I have received emails from Conservative organizations thanking me for helping to defeat the Ryan Health Bill. Their authors boast what a victory this is for the Right. I have written back to say that theirs is the hollowest victory they could have achieved and that it has greatly damaged our best hope for a Counter-Revolution – Donald Trump!
What kind of a victory is it when our enemies, the Mainstream Media and the Far-Left Democrat Party, are ecstatic? What have we won when ObamaCare remains in place and fortified?
On this website, we are well aware that Paul Ryan only just scrapes into membership of the Broad Right. We recognize that he is, as his face reveals, a weak man who survives by networking, plotting, knowledge of the rules, number-work and late-night study. In other words, an uninspiring leader who is not motivated by a big vision and was not elected for his charisma.
One justification advanced by the suicide squad of Conservative purists who campaigned against the Bill, is that their ‘victory’ yesterday will bring about Ryan’s downfall. Maybe, and who will replace him? What good man or woman will want to lead this hopelessly divided, fractious and dangerously shortsighted Republican Party?
Ryan is the leader because he was overwhelmingly elected by his comrades. The Conservative purists are a small minority, will remain so, and have no chance of getting one of their number elected to lead. Trump will have taken note of this before going forward. He worked with what he had, and presumably calculated that the Conservatives would consider half a loaf better than no loaf, and recognize – after some posturing- that unity behind the President was paramount.
No doubt the Ryan Bill lacked boldness (like its author), was a compromise driven by Representatives who have to face the electorate every week, and its only virtue – apart from maintaining the Trump momentum – was that it severely dented ObamaCare. And a blind hatred of Ryan that results in opposing everything he puts forward is the surest recipe for defeat. Some of those conservative Republicans who opposed the Bill were, like Ted Cruz in the Senate and Mark Levin of Talk Radio, ‘never Trumpers’ in all but name. Their ‘principled’ stands have much to do with ambition and egoism.
Only a demented, market-obsessed, purist, could believe that the hopelessly-divided House Republicans will now work together to produce a Bill of any kind! We are stuck with Obamacare and a jubilant Obama and MSM. Fine victory!
Trump has now lost in a humiliating fashion and the lesson for all factions in the Republican Congress, is that no-one need bow to the President’s wishes on any issue.
Healthcare is, as we have argued previously, a difficult issue, and in our view neither a National Health service nor a pure market-based system can deal with its challenges. It is rare that we praise a Peggy Noonan article but this week in the WSJ she fully describes the worries about insurance coverage that afflict so many working people. It will take a genius to come up with a market-based system that meets their needs. As we always argue, insuring for health problems is not the same as insuring a house or car.
The result of yesterday’s Conservative ‘victory’ is that President Trump is now completely on the defensive and has lost all momentum. It seems that the ultra-Conservatives do not care that his grip on Presidential power is fragile and the forces ranged against him (and us) are as powerful as ever. Who needs enemies with comrades like Cruz and Levin?