Trump Needed It, but What About the GOP?

The AHCA has helped two people so far.

The passage of the House version of the American Health Care Act was a vital necessity for Trump and his White House. Without it, the president’s first six months would have been written off as a meandering farce in which the paralysis that had characterized Washington over the past six years would have been extended ludicrously to a Washington in which Republicans hold both chambers of Congress and the White House. If we learned anything from the Jimmy Carter years, or from the Bush presidency from the fall of 2005 through the election of 2006, it is that the nation comes to feel contempt for a president who appears incompetent. And perhaps that would have been the case with Donald Trump most of all, since his entire candidacy was premised upon his ability to cut through the crap and get things done in a billionaire-businessman kind of way. So what happened yesterday was a big deal, even if the bill is only a third of the way through passage. It must now go to the Senate, which will amend it before it can pass there—and if it does, the House and Senate versions will have to be reconciled and then voted on again by both bodies before going to the president for signature.

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Trump Needed It, but What About the GOP?

Must-Reads from Magazine

Partisanship Masquerading as Wisdom

Anger over health care clouds the left's judgment.

Nate Silver spoke for most of the liberal blogosphere when he objected to the mainstream media’s coverage of Senator John McCain’s speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday.

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A Familiar Paranoia

Donald Trump sees disloyalty even in his closest supporters.

In a performance that would have shocked sensibilities if they weren’t already flogged to the point of numbness, President Trump delivered a nostalgic, campaign-style stem-winder on Monday to a troop of boy scouts. The commander-in-chief meandered between crippling self-pity and gauche triumphalism; he moaned about his treatment by the “fake media,” praised himself for the scale of his Electoral College victory, and pondered aloud whether to dub the nation’s capital a “cesspool” or a “sewer.” Most illuminating in this manic display was an exposition on the virtues of fealty. “We could use some more loyalty; I will tell you that,” the president mused. These days, Trump seems fixated on treachery—among Republicans in Congress, among his Cabinet officials, and among his subordinates in the administration. His obsession may yet prove his undoing.

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Salaita, Out

Sympathy deferred.

I have written before about Steven Salaita. Once a tenured professor of English at Virginia Tech, he resigned from that position on the strength of an offer from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign to serve in the American Indian Studies program. But in the summer of 2014, UIUC rescinded the offer, mainly over of a series of reprehensible Salaita tweets.

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Syria’s Forsaken Rebels

Has Washington given up on Syria?

Last week, I wrote about one of the troublesome byproducts of the Trump-Putin summit in Hamburg: a ceasefire in southwestern Syria that Israel worries will entrench Iranian control of that area bordering the Israeli Golan Heights. The day after my article came out, the Washington Post reported on another troubling decision that President Trump has made vis a vis Syria: Ending a CIA program that had provided arms and training to anti-Assad forces.

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The Democratic Party’s False Centrism

It's a duck.

Democrats are finally digging out of the wreckage the Obama years wrought, and are beginning to acknowledge the woes they visited upon themselves with their box-checking identity liberalism. So, yes, the opposition is moving forward in the Trump area, but toward what? Schizophrenia, apparently.

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