A Price to Pay

Jason Riley wrote an excellent column in the Wall Street Journal about the president’s base and the larger Republican Party.  It seems that as the press continues to report Trump’s loss of popularity while confidence the base stays steady.

Mr. Riley writes, “The GOP’s inability to scrap Obamacare (last) week means, among other things, that President Trump will end his first six months in office without a major legislative accomplishment.”  He also reports that only 40 percent of those polled approve of his job performance and 55 percent disapprove.  Yet among Republican votes over the same period, Mr. Trump’s favorability has barely budged and remains above 80 percent.

The mainstream media, by and large, remain unable or unwilling to understand what drives the Trump base.  Journalists continue to prioritize their own political concerns and play down those of the 63 million people who voted for Mr. Trump.

Joan Williams is quoted that “During an era when wealthy white Americans have learned to sympathetically imagine the lives of the poor, people of color, and LGBTQ people, the white working class has been insulted or ignored during precisely the period when their economic fortunes tanked.”

Mr. Trump’s ability to appeal to these voters is the reason his base isn’t abandoning him with or without a significant legislative victory.

The president’s relentless rhetoric about the costs of illegal immigration and free trade globalization and his attacks on outsourcing as well as his “made in America” desire each resonate with his supporters.

For those members of the Republican congress who promised to help the president and have not, there will be a price to pay.

Across the page from Mr. Riley’s article was a WSJ editorial elaborating that voters may repeal and replace the senators who broke their promise to the American people.

The Journal calls the Republican defeat of their own healthcare bill as one of the great political failures in recent U.S. history.  It was all self-inflicted.

This wasn’t the inevitable result of some tied of progressive history.  “These were choices made by individuals to put their narrow and ideological preferences ahead of practical legislative progress.”

Each senator campaigned for the last seven years on repealing and replacing Obamacare.  When it came time to making John Kennedy’s “Profiles in Courage,” they choked.

Who were these cowards who so easily broke their pledge to the American people?  The Journal lists Senators Dean Heller, R-Nevada; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Shelley Capito, R-West Virginia; Bob Portman, R-Ohio; Jerry Morgan R-Kansas; Rand Paul, R-Kentucky; and Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana.

If the Obamacare Republicans draw primary opponents, they deserve it.  The Journal goes on, “If Republicans can’t be trusted to fulfill a core commitment to voters, whether to repeal or replace or simply to reduce the burden of government then what is the point of electing Republicans.”

Republicans had the power to reverse the march toward single-payer health car, but were blocked by a fewer deserters, who are betting voters will forget.  We will see.  Time will tell.  People will not forget.