GOP Caught Between Its Base And Its Lies
The Republican party is caught between its base, its promises, Trump, and the future and the general consensus is that there may be no way out of the trap they have created, largely by themselves.
The recent special elections have shown that the GOP needs to keep almost its entire base motivated and happy just to survive in 2018. That primarily means following through on repealing and replacing the ACA. There are two paths for “achieving” this goal, either actually go through with the AHCA and make it law or let the bill pass both houses of Congress but let the conference bill die in the House or Senate.
The problem with actually making the AHCA law is that it will devastate many parts of the GOP base. As Joy Reid pointed out on Last Word a few nights ago, the base actually likes big government and the attending programs. They just only want those programs for themselves and want Republicans to ensure that those benefits don’t go to the “underserving others”, immigrants, minorities, etc. And Republicans have fed that desire in their base for years. But the AHCA will not discriminate in its devastation of American lives.
On the other hand, if they let the AHCA die in the second vote, it is hard to see how the base would be fooled by that. But Republicans have performed such magic in deceiving their base for decades so it is quite possible they can do it again. But, considering that they need every element of their base just to survive in 2018, this is also a risky strategy.
The additional problem they have is that, despite the ACA being on pretty good footing as a whole, there are areas of the country where insurers have simply pulled up stakes entirely. And the uncertainty that Trump has created by dealing with the insurers’ subsidies on a monthly basis as well as the ultimate fate of the AHCA will probably cause even more insurers to leave the exchanges. We all know that Republicans will keep on saying that this is more proof that the ACA is failing but it is also hard to see how that argument will still fly. The GOP would have had over a year to fix those issues and they did nothing.
Obviously a lot can happen between now and 2018. And the tribal nature of the Republican base is pretty strong, as we have seen. But the Republicans can only keep spinning their lies for so long before it all comes crashing down. For the good of the country, let’s hope that happens before the 2018 election.