Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday Week in Review, Trumpcare edition

What else did Donald Trump do this week?

In the dying days of Trumpcare, he held a meeting with Tea Party leaders to discuss whether mammograms and maternity care should be counted as "essential" for purposes of coverage. Dozens of members of Congress and the Trump administration were present; none were women.

He cycled through a series of scapegoats for the failure of Trumpcare: first Democrats, then Paul Ryan and moderate Republicans, and finally this morning the arch-conservative "Freedom caucus," the last of whom he jeered on Twitter for their supposed support of Planned Parenthood by their refusal to vote for his bill. Trump's accusations are not incorrect; all three groups, mindful of the polls, helped defeat Trumpcare.

By contrast, Trump's staffers portrayed him as having "left it all on the field" in support of his domestic policy centerpiece during the unusually brief 17-day window of work on the bill. As the bill hemorrhaged votes on Thursday, Trump's first self-imposed deadline for its passage in the House, Trump was pretending to drive a truck.

In a moment of uncharacteristic modesty, Trump declined to take credit for the one tangible result of Trumpcare: a surge in stock prices when it was pulled from the floor on Thursday.

What's so bad about these things?

  • Women may feel that women's health care policy debates should in some way involve women.
  • Presidents who assign blame for legislative failures rather than accept responsibility look weak.
  • To "leave it all on the field" means to make an extraordinary effort.