I listened to Hugh Hewitt the morning after it was released; he was stunned that he couldn’t get any of the Republican House leadership [sic] on his show to talk to his conservative audience about the biggest piece of legislation in Trump’s first term.
.. It says something about the relationship between Ryan and Mitch McConnell that Ryan hasn’t used the Senate as a scapegoat.
.. During the campaign, Trump promised he would repeal the law entirely, eliminate the individual mandate, permit the sale of health insurance across state lines, allow individuals to fully deduct health-insurance premium payments, require price transparency from all health-care providers and allow consumers access to imported, safe, and dependable drugs from overseas.
.. The bad things to come out of the Trump administration so far:
· Tweeting that President Obama tapped his phones at Trump Tower, an accusation that no one could find any evidence to support.
· Not merely the inability to pass health care reform on the first try, but the clumsy way it was handled, with Trump clearly not caring about the details and Bannon trying to bully the House Freedom Caucus, telling them they had “no choice” but to vote for it.
· Trump continues to make big promises with few details on how he’s going to make it work. Last night he said, “I know that we are all going to make a deal on health care. That’s such an easy one.” Is it? Is it really?
· The administration had a series of defeats in court; the initial travel ban appeared to be hastily written, ignored career lawyers of DHS, and created chaos at the nation’s airports.
· The FBI is investigating whether Trump’s campaign coordinated with Russia on illegal hacking of places like John Podesta’s computer and the DNC and other efforts to influence the election.
· The outlook for tax reform is complicated by the failure to get health-care reforms done first, as the reforms were supposed to create the savings to pay for the tax cuts. Ditto for the dreams of a big infrastructure bill.
· It’s very early, but there are signs that the “energized Democratic grassroots” storyline isn’t just media wish-fulfillment. Just as Republicans woke up and got active as the Obama era began in 2009, Democrats may be the same…
· We’re cool with a president golfing now, huh, conservatives?
· We don’t care if White House visitor logs are no longer accessible to the public, huh? We’re fine with the Trump administration being less open and transparent than the Obama administration?
Yesterday I wrote about one of the more bewildering and unnerving early stumbles of the administration, a persistent complaint about the “deep state” while failing to nominate anyone for hundreds upon hundreds of important positions. Yes, the Senate could confirm the 40 or so nominees faster, but the Trump administration just looks flatly unprepared for one of the key tasks of governing.