No Endgame Strategy
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell forced a vote to begin debate on Obamacare, but he has no endgame strategy for repeal.
Now that McConnell’s fake repeal plan has been rejected, he may advance a “skinny” repeal plan that only repeals the individual and employer mandates. His goal is to simply get the bill out of the Senate and into a House-Senate conference committee.
But once the bill is in conference, the problem still remains. Moderates still aren’t willing to vote for repeal and conservatives won’t support a giant bailout. So why go through all of the motions?
McConnell wants to avoid a massive voter backlash by making people think Senate Republicans tried to repeal Obamacare even though he is not actually trying to fulfill that promise.
“To protect his conference from the fury of primary challengers, he must convince party potentates that he fought the good fight but just didn’t have the votes,” wrote columnist John Stoehr.
It’s a rigged game that keeps getting played over and over again. McConnell promises conservative policies, pretends to try to enact them, and then moves on to pass liberal policies. Rinse and repeat.
Sooner or later, people are going to see through his “Failure Theater” and call for new leadership.
McConnell could have passed full repeal, but he surrendered at the start. By voicing support for a bipartisan bailout if repeal fails, McConnell encouraged moderates to oppose any repeal plan and hold out for something that is politically safer.
That’s why seven Republicans – Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dean Heller (R-NV), John McCain (R-AZ), Rob Portman (R-OH), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) – voted against repeal yesterday.
Also, McConnell’s overwhelming financial support for moderate senators in their primaries has made them less accountable to conservative voters in their states.
Why should they support conservative policies when they know that McConnell will spend tens of millions of dollars to defend them against conservative challengers?
Senator Lisa Murkowski is a perfect example. McConnell not only backed her in her 2010 primary, but he also helped her run as an independent after she lost the Republican primary. He let her keep her committee chairmanship after leaving the party so she could use her seniority to defeat the Republican nominee and win re-election.
The only accountability these senators have is what the grassroots provide, and that’s why it is more important than ever for us to work together to drain the swamp.
Thank you for standing strong for freedom and for doing so much to support conservative leadership in Washington.