President Trump has announced he is walking away from the Health Care repeal & replace effort following the failure of the Republican controlled House to pass the bill. It is one way for Trump to save face in light of the fact that his first major policy implementation - aside from random executive orders – has crashed and burned, spectacularly, in full view of the American Public.
Clearly this shatters the myth of Trump as a savvy deal maker, or closer; a very unfortunate result for a President who is attempting to forge bold ambitious policy. Presidential ‘awe’ is a critical element in the ability to influence legislators, and Trump has just completely and utterly lost that awe, due to Ryan’s flawed bill.
Leaving that aside, it is important to note that this dismal failure is nothing but proof that the Republican held Congress is currently a liability rather than an asset to this presidency. The fact that this bill was defeated by the Republican party itself - without any legislative involvement on the Democratic Party’s side - is a real blemish on the GOP’s ability to pass ANY bill whatsoever during Trump’s Presidency, with Democrats simply staying on the side lines.
If Trump’s team was astute, it would realize the hazard of tethering their policies and initiatives to the Republican party, and arrive at the conclusion that if they wish to accomplish anything at all - aside from what can be achieved by executive orders - they need to distance themselves from the Party and its leaders in Congress, and allow Democrats to participate in the legislation.
Democrats have already indicated they are open to fixing or reforming parts of the Affordable Health Care Act that need adjustment. A smart President would take them at their word and craft a policy that would bring Democrats into the fold, relying on a few Republicans to join in, rather than the other way around. After all, Trump has committed just as much to low premiums, and fuller coverage, for ALL Americans. Democrats such as Bernie Sanders address exactly that solution with a single-payer plan that lowers premiums by expanding the pool of insured to include all Americans. Trump is not an ideologue, and if a solution can be found, he is likely to embrace it regardless of where it comes from.
With the disillusionment of the Trump Presidency with the Republican Congress, he may indeed start to flirt with Democrats. Ironically Democrats are the ones who may lose from such collaboration, if they are seen as selling out some of their principles and raisons d’etre. For President Trump, it would be all win to disengage from a self-defeating Republican party, which is all but assuring self-destruction on any future initiative the President launches.
It will be interesting to see whether the President chooses to bind himself to a sinking cinder block, or cut the rope and change direction to achieve real victories for his legacy and presidency. My bet is he will do the latter, judging by his unorthodox behavior so far, and pure sole alliance to his own agenda and not that of the Republican party.