Beep beep

Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman have another State of Trump article, about how he’s encountering self-doubt for perhaps the first time in his life, thanks to discovering that he can’t just ram through the repeal of Obamacare as if he were raping it.

A president who prefers unilateral executive action and takes intense pride in his ability to cut deals finds himself in a humbling negotiation unlike any other in his career, pinned between moderates who believe the health care measure is too harsh, and a larger group of fiscal conservatives adept at using their leverage to scuttle big deals cut by other Republican leaders.

Just imagine: government is not identical to running a bizness. Who could possibly have known that?

“I don’t know whether he will ultimately succeed or fail, but I will tell you that President Trump is so transactional, who knows what transactions he will be willing to make to pass this,” said Representative Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader, who passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010 as speaker.

“So far he’s acting like a rookie. It’s really been amateur hour,” she added. “He seems to think that a charm offensive or a threat will work — that saying ‘I can do this for you’ or ‘I can do this against you’ will work. That’s not the way it works. You have to build real consensus, and you have to gain a real knowledge of the policy — and the president hasn’t done either of those things.”

Crashing on the shoals of Congress marks Mr. Trump’s first true encounter with legislative realities and the realization that a president’s power is less limitless than it appears, particularly in the face of an intransigent voting bloc. Mr. Trump is not used to a hard no — but that was the word of the week.

It must be painful being a huge bully and discovering that bullying doesn’t always work.

If Mr. Trump has any advantage in the negotiations, it is his ideological flexibility: He is more interested in a win, or avoiding a loss, than any of the arcane policy specifics of the complicated measure, according to a dozen aides and allies interviewed over the past week who described his mood as impatient and jittery. Already, he has shown that flexibility by going back on campaign promises that no one would lose coverage when the Affordable Care Act was replaced and he would not cut Medicaid.

Well of course. He’s Donald Trump. Of course he doesn’t give a shit about the realities that his “win” will mean millions of people losing healthcare coverage, and thus tens of thousands of people suffering illness and death. Of course a “win” for him is all he cares about.

Only in the past two weeks, as Mr. Trump focused on his continuing defense of accusations that his presidential campaign colluded with Russia, has he focused his energies and powers of persuasion on ramming through a proposal that is likely to result in the loss of health insurance for millions, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates.

On Wednesday, Mr. Trump made a key concession to fiscal hawks by agreeing to scrap the health care law’s provision mandating “essential benefits” — like outpatient visits, mental health services and some maternity care — in a bid to lower premiums.

Lower premiums in exchange for disappearing benefits! What could possibly go wrong?

However, the dear man found a way to blow off steam.

Mr. Trump appeared almost oblivious to the dire situation unfolding in the hours after he hosted a meeting with members of the House Freedom Caucus at the White House, where he made the case Mr. Winston pointed to — that not passing the health bill risks the rest of the Republican agenda.

In the midafternoon, a beaming Mr. Trump climbed into the rig of a black tractor-trailer, which had been driven to the White House for an event with trucking industry executives, honking the horn and posing for a series of tough-guy photos — one with his fists held aloft, another staring straight ahead, hands gripping the large wheel, his face compressed into an excited scream.

At a meeting inside shortly afterward, Mr. Trump announced that he was pressed for time and needed to go make calls for more votes.

A reporter informed him that the vote had already been called off.

Image result for trump truck

3 Responses to “Beep beep”