mead berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn bayles
the 45th president
How Will Trump Respond to Failure?
Features Icon
show comments
  • ——————————

    Mead is into Tolkien?…I wonder if he also listens to Zeppelin and smokes…nah….

    • D4x

      Is it a hallucination to conflate Tolkien’s One Ring with gold draperies in the Oval Office? Nah, …just a Freudian slip of a metaphor…the Imperial Presidency lives in every pundit’s head.

    • Boritz

      Maybe watching The Wizard of Oz to The Dark Side of the Moon?

  • rheddles

    When did the president get responsibility for the legislative function?

    • D4x

      At some point between FDR and LBJ. Coolidge was the last POTUS who expected Congress to initiate domestic legislation.

  • D4x

    Curious leak to the NYT. The GOP has been running, and winning, on repealing PACCA since before it passed. The only reason for this leak must have been to focus Congress on doing something real today, because POTUS45 to-do list is still moving at warp speed, compared to the previous norm, glacial speed.

  • FriendlyGoat

    Trump should have listened to Melania, who said, “Why do you want to do this? We have a good life now.” He should have also listened to George W. Bush, who said, “I crawled out of that swamp once and I’m not crawling back in.” ALL of us, including Donald Trump, himself, would be better off without this bombastic ego trip which has no purpose or possible result but to screw the lower half of the country.

    • Boritz

      “has no purpose or possible result but to screw the lower half of the country.”

      They want this in the deep south.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Yes, I get your geographic ha-ha. And yes, the lower economic half will be screwed in the deep south, just as the lower economic half will be screwed everywhere else. Nothing else is possible.

        • Dale Fayda

          Mmmmmmm, I respectfully disagree:

          This is one of many similar recent headlines. Would you like me to list some of them for you or will you take my work for it?

          Care to spin this as a “screwing”?

          • FriendlyGoat

            Did you read your own article? Did you notice that this Charter plan was in the works long before Trumpism?

          • Dale Fayda

            They, along with a long list of other corporate entities, pulled the trigger on it almost six months after November 8, when it became apparent that much more business-friendly administration would be running things. Trump has gone out of this way to court and cajole businesses to either stay in or to relocate back to the US, starting even before he was sworn in.

            Or are you saying that Charter’s plan coming to fruition at this time is to be chalked up to Obama’s economic acumen, despite the “screwing” which Trump is allegedly laying on all of us?

            Pick one or the other. Either Trumpism is an unmitigated economic calamity, as you’ve been so confidently predicting, which means that all of this economic good news should NOT be taking place or it’s a result of Trump’s policies, in which case your predictions aren’t worth the air which you breathe. Personally, I opt for the latter.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Trumpism is an unmitigated economic calamity unless a great deal of what they have been talking about in tax reform gets shelved—–as AHCA just was. You cannot give the unrestricted moon in both wealth (tax cuts) and power (deregulation and union busting) to the upper crust and expect that this is an injection of help at or near the bottom. It is not and never was. We have a deficit and deficit hawks. After the giveaway in tax cuts, both the private and public sectors will become amazingly focused on cost-cutting (aka job cutting.)

          • Dale Fayda

            Pure bosh. See my most recent post above. It has worked like gangbusters before and it will work again, although maybe not to the same chart-busting degree it did under Reagan.

          • FriendlyGoat

            If it had worked, the small towns would not look like ghosts, the citizens mad as hell, the over-50 crowd out of the workforce, folks addicted to drugs as never before and basically committing suicide in despair. We had Reagan tax cuts and we had Bush tax cuts. The touted miracle for those left behind never arrived.
            It’s not coming this time from more tax cuts either.

          • Angel Martin

            no amount of tax cuts can make up for NAFTA and WTO for China.

          • Dale Fayda

            Are you serious? Who has been in charge of the economy for the last 8 years? Obama and the Democrats. Who manically demands that we flood this country with the sub-literate dregs of the Third World? Obama and the Democrats, with an assist from the Republican establishment. Folks addicted to drugs? Who has been steadily destroying the moral fiber of this nation, while resisting every attempt to seal the border to combat the flood of drugs coming from Mexico? Obama and the Democrats. The over-50 crowd out of the work force – Obama and the Democrats. “Yes, we can!”

            Who has destroyed more industries and dislocated more jobs than any other calamity in American history? Unions and Democrats (redundant, I know). Which party and its political system is synonymous with mind-blowing levels of corruption and cronyism? Democrats, Democrats and Democrats.

            Every social and economic ill in this country has its origins in liberalism.

            “The touted miracle” did arrive under Reagan – I know you’re old enough to remember the remarkable difference between 1977 and 1987. Starting from a worse place than Obama, he was able to put in place an economic template which lasted for over 30 years, despite the Democrats’ best efforts to dismantle it.

            Tax cuts are coming – thank God! My only worry is that they aren’t large enough. If that bothers you so much, you and the rest of the liberal crowd are free to pay more. Funny how none of you ever do…

          • Anthony

            You may find some interesting ideas here:

          • FriendlyGoat

            Thanks. Very detailed and quite good. If I could have inculcated one firm belief in one segment of voters to prevent this present catastrophe, it would have been this—–in the church community:

            “High-end tax cuts did not, do not, cannot and will not create the “good” jobs sufficient to support desirable family stability in America”. (“So, we cannot support Republican economics. This is our defining issue: Intact, self-supporting families.”)

            Unfortunately, it may be too late to stave off a new layer of tax cutting over that already done from 1978 forward (which, in my view, is ALREADY the main reason why this author finds himself noting the “increasing precarity all working people face today.”)

          • Anthony

            Proposed tax cuts, just as ACHA, will not be as easily legislated as many (governing party) think. We shall see my friend. Meanwhile, ruminate over this (lengthy, so make time): And, you’re welcome.

          • Angel Martin
          • FriendlyGoat

            Oops. Skipping the American steel pipe in the Keystone, per last line in the NYT piece.

            Separately, of course I agree with you on a middle-class economic agenda. I don’t agree when/if it results in lowering all the top end taxes with the claim that “growth” will cause it to be shared downward. Such did not happen with Reagan tax reform and it won’t happen if they do the same thing again—–only worse. Since health care reform just bombed, they will now focus on taxes. We can only wait to see what is put in a GOP bill.

          • Dale Fayda

            Don’t you ever get tired of being wrong?


            Reagan’s economic record BLOWS away Obama’s in every measurable metric. Every single one. That’s why Regan was re-elected with 49-state landslide and Obama is the first President in almost 100 years to win re-election with a smaller popular and electoral college vote tally.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Your article is 2 1/2 years old and does not address any right-winger’s assumption that the Bush tax cuts should have had the Obama economy at the moon——-but didn’t.

          • Dale Fayda

            Oh, I’m sorry. How did the economy do in Obama’s last 2 years? Have we experienced anything approaching a boom? Ha, ha, ha – no. How was the GDP growth? Pathetic. And that’s WITH a revision in how GDP is calculated, which Obama enacted in the last quarter of 2013. Under old parameters, it would have been almost non-existent. Workforce participation in Obama’s last 2 years – a disaster. Median family incomes – substantially below Bush’s. Should I go on?

            What has been the most significant economic development during the Obama years? Why, the “brown energy” revolution – dramatic advances in fracking and shale technologies, which is what has kept his economy afloat. It was only Obama’s and the Democrats’ epic incompetence and ideological obtuseness which kept it from generating a real, home-grown economic burst.

            There is more to a robust economy that just low tax rates, I’ll grant you that, but it’s a prerequisite. Confiscatory taxation levels are oppressive and immoral, but that is the essence of progressivism.

          • Angel Martin

            fixation on the top marginal tax rate is a joke. It gathers in successful dentists and car dealers.

            The top marginal rate is irrelevant to tech executives, hedge fund thingies, real estate developers, and Hollywood cretins.

            They have 75,000 pages of IRS code where they can turn their income into lower taxed capital gains, or a completely untaxed personal slush fund via their “charitable foundation”.

            A car salesman on commission is taxed as income. But a hedge fund robber and”private equity” vulture gets their performance bonus millions as “carried interest” ie. capital gains.

            The “carried interest” ripoff was first created in 1993. Sixteen years of fake “progressive” Democrat Presidents supposedly “against the rich” did nothing. And almost all the Wall Street scumbags were lined up behind Clinton this time. I guess they weren’t worried about her promises to end carried interest either…

  • FrontLine

    Trump’s billionaire coup d’état

    • FriendlyGoat

      “The ‘anti-establishment Trump’ joke has already collapsed and the US middle class is about to be eliminated by the syndicate of the united billionaires under Trump administration.”

      And all enabled by people, who when given (or sold) a hat, said, “I’ll be a-wearin’ this hat proud and straight, and nobody is gonna put nuthin’ over on me.” The low-brow shtick which can actually pull off a coup in this country is far lower than anyone thought.

  • f1b0nacc1

    Some defeats can be used as learning experiences. If Trump is wise (probably a poor bet, to be fair) he will learn from this that the Princes of the GOPe (who opposed him every step of the way to the White House) are not his friends and should not be trusted. He must also learn that the objection to Obamacare is rooted in what it is, a statist takeover of healthcare with a large dollop of crony capitalism to buy off the insurers. In all honesty, I wouldn’t bet that he takes those valuable lessons. He is more likely to assume that he was ‘stabbed in the back’ by the conservatives of the Freedom Caucus, who wanted a real repeal, without the fig leaf attempt to preserve a few popular bits out of the broader mess. My reading of Trump is that he keeps score and maintains an enemies list, so the real question will be who exactly ends up on that list.

    If the Freedom Caucus is smart (some of them are, some are definitely not), they will try to quickly engage Trump to use this as a chance to acknowledge that his original strategy of ‘ice cream for everyone’ wasn’t an option, and pivot to a full repeal, followed by….well something eventually…. In the meantime, move forward or the new budget and taxes (two areas he stands a good chance of winning), and put this behind him.

    Of course all of that may be too optimistic….the next week will tell the tale.

    • MyWord245

      Many of freedom caucus members were some of his most vocal supporters. I don’t think you can pin this on the Ryan faction (the princelings)

      • f1b0nacc1

        I didn’t suggest otherwise, though I suspect that the rather serious suspicion that many Freedom Caucus members held him in during the election won’t immediately be forgotten, especially since they were instrumental in killing this bill.

        • MyWord245

          No, you didn’t. I’m just disappointed that GOP was not ready with a well thought out plan that they agree with. Newt may have been an ass but he had his stuff together when he got a chance he passed thought out bills. To be honest I don’t think Trump cares or even knows what’s in the bill. He just wanted one that GOP would agree to. What a chance lost!

          • D4x

            Perhaps the wheels of Congress have not yet adjusted to the no-earmark era. Newt, DeLay, and Pelosi all had earmarks, which “…were banned by House Republicans beginning in 2011 amid criticism that they had multiplied out of control and were being used for questionable projects such as the notorious “bridge to nowhere” …”

            Even so, the Freedom Caucus seems ideologically driven, which is where VP Pence was supposed to be helpful.

            Vanity Fair blames the lost vote on Friday to Jared joining Ivanka in Aspen for a family ski vacation. They ate ice cream, no cake.

            Regardless of the reason, it does seem that the GOP mission to repeal PACCA has floundered on how to actually replace it, and the decision to get it all done in the first 100 days.

    • D4x
  • WigWag

    Donald Trump must be the luckiest man alive. The failure of the Ryan Healthcare bill will, contrary to popular opinion, be a boon to the Trump presidency. Trump would have faced a political disaster if anything resembling the Ryan plan had been enacted. Nobody would have been more greviously wounded by the Ryan approach than the people who put Trump in the White House. The ideas recommended by the GOP “Freedom” Caucus (a better name for them would be the morons caucus) would have been even worse.

    With the failure of the Ryan Plan, Trump can say he tried to repeal and replace Obamacare but the fools in Congress blew the opportunity. Remember, Trump ran against the congressional GOP establishment; criticizing them as incompetent nincompoops will resonate well with Trump supporters.

    Given the current political realities, there is no practical way to fix the American healthcare system. That’s because neither party will attack the root cause of the problem; government sanctioned overcharging by healthcare providers. Because healthcare can’t be fixed, the most politically palatable approach Trump can take is to tell his supporters he tried and then to blame the bipartisan lamebrains in Congress. Americans already hate Congress; after this they will hate Congress even more. My prediction is that Trump escapes this politically unscathed; at least in the long run.

    • lukelea

      I think WigWag is right.

    • MyWord245

      You keep repeating the same bogus theory about doctors charging more is the reason our health care system is broke. Real problem here is that GOP and Trump exploited Obamacare as a wedge issue — with no suitable alternative. Remember Trump’s claims that he has the best plan. Now they are caught with their pants down.

    • Joe Jones

      100% correct. This stupid repeal was not a core Trump issue. It was and is jobs and national security.

      • Boritz

        It was an issue. I don’t know what would make it core/non-core, but this is too reminiscent of George W. Bush. Every time he would mess up we were told just let it go. The real reason he is there is to nominate Supreme Court justices. You’ll see. When he gets a chance to do that, that’s when he will shine. So we waited through fumbles and stumbles and finally the day arrived and he nominated……..Harriet Miers. Yes, Alito was finally confirmed but W. needed lots of ‘help’ to get there.

    • Wayne Lusvardi

      Having defended Trump against unfair and unfounded accusations during his candidacy, I am nevertheless aware that Trump’s ascendency and the drama surrounding Obamacare repeal has all been (masterfully) choreographed. Things are never what they seem to be in politics. Why repeal Obamacare now when all the Republicans have to do is wait until the intentionally delayed 75% spike in insurance premiums kicks in and the electorate will be screaming for relief? The fake narrative coming out of the media is that somehow Trump lost his first battle with Congress and that this portends badly on his other policy reforms like immigration and tax rates. And are we to pretend that if Trump had gotten the votes needed to pass Obamacare that there would have been some sort of legislative momentum? No Obamacare reform bill coming out of Congress would have survived. It was a brilliant move to defeat any reform at this time. Trump is the apparent benefactor of this because otherwise he would be taking heat for reforming (the unsustainable) Obamacare and harming the health of millions. How much does modern medicine actually add to life? Do we live longer due to medical care or clean water and diets? Why do low income Latinos live longer than American anglos? Because they lack medical coverage?

    • Proud Skeptic

      I smile when I read all these articles over what a boondoggle this attempt at repeal was. All it did was focus everyone on the facts…and the most important fact, as Trump keeps repeating, Obamacare is on borrowed time. Trump asked the Congress to take a shot. Congress prepared a bill. Factions within the Republican Congress couldn’t agree. The bill died. It was a dress rehearsal for when the real thing comes along in a year or so. People have learned from it. The next time, it will be far more interesting and urgent.

      NBC has figured out what is coming.

      As Rumsfeld used to say…”If you can’t solve a problem, make it worse.”

  • lukelea

    I predict wiser and wilier. Cunning is a quality he has said he admires.

  • Anthony

    How will Trump respond to failure has two considered options employed by Andrew Sullivan:

    “A demagogue loses much of his power when he tries to wrestle complicated legislation through various political factions, in the way our inefficient Constitution requires. He regains it with rank fear, polarization, and a raw show of force….Or Trump realizes he’s sinking fast and decides on a hard pivot…He could use the possible failure of Trumpcare to feed Paul Ryan to the Breitbartians, and reach out to Democrats on a tweaked Obamacare and infrastructure package. He could dump Bannon the way he dumped Manafort and bullshit his way through all the inconsistencies.” Essentially, WRM’s “but how” foreshadows humanity’s capacity to disappoint – only this time referencing a president.

  • D4x

    How POTUS Trump responded to failure, in his own words, March 24, 2017:

    “…So what would be really good, with no Democrat support, is if the Democrats, when it explodes — which it will soon — if they got together with us and got a real healthcare bill. I would be totally up to do it. And I think that’s going to happen. I think the losers are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, because now they own Obamacare. They own it — 100 percent own it.

    And this is not a Republican healthcare, this is not anything but a Democrat healthcare. And they have Obamacare for a little while longer, until it ceases to exist, which it will at some point in the near future. And just remember this is not our bill, this is their bill.

    Now, when they all become civilized and get together, and try and work out a great healthcare bill for the people of this country, we’re open to it. We’re totally open to it.

    I want to thank the Republican Party. I want to thank Paul Ryan — he worked very, very hard, I will tell you that. He worked very, very hard. Tom Price and Mike Pence — who’s right here — our Vice President, our great Vice President. Everybody worked hard. I worked as a team player and would have loved to have seen it passed. …”

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    The Freedom Caucus has seized a veto power over all future legislation. Paul Ryan and the establishment (big government republicans) must now cater to the Freedom Caucus. The fact that the Freedom Caucus has been collecting heads, most recently Boehner’s. Should have already put them at the table and in party leadership positions. The fact that Paul Ryan hasn’t got them helping write legislation, demonstrates political incompetence on his and the establishment’s part.

    Only the Leftists think this hurts Trump, Trump voters see this as an Establishment failure, and foresee an improved healthcare bill in the future with wider support. Hopefully with a lot less Socialism, and a lot more Free Market to satisfy the Freedom Caucus.

  • GOPCare quickly collapsed under the stench of its foul intentions. Sad!

  • Pait

    Readers of Tolkien have long noted a few obvious similarities between the Gollum and the so-called president – what is his real name, anyway? Comparisons with Frodo would be a longer stretch.

  • D4x

    Scott Adams on March 25, 2017: “Trump and Healthcare” “…the Trump-is-Hitler illusion was the biggest problem in the country, and maybe the world. It was scaring people to the point of bad health. It made any kind of political conversation impossible. It turned neighbors and friends against each other in a way we have never before seen. It was inviting violence, political instability, and worse.

    In my opinion, the Trump-is-Hitler hallucination was the biggest short-term problem facing the country. Congress just solved for it, albeit unintentionally.

    Speaking of healthcare, I predicted on Periscope here several days ago that the only way to get a bill passed was to let Ryan fail hard on the first attempt while scaring the left at the same time. That softens both sides to the middle. There was literally no other path to the middle. You couldn’t get there without the first step being a major failure by the majority
    party. This necessary step toward success is, of course, being reported as total failure.


© The American Interest LLC 2005-2017 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service