July 20, 2017

HE'S NOT A REPUBLICAN AND THEY DRAGGED HIM IN WITH THEM:

Inspiring Little Fear in Senators, Trump Struggles to Sell Health Bill (GLENN THRUSH and MAGGIE HABERMAN, JULY 20, 2017, NY Times)

As the brash Mr. Johnson reminded one associate recently, while Mr. Trump may have stunned the political world in 2016 by winning Wisconsin in the election, Mr. Johnson got 76,000 more votes in the state.

Fear is perhaps the most powerful motivating force in politics, and fear of a powerful president is the surest lever to move a lawmaker from a "no" to a "yes" on a presidential priority. But over the past month, Mr. Trump scared no one into supporting the bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. He has proved simply too unpopular nationally -- polling at 36 to 40 percent approval this week -- too weak in many senators' home states, too erratic and too disengaged from the details of governing to harness his party, as other new presidents have.

Mr. Johnson, still angry at the Republican establishment for abandoning his long-shot re-election bid, may come around when Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, holds a make-or-break procedural vote next week in a bid to revive the health care effort.

But the votes of other senators have become more elusive. They have come to believe that their constituents, even the most conservative ones, are more loyal to them than to Mr. Trump.

The starkest demonstration of Mr. Trump's weakness came on Monday when Mr. McConnell and his stunned team learned that Jerry Moran, a typically reliable and evenhanded conservative from Kansas, felt safe stiff-arming Mr. Trump on his top legislative priority, announcing that he opposed the bill.

Posted by at July 20, 2017 10:35 AM

  

« WHAT IS SELF-RESPECT TO AN IDEOLOGUE?: | Main | DONALD WHO?: »