At this point, Republicans have been reduced to trying to justify stripping healthcare from millions of Americans, including large numbers of working class Republicans, by claiming that they are helpless to do otherwise; they have to “repeal” and – maybe – “replace” Obamacare because they’ve spent the last seven years promising their base they would do away with all such remnants of that black Kenyan’s presidency.
As if the only voters that matter are the so-called base – voters who represent a largish segment of the smallish 30% of Americans who currently identify as Republicans. Anyway, it isn’t as if the members of the Grand Old Party have had any problem breaking other promises. They usually just figure out a way to reframe it or divert attention, and their compliant base mostly goes along.
It’s a fact that repealing Obamacare doesn’t fare well when the full range of actual public opinion is taken into account. Obamacare’s popularity has been growing since the election of Donald Trump put it in peril, until, finally, by March, one could safely say that Obamacare had become more popular than Donald Trump. By the end of June 51-53% of poll respondents said that Congress ought to leave Obamacare in place and/or fix its very fixable problems. Republicans are still negative, but their disapproval, ginned up as it was in the first place, by politicians seeking to sabotage an elected Democratic president, is showing signs that it may waver once the real repercussions are felt.
Replacing Obamacare, in the form of the various Trumpcare iterations produced by Congress, does even worse. In a poll produced at the end of June, just 12% of those polled supported the replacement plans. Other polls find approval ranging from the aforementioned 12% to 18%. Given those numbers, there have got to be lots of even “base” Republicans who don’t think that the GOP is going in the right direction in their efforts to replace the bill.
So much for repeal and replace and promises.
Yet the GOP is going full-throttle toward repealing an imperfect, but functional healthcare plan and replacing it with a widely loathed disaster because … they promised.
So what gives? Do Republicans have a political death wish?
Maybe not. Stop and think: just who plays the bills for Republicans in congress – who are the the people dropping million dollar campaign donations and funding secretive super PACs?
Maybe the promise that Republicans are so hot to keep has nothing to do with the easily manipulated read-meat base, but the people who, in these Post- Citizens United days, pay the bills, the Richie Riches, otherwise known as the oligarchy. The very people who will benefit from the tax cut that Trumpcare funds by slashing Medicaid, one of the most significant components of Trumpcare. The tax cut that many – including Trump – believe to the the first stepping stone to a tax code that only a billionaire can truly love.
Fine. But, please, could the rest of us stop treating the blather about promises and the Republican base as if it has anything to do with reality.
*First sentence in the penultimate paragraph slightly edited.