After all, he won the presidential election. They don’t get much bigger than that. And winners find it distasteful to hang with losers. And that is exactly what someone filled his staff with. Big-time losers. Which is why they are getting replaced faster than lead changes in a NASCAR race with staggered starts and the cars outfitted with 12-ounce gas tanks.
The Republican Senate similarly failed the president in their gazillionth attempt to undo ObamaCare. And although he can’t fire them, he did intimidate and insult and threaten members of his own party through a series of devastating tweets. You could say, his adept contempt for their inept attempt was to a major extent not exempt of torment. But you probably won’t.
After kicking around the idea of how to replace ObamaCare for 7 years, Republicans found themselves bereft of ideas and unraveled to where their mantra of “Repeal and Replace” shrank to a faint echo of “Repeal Now and Then Maybe Replace with Something Else Later On. Maybe Not.” With the emphasis on the “not.”
In a rare televised 2 a.m. vote the GOP Senate proved unable to convince three of their own to vote on something called the “Skinny Repeal.” And it all crashed down to the Senate floor with a thud that could have stirred Everett Dirksen out of his slumbering repose.
The Skinny Repeal was a last ditch effort after the Fat Repeal was discarded for lacking public support. Neither did the Plump, Portly, Rotund or Tubby Repeal display much appeal amongst people destined to lose coverage. And nobody ever talks about the Pudgy or Obese Repeals, which were mothballed without ever seeing the light of day, presumably gathering dust in Senator Ted Cruz’s closet.
The most dramatic moment in the demise of the Skinny Repeal was not the final count, 51 nays to 49 yeas, but the way it went down. Senator John McCain strode briskly forward and cast a decisive thumbs-down, mercifully sending a sleepy Vice President Mike Pence home, who was only hanging around to break a tie. Way past his bedtime.
Not surprisingly, McCain’s motivation is now being questioned. Is this a return to his normal irascible renegade self, or is he purposely sticking it to a President he sees as morally vacant, or after being diagnosed with brain cancer, did he find it repugnant to leave a publicly paid hospital stay in his home state of Arizona, to fly on the taxpayer’s dime to throw millions off health care so rich people could have more money? He’s not talking.
Since the Skinny Repeal failed, Senator Mitch McConnell reportedly has scuttled attempts to fashion a Scrawny Repeal much less a Slender, Gaunt, Malnourished, Emaciated or Anorexic Repeal. And the Cadaverous Repeal is dead on arrival. The upshot being, the Majority Leader might be forced to actually compromise with Democrats. His worst nightmare come true. Then, next week, locusts.
President Trump immediately tweeted his preferred remedy is to let ObamaCare implode. Because having a leader willing sacrifice constituents to prove a point is one sure way to Make America Great Again. And Donald Trump will continue to be a winner. Perhaps the only one.
Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former sod farmer in New Berlin, Wisconsin.