Republicans

Can Obamacare be killed?

Featured image Can an entitlement program be killed? That seems to me the question implicit in the unfolding drama over the repeal of Obamacare. With their majorities in Congress and Obama in the White House, Democrats forced the passage of Obamacare without a single Republican vote. The party discipline they displayed was impressive to observe. In the style of the Roman captives paying their respects to the emperor Claudius, the Democrats who »

CBO analysis suggests GOP “replacement” plan is politically unsustainable

Featured image The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has issued its cost and coverage estimates for the House Republican Obamacare replacement legislation. CBO estimates that the bill would raise the number of people without health insurance by 24 million within a decade, but would trim $337 billion from the federal deficit over that time. The report is here. This passage (at page 3) jumped out at me: Starting in 2020, the increase in »

The parliamentarian dodge

Featured image I wrote here about how congressional Republicans are subscribing to the view that key parts of Obamacare cannot be repealed through “reconciliation” — i.e., without 60 votes. This view holds that the GOP cannot repeal the price-hiking, competition-destroying regulations that form the core of Obamacare because the parliamentarian, pursuant to the Byrd Rule, won’t allow such repeal through the budget reconciliation process. I took issue with that view. First, the »

Will the House GOP Obamacare replacement accelerate the death spiral?

Featured image Sen. Tom Cotton says “I think we’re moving a little bit too quickly on health care reform.” He explains: This is a big issue. This is not like the latest spending bill that gets released on a Monday night, [passed] on Wednesday and everybody goes home for Christmas, and we live with it for nine months. We’re going to live with health care reform that we pass forever, or until »

Who will own the Obamacare “replacement”?

Featured image If you answered “the Republicans,” you are right. If you answered the Senate parliamentarian, you are crazy. It makes no sense, therefore, for the Senate parliamentarian to have a say in the replacement of Obamacare. Yet, congressional Republicans are effectively granting the parliamentarian a veto. In so doing, they are ensuring that the Obamacare replacement will be sub-optimal at best and, more likely, disastrous. Here’s the background. Republicans won’t have »

Repeal and replace, but take the time to get it right

Featured image Two months into 2017, groups backed by the Koch brothers reportedly have run out of patience with congressional Republicans over their failure to repeal Obamacare. According to the New York Times, the “Koch network,” along with conservative groups like the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks, are demanding repeal and are applying pressure on GOP lawmakers to keep their promise and get it done now. But what’s the rush? When Republicans »

Amid Democratic Party Crackup, Voters Are Trending Republican

Featured image I have often wondered why the outrageous behavior that we see so often from Democrats doesn’t repel more voters. Now it seems that some, at least, are catching on, as voters have been trending Republican since the election. Gallup’s party affiliation survey finds that on the eve of the election, 31% self-identified as Democrats and 27% as Republicans (36% said they were independents). With leaners, it was 46%-43%, Democrats. By »

Shedunnit, whoever she is

Featured image At Axios, Jonathan Swan reports that “the person who leaked audio of the closed-door Republican congressional retreat in Philadelphia snuck in by claiming to be the spouse of an elected official. She was at the retreat for 11 hours before escorted out by Capitol Police. The Congressional Institute, which hosts the event, is trying to figure out who she is.” I should add that a local television report on the »

At GOP retreat, whodunnit?

Featured image Washington Post reporter Mike DeBonis reveals that someone inside the closed-door meeting of Republican congressmen in Philadelphia this week may have committed a serious crime in the course of the retreat. That’s not the way DeBonis puts it in his story on the cold feet and second thoughts among the GOP congressmen about their commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare, but that’s how I read this statement: “Recordings of closed »

Trump’s synthesis [UPDATED]

Featured image In the run-up to this year’s election, when I thought Hillary Clinton would win, I speculated about what a post-Trump GOP would look like. It seemed to me that the Party might settle on a synthesis that mixed two doses of traditional conservatism with one dose of Trumpianism. Based on Trump’s early moves, especially his appointments, it looks like this might be the formula. Except I’m not sure about the »

Can Trump deliver to his base on economics?

Featured image Donald Trump cracked the Democrats’ “blue wall” by narrowly winning Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. He accomplished this by attracting non-upscale white voters. He also took advantage, it seems, of lack of enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton among black voters in cities such as Philadelphia, Detroit, and Milwaukee. Has Trump thereby transformed the electoral landscape? The answer probably depends on the extent to which his policies improve, or will be perceived as »

Will the GOP control all three branches?

Featured image The House is a done deal. The Senate is very likely to be in Republican hands. And now, Trump has a considerably better than even chance of winning the presidency. If the GOP does control all three branches, and if Trump is able to work with congressional Republicans, we might actually see real change. Keep this in mind too: Although the out-of-power party tends to do very well in off-year »

The future of Paul Ryan’s speakership

Featured image The Washington Post claims that Speaker Paul Ryan “is on the verge of a reckoning with House conservatives that threatens to end his speakership and extinguish his future as a national political leader.” Post reporters Kelsey Snell and Mike DeBonis say that, given the likelihood of an enhanced presence of Democrats in the new House, it might take less than one-third of the 40-member House Freedom Caucus to end Ryan’s »

The post-Trump GOP

Featured image Unlike Steve, I’m convinced that, unfortunately, Hillary Clinton will win this election. Assuming she does, and that the race isn’t very close, what will happen to Trumpism? To answer this question we must identify Trumpism’s main characteristics. In my view, there are five: (1) the unbridled egotism of its leader and his whiff of authoritarianism; (2) gratuitous nastiness; (3) a strong stance against illegal immigration; (4) intense skepticism about the »

Trump unshackled

Featured image Last week, Donald Trump proclaimed that “the shackles have been taken off me.” He wasn’t kidding. Unshackled, Trump has responded affirmatively to cries of “lock [Hillary]’ up” (the shackled Trump used to respond “defeat her”). He has attacked the physical appearance of a woman who accused him of sexual touching. And he claims that such allegations are part — not just of collaboration with Democrats and the media, which is »

What now?

Featured image The Trump campaign is bleeding profusely from the wound of his Access Hollywood video. Carly Fiorina and John McCain are among the prominent Republicans who have withdrawn their support. There are also calls for Trump to step down as the Republican nominee. Andy McCarthy is among those urging this. Trump, though, has said he will never stand aside. Conceivably, he will relent, but the choke artist seems determined to hang »

Escapism anyone? A look at 2020

Featured image Assuming that Donald Trump loses this year’s presidential race, who is likely to be the GOP nominee in 2020? The FiveThirtyEight crew takes a stab at this question (as well as the Democrats’ side of the equation). The discussion is too snarky and anti-Republican for my taste, but worthwhile nonetheless. Here (in no special order) are the six Republicans I consider most likely to be the nominee in four year: »