Politics & Elections

If there were a book called “How to Avoid Pissing Off Voters for Dummies,” Republican Congressman Markwayne Mullin would most certainly have a section dedicated to his stupidy displayed during a recent townhall. This because Mullin made it clear he holds contempt for his constituents, even those he aligns with.

You see, each “representative” receives $174,000 plus benefits every year. That’s $14,500 a month. For some members this may not be a lot of money, but for most Americans it is. It’s a very large salary for most of each rep’s constituents.

And yes, this salary for “public service” is paid for by taxpayer dollars. There is no other way to slice it. It is what it is.

Mullin recently held a townhall event and angry voters suggested he listen to their concerns because hey, they pay his salary. A statement Mullin didn’t like and didn’t hold back on.

Mullin fired back saying that claim is bullcrap. This because he has had several businesses that pay taxes and he has paid enough taxes to cover his salary.

The absurdity of such a claim is obvious. Thanks to people like Mullin the vast majority of his taxes were likely spent on wars and social welfare. Nonsense government programs and federal government waste. The idea that his taxes should all be credited to his “public service” salary is laughable.

Furthermore, what Mullin is suggesting is that because he believes he pays his own way he doesn’t have to answer to anyone else. In other words, he believes he only has to represent himself.

This coming from a guy who pledged to self term limit himself after three terms, but is now preparing to run for a fourth.

Here’s the video for anyone who cares (below). And here’s his Facebook page if you want to skim through the countless comments of outrage over this stupidity.

Oh and by the way, this guy’s liberty score is a D at 61%. So much for “representation.”

Robert Bentley is no longer Governor of Alabama. He’s now the disgraced former Governor following his earlier stunning resignation and immediate visit to the Montgomery County Jail.

The resignation took place following a House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing. One that would have likely resulted in the advancement of impeachment articles based on felony level charges related to his alleged cover up of an affair with a staffer.

Bentley’s resignation appears to be part of a plea deal to avoid felony charges. He plead guilty to misdemeanor charges and was promptly booked in the Montgomery County Jail.

Few details are fully known about the charges at the moment, but last week an Alabama Ethics Commission’s “found probable cause to believe” Bentley violated campaign finance and ethics laws. The alleged violations occurred when the former Governor reportedly used State law enforcement officers in an attempt to get audio recordings of sexual remarks to one of his staffers deleted/hidden from public view.

What was said in the recordings is not yet known. But his alleged actions to use state resources to cover up the audio was enough to be damning for Bentley’s standing as Governor.

We’ll provide updates in future reports as more information is released.

UPDATE: A couple other media outlets are beginning to cover this since we first published it on Monday, April 12th. It’s important that this gets out so please share it far and wide!

Paul Ryan may be planning to completely betray the Republican base yet again. This time on a continuing resolution that once again kicks the fiscal can down the road and does ZERO to address the plethora of problems we face as a nation.

Worse, Paul Ryan may be planning to use the exact same tactic of betrayal used by Boehner when he joined with Pelosi/Obama to pass the debt ceiling disaster right before leaving office.

But to understand what may be about to happen, we first have to look back and remind ourselves of what just happened.

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s complete failure to even attempt an actual repeal of Obamacare is still fresh on a lot of minds. Especially the minds of Americans in places like Knoxville, Tennessee where there will soon be literally ZERO insurance options when the last provider available pulls out, leaving some 40,000 in the dark. In that one town alone.

As we all now know, Paul Ryan worked with insurance companies to craft a bill that amended Obamacare, favored the companies and did virtually nothing to bring down healthcare costs. And he had the audacity to try and convince us all that is what was promised during campaign season.

While the bulk of the blame for Paul Ryan’s historic failure remains on the shoulders of Paul Ryan himself, two groups of Republicans can be credited for helping stop the terrible amendment dead in its tracks. The House Freedom Caucus and the Tuesday Group.

The Freedom Caucus stood against Ryancare because the amendment didn’t actually repeal Obamacare, didn’t remove mandates and didn’t bring down the cost of healthcare. The Tuesday Group, on the other hand, didn’t think the bill was liberal enough. What the Tuesday Group wanted was to ensure that millions of Americans who only have insurance thanks to the high cost of insurance for those who actually pay for it, but don’t need it (AKA… Socialist Government Healthcare), didn’t lose the taxpayer subsidized plans.

So one group wanted limited government, one group wanted expanded government. Neither group got what they wanted and the amendment died before a vote could take place. But is it true neither group got what they wanted? Is it even true Paul Ryan actually wanted his amendment to pass?

The end result, after all, is that Obamacare remains in place and Paul Ryan doesn’t have to deal with angry townhalls of people upset they can no longer get “free” healthcare.

But let’s get back to the budget battle that will soon unfold before our eyes. It should be wildly concerning to those who voted for Trump that all indications are that Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi are about to pass a stopgap funding measure designed for speed and ability to avoid a “government shutdown” fight on the hill.

The Washington Post reports: (Please note the Washington Post is known for fake news and should be considered questionable)

The spending measure expires April 28 — just four days after lawmakers return from their Easter break.

House Republicans are bitterly divided and aimless after the collapse of a plan by House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) to rewrite the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Still angry over that grueling battle, the right wing of Ryan’s caucus is not expected to support a measure to keep the government open past the April deadline, though that is far from settled.

So Ryan has turned for help to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Last week, Pelosi said lawmakers from both parties were working well together to craft a stopgap spending measure. But she predicted that the measure’s fate would ultimately be in Trump’s hands.

Trump, for example, could refuse to sign a funding measure that doesn’t include money to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Such funding is a non-starter with Democrats, as are any other policy changes that could be construed as a win for the president.

“Members of Congress know what they can pass. Maybe the White House doesn’t,” Pelosi said. “And that’s — that line of communication is where you might see some — more difference of opinion than even between Democrats and Republicans in the Congress.”

Bold emphasis mine.

From this we can gather that Ryan knows full well he isn’t going to get any help or support from the Freedom Caucus. Ryan’s stopgap funding measure will then have to meet all requirements laid out by moderate/liberal Republicans and Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats.

In other words, more campaign promises will be ignored, government will not be scaled back, the border wall will not be funded and Paul Ryan will continue big government as usual.

That much shouldn’t surprise us. Nor should the idea that Ryan will need Democrat cover to get the betrayal done. But where is Ryan going to make up for the huge loss of Republican votes that will occur if the Freedom Caucus gets sidelined?

The Tuesday Group.

So who exactly is this mysterious group? Why are there no full lists of members online? Why do we only know of 6 or 7 members when multiple media reports suggest there are around 50 active members?

Well, as is often the case… all we need to do is follow the money. And in this case, we only need to follow the political contributions coming straight out of the Tuesday Group PAC.

$521,139 worth of contributions, to be exact. And it just so happens there are, wait for it, 52 House GOP recipients of this campaign cash. (Note: Some of these members are no longer in Congress)

Note the asterisks by many of these names. This is VERY relevant and we’ll come back to that.

Where is all of this money coming from? If you guessed anti-Trumpers like billionaire Paul Singer, liberal Google Execs like Urs Hoelzle, mega-lobbyist Kimberly Richard, John Podesta’s lobbying firm Podesta Group (Yes, THAT John Podesta) and many others of similar ilk… you would be correct.

The Tuesday Group isn’t just a group feeding the very swamp Trump claims he wants drained. The Tuesday Group appears to be bought and paid for by the swamp itself.

And the Tuesday Group, along with a few of Pelosi’s strongest allies, is all Paul Ryan will need to shove through a stopgap funding measure here in a few weeks.

While the rest of us, once again, get completely screwed.

A few paragraphs up I mentioned the asterisks by many of the names on the list of Tuesday Group Republicans. There are 38 total with asterisk next to them. These are the Republicans who joined in with the 79 Republicans John Boehner needed to push through his terrible parting gift of a debt ceiling hike with Obama/Pelosi right before he left office.

In other words, the Tuesday Group is essentially the liberal Republicans Boehner used to get his way with the massive spending bill back in 2015. Through Boehner’s alliance with Obama and Pelosi, spending increased by $50 billion in 2016 with another $30 billion increased this year.

Yes, liberal money bankrolled the Tuesday Group back then and also bankrolls it now.

And Paul Ryan is about to utilize this weapon against us in the exact same way Boehner did back then. Watch closely, folks. Ryan’s coziness with Pelosi and talk of no upcoming fight on a stopgap measure likely means conservatives will not get a seat at the Ryan/Pelosi big government spending table.

The swamp is alive and well.

For nearly a month back in 2011 Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker waged political warfare against unions and as many as 100,000 protesters. Protesters who literally took control of the state Capitol. Protests that saw multiple liberal Senators flee the state to hide in Illinois in an attempt to keep from voting on Walker’s collective bargaining legislation.

Walker was bold, courageous and refused to back down. His fearless leadership to stand up for what was right in the face of such physical opposition was historic.

Walker stood his ground and he won. And Wisconsin is better off for it.

By my oh my how times have changed. According to a report out by Fox 6, Walker is now pushing for passage of #RINOcare and calling on all Republicans to support the bill or face consequences.

What consequences, you might ask? Well, according to Walker they may see an increase in… wait for it… protesters.

Gov. Scott Walker is pressuring Republicans to go forward with a vote to replace the Affordable Care Act — warning that they’ll face even more protests at town halls if they do not.

I get that the establishment is circling the wagons around Paul Ryan. But to hear Walker argue Republicans should be afraid of protesters is a little bizarre.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is in panic mode, doing everything possible to sell his poisonous #RINOcare amendment. He’s running a massive PR campaign with huge earned media operations, he’s strong-arming conservative house members and he’s lighting up email inboxes with propaganda designed to conceal reality.

Just minutes ago, for example, Ryan sent out the following email newsletter.

The email points to a 1:25 long video that, to his credit, gives him a positive spin.  Conveniently, however, Ryan leaves out the remaining 5 or so minutes of the full clip. This for good reason. Because the full clip shows Paul Ryan completely contradicting his current arguments for #RINOcare.

We’re going to post the FULL clip along with a full transcript below. Before doing so we want you to see the big bullet points of what Ryan argued back in 2010 when challenging Obama on Obamacare.

  • “So what we simply want to do is start over, work on a clean- sheeted paper, move through these issues, step by step, and fix them, and bring down health care costs and not raise them. And that’s basically the point”
  • “This bill does not control costs. This bill does not reduce deficits. Instead, this bill adds a new health care entitlement at a time when we have no idea how to pay for the entitlements we already have.”
  • “The Senate Budget Committee chairman said that this is a Ponzi scheme that would make Bernie Madoff proud.”
  • “And we’ve been talking about how much we agree on different issues, but there really is a difference between us. And it’s basically this. We don’t think the government should be in control of all of this. We want people to be in control. And that, at the end of the day, is the big difference.” (Note: this is the point Ryan makes in his own newsletter but fails to admit his bill actually keeps government in control)
  • “Because we agree the status quo is unsustainable. It’s got to get fixed. It’s bankrupting families. It’s bankrupting our government.”
  • “… we are all representatives of the American people. We all do town hall meetings. We all talk to our constituents. And I’ve got to tell you, the American people are engaged. And if you think they want a government takeover of health care, I would respectfully submit you’re not listening to them.” (Note to Ryan… YOU are not listening)

Paul Ryan was, in 2010, in the very video he uses to try to gain support now, fully opposed to the essence of his own current amendment to Obamacare.

Imagine that.

 

Full transcript. 

Thank you.

Look, we agree on the problem here. And the problem is health inflation is driving us off of a fiscal cliff.

Mr. President, you said health care reform is budget reform. You’re right. We agree with that. Medicare, right now, has a $38 trillion unfunded liability. That’s $38 trillion in empty promises to my parents’ generation, our generation, our kids’ generation. Medicaid’s growing at 21 percent each year. It’s suffocating states’ budgets. It’s adding trillions in obligations that we have no means to pay for it.

Now, you’re right to frame the debate on cost and health inflation. And in September, when you spoke to us in the well of the House, you basically said — and I totally agree with this — I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits either now or in the future.

Since the Congressional Budget Office can’t score your bill, because it doesn’t have sufficient detail, but it tracks very similar to the Senate bill, I want to unpack the Senate score a little bit.

And if you take a look at the CBO analysis, analysis from your chief actuary, I think it’s very revealing. This bill does not control costs. This bill does not reduce deficits. Instead, this bill adds a new health care entitlement at a time when we have no idea how to pay for the entitlements we already have.

Now, let me go through why I say that. The majority leader said the bill scores as reducing the deficit $131 billion over the next 10 years. First, a little bit about CBO. I work with them every single day — very good people, great professionals. They do their jobs well. But their job is to score what is placed in front of them. And what has been placed in front of them is a bill that is full of gimmicks and smoke-and-mirrors. Now, what do I mean when I say that?

Well, first off, the bill has 10 years of tax increases, about half a trillion dollars, with 10 years of Medicare cuts, about half a trillion dollars, to pay for six years of spending.

Now, what’s the true 10-year cost of this bill in 10 years? That’s $2.3 trillion.

It does couple of other things. It takes $52 billion in higher Social Security tax revenues and counts them as offsets. But that’s really reserved for Social Security. So either we’re double-counting them or we don’t intend on paying those Social Security benefits.

It takes $72 billion and claims money from the CLASS Act. That’s the long-term care insurance program. It takes the money from premiums that are designed for that benefit and instead counts them as offsets.

The Senate Budget Committee chairman said that this is a Ponzi scheme that would make Bernie Madoff proud.

Now, when you take a look at the Medicare cuts, what this bill essentially does — it treats Medicare like a piggy bank. It raids a half a trillion dollars out of Medicare, not to shore up Medicare solvency, but to spend on this new government program.

Now, when you take a look at what this does, is, according to the chief actuary of Medicare, he’s saying as much as 20 percent of Medicare’s providers will either go out of business or will have to stop seeing Medicare beneficiaries. Millions of seniors who are on — who have chosen Medicare Advantage will lose the coverage that they now enjoy.

You can’t say that you’re using this money to either extend Medicare solvency and also offset the cost of this new program. That’s double counting.

And so when you take a look at all of this; when you strip out the double-counting and what I would call these gimmicks, the full 10- year cost of the bill has a $460 billion deficit. The second 10-year cost of this bill has a $1.4 trillion deficit.

And I think, probably, the most cynical gimmick in this bill is something that we all probably agree on. We don’t think we should cut doctors 21 percent next year. We’ve stopped those cuts from occurring every year for the last seven years.

We all call this, here in Washington, the doc fix. Well, the doc fix, according to your numbers, costs $371 billion. It was in the first iteration of all of these bills, but because it was a big price tag and it made the score look bad, made it look like a deficit, that bill was — that provision was taken out, and it’s been going on in stand-alone legislation. But ignoring these costs does not remove them from the backs of taxpayers. Hiding spending does not reduce spending. And so when you take a look at all of this, it just doesn’t add up.

And so let’s just — I’ll finish with the cost curve. Are we bending the cost curve down or are we bending the cost curve up?

Well, if you look at your own chief actuary at Medicare, we’re bending it up. He’s claiming that we’re going up $222 billion, adding more to the unsustainable fiscal situation we have.

And so, when you take a look at this, it’s really deeper than the deficits or the budget gimmicks or the actuarial analysis. There really is a difference between us.

And we’ve been talking about how much we agree on different issues, but there really is a difference between us. And it’s basically this. We don’t think the government should be in control of all of this. We want people to be in control. And that, at the end of the day, is the big difference.

Now, we’ve offered lots of ideas all last year, all this year. Because we agree the status quo is unsustainable. It’s got to get fixed. It’s bankrupting families. It’s bankrupting our government. It’s hurting families with pre-existing conditions. We all want to fix this

But we don’t think that this is the answer to the solution. And all of the analysis we get proves that point.

Now, I’ll just simply say this. And I respectfully disagree with the vice president about what the American people are or are not saying or whether we’re qualified to speak on their behalf. So…

(LAUGHTER)

… we are all representatives of the American people. We all do town hall meetings. We all talk to our constituents. And I’ve got to tell you, the American people are engaged. And if you think they want a government takeover of health care, I would respectfully submit you’re not listening to them.

So what we simply want to do is start over, work on a clean- sheeted paper, move through these issues, step by step, and fix them, and bring down health care costs and not raise them. And that’s basically the point.

As I painfully wrote yesterday, Donald Trump is all in for #RINOcare. I mean, he’s not just tinkering with support for the bad law, he’s one of the two top salesmen.

Indeed, Trump and Paul Ryan are using up a ton of political capital trying to sell the Obamacare amendment known as the American Healthcare Act. Paul Ryan is literally using ALL of his political capital. And Trump isn’t far behind.

But why? That’s the question I can’t find a peaceful answer for. Like many of you I just don’t get it.

For Paul Ryan the answer is easy. It’s likely payback for all the insurance industry money that has bankrolled his campaign and his leadership committees for years. For Ryan there really is no other logical explanation. His base doesn’t want it. His constituents don’t want it. His enemies and his allies are all opposed.

The only people who want the poison Ryan is selling are the people who will benefit financially.

But what about Trump? Why take a gamble this big? Why set up a scenario in which he will literally betray those who elevated him to power the second he signs this disaster in to law (if it gets to his desk, of course).

In looking at all the blowback on Facebook it seems many of Trump’s most dedicated supporters still believe Trump is up to some “art of the deal” magic and knows what he’s doing. I want to believe that’s the case. All of us should.

And I’m trying my best to look at this objectively to find a way to rationalize what he’s doing. The only logical explanation I can come up with is that he knows this won’t pass through both chambers and he’s building political capital with house leadership.

This is very important for Trump considering the next few items on his agenda. Such as border security, a budget, tax reform, trade, etc.

Yes, it’s a reality that after all of this is over, win or lose, Paul Ryan and his ilk in leadership will not in any way be able to argue Trump didn’t do everything he could to sell their poison. Trump is bending over backwards for the ACA amendment. Again, he’s all in.

If the bill fails, Trump will be able to say he did everything he could but the process Paul Ryan used didn’t work out. And if Paul Ryan then refuses to go along with the rest of the program then Paul Ryan will have serious problems with his leadership position.

Even if this is the case it doesn’t seem wise to me. This all feels very dirty, unnecessary and a complete reversal of everything we were promised. On the part of both Ryan and Trump.

But I honestly can’t think of any other reason Trump would throw all of his political weight behind it. Unless, of course, Trump actually believes this is good law and it’s what he really wants. That to me, however, seems unrealistic. Trump is no dummy. And it would take a dummy to believe this law will actually do anything to reasonably reverse all the damage done by Obamacare.

So he’s either fully, truly supporting a bill that will further destroy our economy and health system, or he’s working to gain support he’ll need for the rest of his agenda, quietly believing the bill will not get through at the end of the day.

Or maybe I’m just not seeing something here.

Those are my thoughts. What are yours?

For those wondering if Trump is playing Ryan and McConnell with a long term plan of an actual repeal vs the disaster amendment Paul Ryan is pushing… the truth has been revealed and it isn’t pretty.

Donald Trump is all in for #RINOcare.

Not only is he all in, he now appears to be lobbing indirect threats at conservatives who wish to hold fast on their promise to repeal Obamacare over cowering to the big government amendment pushed by Paul Ryan.

Indeed, this morning upon arrival at Capitol Hill, President Trump asked House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows to stand up amongst the crowd of members present. While Meadows was standing Trump said “I’m gonna come after you” while pressuring everyone in the room to get on board with #RINOcare.

“I’m asking for your vote on Thursday,” Trump added. “Many of you came in on the pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare. I honestly think many of you will lose your seats in 2018 if you don’t get this done.”

Of course, the statement could have been a half-joke. A lighthearted attempt to let those present know Trump wants them to help pass the amendment to Obamacare. But the truth is it made clear that Trump isn’t working on some play that provides an alternative to Ryan’s amendment. Trump fully endorses the #RINOcare amendment and believes it somehow fulfills the promise to fully repeal Obamacare.

Unfortunately, the #RINOcare amendment does nothing of the sort. The top ten conservative concerns over the amendment tells you everything you need to know about the legislation.

The Ryan #RINOcare amendment is now also Trump’s plan.

As we pointed out earlier today, Paul Ryan’s house Republicans are playing with fire. A fire that Trump is now no longer immune to.

We’re now just two days out from a likely house vote and we here at LibertyNEWS.com hope house conservatives stand their ground. This amendment will continue to devastate our economy and further destroy the health system of America.

It must be stopped. And hopefully our President will come back around to this view.

Go here now and prepare your faxes demanding a #CleanRepeal of ObamaCare for delivery to every member of the Freedom Caucus:

If you’re like me you’re probably constantly puzzled at the words verbally vomited from Paul Ryan’s mouth when it comes to his dishonest explanation of his Obamacare amendment. It’s the repeal they promised, he claims. It’s exactly what America needs, so he says. It’s the solution that will solve all of Obamacare’s problems.

But it isn’t. Not even close. It’s not a repeal. It’s not what we want or need. And it will do nothing to solve Obamacare’s problems.

You don’t have to be a policy wonk or legislative expert to see the writing on the wall. The #RINOcare amendment is a massive failure to produce what was promised in the past few election cycles. We all see that so why can’t Paul Ryan?

He does. He may be dishonest, but he’s no fool. This is a gamble on his part. One that keeps the special interests bankrolling his leadership team happy while kicking the can down the road and avoiding a fight with a rabid Democrat party that will fight tooth and nail to blame Republicans for throwing granny off a cliff after a clean repeal.

It’s an unfortunate risk he appears all too happy to take. But one that carries electoral dangers Ryan appears ready to underestimate.

Chris Buskirk describes the situation with precision over at American Greatness.

For seven years Republicans have campaigned against Obamacare. They’ve recited its manifold deficiencies and depredations so many times that voters know them by heart: It imposes an unworkable and morally objectionable requirement on Americans to buy health insurance whether they want it or not, it raises costs, reduces choice, and leads to rationing.

All of these things are true and ordinary Americans have felt the consequences. Premiums have skyrocketed, people have lost coverage, businesses have closed as a result of the Obamacare mandates, the exchanges have gone bankrupt, and insurance companies still haven’t figured out how to make money in the individual market. Through it all the Republicans have promised to repeal “the government takeover of healthcare” if only voters would give them power.

And they did. Voters provided the money and the votes to give Republicans the power they said they needed to repeal Obamacare. Hundreds of millions of dollars flowed into Republican coffers. The 2010 midterm elections were an historic rebuke to the Democrats as a direct result of their Obamacare votes. But that wasn’t enough. Republican leaders testified repeatedly that they wanted to repeal Obamacare and surely they would if only they controlled the Senate. Then Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) liked to remind impatient voters that Republicans only “controlled one-half of one-third of the government.”

In 2014 voters gave Republicans what they said they needed—control of the Senate. But with that victory still fresh, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said even that wasn’t enough. He wanted to repeal Obamacare but his hands were tied—the president would surely veto any such legislation. What they needed was a Republican president. And in 2016 they got one. Now voters want the Obamacare repeal they have been promised. But Ryan’s healthcare bill does no such thing.

Warning signs were everywhere as soon as Congress got back to Washington. As early as January, Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) told The Hill, “I’m hearing a lot of members say that they want Obamacare-lite. That’s not what we promised the American people.”

No it’s not, but that’s what Paul Ryan has proposed. His bill leaves the infrastructure of Obamacare in place and creates a massive new federal healthcare entitlement program in the form of refundable tax credits. These credits are just camouflage for government checks to buy health insurance. They are unwise and unaffordable in their infancy under the Ryan plan but everyone knows the size and scope of the program will only grow over time.

The Republican leadership thinks that their half-measures and clever branding are a sign of moderation and prudence but they are courting disaster. They apparently learned nothing about the fury of scorned voters during the last election.

That last paragraph is key. They are indeed courting disaster and Democrats sit in the shadows just waiting to pounce.

Paul Ryan and his leadership seem oblivious to election realities. Which is amazing considering how successful they’ve been at using special interest money to trick voters into believing in what they sell.

The reality is the wave that has put them in power has been predominantly built on the pledge to fully repeal Obamacare. This promise has been, quite literally, the core of GOP messaging for the past three election cycles. All three of which gave the GOP more strength in controlling federal government.

Additionally, 2016 included a national Trump wave that got the vote out in epic ways. Trump will not be on the ballot in 2018. And if Ryan’s GOP proves itself unwilling to follow through with promises, what exactly will Republicans run on next year? What will be at the core of their messaging?

Democrats will be able to say the GOP had a chance and messed things up. This because #RINOcare will inevitably fail to do anything remotely close to providing relief on the healthcare front. And the GOP will own every second of the pain this amendment causes.

Ryan and the GOP leadership are playing with fire. A fire that will not only burn their majorities, but will also burn the rest of us in the process.

And to put it in healthcare terms… that’s a tough pill to swallow.

 

Go here now and prepare your faxes demanding a #CleanRepeal of ObamaCare for delivery to every member of the Freedom Caucus:

#RINOcare is leading the news cycle and for good reason. The entire bill is built upon a network of blatant lies and broken promises.

And of course we all have a right to know what impact the bill will have on our lives before congress tries to shove it down our throats. But if there is any individual with the least amount of credibility on such claims it would easily be Nancy Pelosi.

We all remember the infamous proclamation made by Pelosi back when Obamacare was being forced through. “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it,” said Pelosi.

That’s her position when she’s in power and doing the shoving. But when it’s Ryan there working to betray America, Pelosi sings a much different tune.

Last week Pelosi wrote a letter to Paul Ryan and it contained a fascinating nugget.

“The American people and Members have a right to know the full impact of this legislation before any vote in Committee or by the whole House,” she wrote. “These are critical questions and I hope that Republicans will honor their responsibility to the American people both before the Committees vote and before the final bill goes to the House floor.”

Wait, what? You mean we should all know what’s in a bill and the impact it will have on our nation before it becomes law?

What a concept.

Those who follow what I’ve written about Paul Ryan’s Obamacare 2.0 know my feelings on the matter. I believed his proposed legislation would be a betrayal long before it was presented to the public. I predicted this time and again, knowing full well where Ryan’s campaign cash comes from and where his real loyalties are.

So in a sense I wasn’t too surprised with the disaster Ryan rolled out Monday night. But what I was surprised by is how bad it ended up being. It’s not just bad, it’s really bad.

From what I’m reading there may not be any chance at all of the bill, in its current form, passing either chamber. There is growing consensus on both sides of the aisle that the bill is so bad it can’t be marked up enough to become acceptable.And virtually know one but Ryan and his leadership are suggesting it will do much of anything to solve the seemingly infinite number of problems created by Obamacare.

So what was the point? What was the objective?

Ryan isn’t a conservative, nor is he a champion for smaller government. But he’s no dummy. He’s a skilled lawmaker who knows how to work the system. He knows how to move legislation forward and he knows what needs to be done to advance an agenda.

So why roll out something destined for failure from the start? That’s a question I don’t have a solid answer for. But The Week has put forth a theory that as much as I hate to say it… kind of makes sense.

Paul Ryan may have never wanted the bill to pass at all, according to their theory. In fact, they claim, Paul Ryan may not want a repeal or a replace to happen this cycle period.

From The Week.

Another, and perhaps more plausible, answer is that Ryan couldn’t possibly be this inept. He didn’t get his allies on board for a simple reason: He doesn’t actually want any major repeal plan to pass.

This isn’t to say that Ryan would not, all things being equal, like to kill the Affordable Care Act. His entire political career has been devoted to attacking programs for the poor to pay for upper-class tax cuts. But now passing and maintaining tax cuts and achieving other crucial objectives means Republicans must keep control of Congress — and that’s where ACA repeal becomes a major political liability.

Now that it’s being seriously threatened, the ACA is popular. And as Greg Sargent of The Washington Post explains, passing RyanCare would almost certainly be a political disaster in the 2018 and 2020 elections. Marginal voters might favor “small government” and oppose the “government takeover of health care” in the abstract, but that doesn’t mean they won’t object to having their coverage taken away or made substantially worse.

Passing a health care bill that takes coverage away from voters would also complicate what will already be a difficult political situation for the Republicans. They’ve benefited from having the opposition control the White House during a time of gridlock, but now the shoe is on the other foot. The out party generally fares better in midterm elections to begin with. Even worse for Republicans, the popularity of the president is the best predictor of how the party will fare in congressional elections. And while Donald Trump was able to eke out an Electoral College win with a lot of help from an unpopular opponent and the FBI, he remains a very unpopular figure.

First let me say that last line is misleading. Trump is unpopular amongst those he was always unpopular with. But those who voted for him, and many more of course, still hold him in decent regard and root for his success. His approval rating still sits at 51%, according to some of the latest polls. So such a claim is propaganda in many aspects.

The column also ignores all the damage done to those who do not benefit from Obamacare. A group far larger than those who benefit.

But the rest of the assertion feels very plausible. Not only plausible, but absolutely textbook Paul Ryan and general GOP thinking.

The kind of bankrupt thinking that has cost Republicans power several times over the past few decades. Avoid upsetting the left to win elections.

Republicans are in power only because they campaigned against Obamacare. So why on earth would Paul Ryan think that by secretly leaving Obamacare in place, breaking one of the biggest campaign promises Republicans made in 2016, he’ll somehow protect his majority in 2018 and 2020?

Because that’s the way these people think.

Paul Ryan has abused those he represents for decades now. In an election year he becomes a champion of smaller government, pushing through straight repeal bills he knows have no chance of being signed (under Obama, for example). But if and when there is a chance such a bill would actually succeed, Ryan is MIA.

He knows full well what he’ll have to endure if he repeals Obamacare straight up. Highly astroturfed protests, false claims by powerful, nasty Democrats and a general overall PR war that he has proven unwilling to fight.

The sad part is it’s a fight he can win. But to win it will take grit and resolve. And a lot of political pain.

There is no proof Ryan never wanted a repeal, a replace or both to happen this year. But there is now a long history of Ryan avoiding such wars, even if it means the size of government explodes, entitlements expand and the nation continues its spiral into bankruptcy.

Because at the end of the day Paul Ryan isn’t hurting. He’s not on some crappy Obamacare health plan. He doesn’t live paycheck to paycheck. He doesn’t relate to the average American nor does he feel compelled to do so. He’s a man in a high castle and he knows it.

For him it’s a simple algorithm. He either gets into a battle with a nasty, well organized and wildly funded rabid left (and many of his biggest donors), or he uses false premises to pretend he’s fighting when he’s not and ignores the blowback he gets from the right. In his mind both options leave him in power, but one is far less comfortable politically. And the latter option, while it may not bring him down, could very well bring down many others within the GOP ranks.

But that’s a risk he has often proved he’s willing to take. And if he takes it the rest of us lose.

 

Email Newsletter