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Obamacare

One week after being diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer, John McCain rides back into Washington in epic – nay, historically epic fashion to cast the deciding vote opening debate on the repeal of Obamacare. The liberals despaired. How could this happen? The green mile had begun. Many wished him gone already, truth be told. How could a rich man with cancer vote against healthcare for the poor?

Fast forward one week. After 2 of the 3 main repeal proposals were soundly defeated in a majority Republican congress, the very same Mr. McCain walks up to the Majority Leader McConnell and looks him dead in the eye as he flashes his thumbs down, effectively killing healthcare repeal, maybe for good. The irony of his return, which some called heroic, leading to his deathblow of the repeal effort will likely linger in the halls of power until Trump is just an embarrassing memory. The same Republicans who toasted him only a week prior were now cursing his name. He had finally gone full rogue!

But dying men have a way be being honest – at least that’s my theory. And they have about as much tolerance for partisanship as a pilot does for anti-aircraft fire. McCain put his foot down knowing he wouldn’t own it for much longer.

Ever since McCain defended then-candidate Obama from a racist woman asking a racist question at one of his rallies, I’ve had respect for him, even if he did inflict Sarah Palin up on. Hopefully his noble actions will inspire some of his peers.

Well, not really. But there’s a lot to be said about Trump losing healthcare. So many angles to discuss. The one I prefer has to do with Democrats. It’s surprisingly not obvious that Trump would blame the Democrats for this failure, but blame he did. “Look, we got no Democratic votes. We got none, zero,” he conspicuously told the New York Times. Well, you never actually asked for any, did you?

Throughout this process, I haven’t heard a single democratic name mentioned in the press as part of this process. Chuck Schumer was mentioned in today’s news, but not because of the historic non-vote. Instead he was in the paper for claiming the democratic votes to filibusters Trump’s Supreme Court pick.

So it came as a bit of a shock that suddenly the democratic resistance was to blame, even in the ultra-partisan Washington political atmosphere. Throughout the last few days of political wrangling, it didn’t even seem like there were two major parties in Washington at all. Democrats? We still have those around here?

The inherent non-news about democratic involvement in the legislative process went calmly unnoticed, but miss it we did. The Republicans just took everything over and then choked themselves on their own success. The word bipartisan was harder to find in the news on Friday than a republican on Mars (yes, the planet).

Did Trump ever pick up a phone to Nancy Pelosi and I missed the news release?

As an aside, I’d also like to mention that Trump’s deal-making skills aren’t that super duper after all. I know it’s only so much hyperbole and I’m stating the obvious, except I’m not. Trump’s big promise is his deal making skills. That’s his appeal. But to make deals, you need to involve all parties. What we saw was that Trump’s business acumen isn’t about win/win. It’s win/lose. He wins and you lose. This is why his furious but unfruitful outreach over the last few days included not a single dime’s worth of calls to the left side of the isle. And he paid the price for his arrogance, miscalculation and greed.

If Trump was the leader he claims to be, he’d lead. It’s clear he doesn’t really understand true political leadership. He understands only winning or losing. So today he got to lose.