They Had Their Bluff Called

Ever since Congress passed and President Obama signed the health care reform bill known as the Affordable Care Act, Republicans in Congress have been working to repeal the bill they dubbed “Obamacare.”  More than 50 times in the years that followed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed bills that would repeal Obamacare – doing so at the time, of course, knowing that such a bill had no chance at all of passing in the Senate.

But still, didn’t you picture Republican leaders closeting themselves – no, not that kind of closeting – behind closed doors and planning, in excruciating and precise detail, what they would include in their legislation if they ever got a chance – a real chance, a legitimate chance – to repeal and replace the abomination they considered Obamacare to be?

Surely they had a plan, all ready to go, when that day came.

Well, that day came on January 20, 2017, when Republicans officially controlled both chambers of Congress and the White House.

Surely it then was just a matter of days until they finally did what they had longed so very, very much to do.

And then?


No repeal.

No replacement.

Really, no bill.  No plan, ready to go.

No agreement on a plan.


So what happened?

That’s exactly what constituents asked Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey last week at a town hall meeting.

Toomey’s response?

Look, I didn’t expect Donald Trump to win, I think most of my colleagues didn’t, so we didn’t expect to be in this situation.

Ideas? Me? I got nothing.

In other words, Toomey was admitting what we all had slowly come to realize:  the Republicans were all talk.  They had no plan.  No idea.  They hadn’t been working on it all along.  They hadn’t, in fact, been working on it at all.

Or even, apparently, thinking about.

And now they’ve got nothing.  Oh, they’ll eventually pass something, because they have no choice, they promised voters, but it’s not part of grand plan.  It’ll be a bone they’ll throw to their supporters so they can say “We told you we’d do this and we did it.”

But they didn’t.  Because for all of their talk, they had no plan, no idea, no clue, for what to do.

The public called their bluff and congressional Republicans revealed that they had nothing at all to offer.

Nothing at all.

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