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

Trump Was Right to Call Off the North Korea Summit

Cut bait while there's still line.

Nearly three months ago, Donald Trump reaffirmed his status as a maverick who’s liberated from the conventions that shackled past presidents by giving a North Korean despot something North Korean despots have sought for decades. Today, the planned bilateral summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un has collapsed. In the intervening weeks, those conventions of which Trump is so disdainful demonstrated their value.

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PODCAST: Climbing Down from the Summit

Podcast: The DPRK and the NFL.

The Trump-Kim meeting is off, and the question is this: If the announcement of thawing relations with North Korea helped Trump’s approval rating, will this hurt or harm it? And why won’t Trump trumpet the bipartisan legislative successes of the past few weeks? Give a listen.

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Philip Roth and the Roots of American Rage

The great American novel.

Why won’t the child just listen? Why won’t she come to reason? Where did I do wrong with her?

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Injustin Trudeau

Both sides of the issue.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is “appalled.”

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Politics, Not Paranoia

When Washington works.

It’s understandable that cynicism has become the default approach for average Americans navigating the political environment. Interpreting events as the product of a raw power contest rather than a clash between competing principles is not only simpler but often correct. Occasionally, though, a purely cynical understanding of how politicians conduct themselves can lead observers astray. Sneering pessimism alone would not have led anyone to conclude that bipartisanship would be breaking out in Washington in an election year. But, to a degree, it is.

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