With Senate Republican leadership scrambling to appease members peeling away from passage of the bill to takedown Obamacare, President Trump has just called for a meeting today at 4pm; Republicans only, just senators. Mitch McConnell made the announcement a few minutes ago at a party event that barred the press.
This is fascinating to watch, given that even the lowliest back-bencher among the Senate’s conservative wing outweighs Trump in nearly everything relevant; the understanding and implications of federal language, how to read (and often ignore) a CBO score, and how and when to negotiate (as opposed to bumble, boast and threaten). Most importantly, it is the senators who are hearing from outraged constituents and reading stuff like this, about how this hurts people in counties Trump won, and stuff like this, about how this could cost them their own Senate seat. Trump, for his part, gives every indication of being nearly oblivious to nearly everything; a tweeting, bleating man-baby unselfconsciously embarrassing everybody.
But even the dimmest of dimwits, and we may be dealing with just that, can feel the stink coming off this bill; not the impact it will have on more than 22 million Americans (CBO score) (he doesn’t care) and the fear of people now depending on the ACA to keep them alive (ditto), but his own bragging rights are at stake and this much he gets. So, Trump pulling up his executive branch britches, calls everybody in. But Mitch McConnell, who didn’t expect to be in this precarious position. But he is. This was his party’s number one promise, what they used to rile up the good people of America, and misdirect their anger at Democrats trying to keep them healthy. And here it all is, maybe falling apart (though I’ll believe that when I see it).
But here we are. A few minutes ago, Majority Leader McConnell will delay the vote until after the July 4th recess. Keep the pressure up. Please, and thank you.