On Wednesday morning, less than 24 hours after Senate Republicans scrapped their latest terrible proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare, and only a few hours after his chosen candidate in Alabama got housed by a nutcase, Trump took to Twitter to say that, actually, everything is going as planned.
This is a very weird and implausible argument. Trump claims that Republicans have the votes to pass Graham-Cassidy, just not before the reconciliation deadline, which is Friday. But if they really had the votes, they would pass the thing. They aren’t voting because they don’t have the votes. Trump is pathetically trying to buy time on a blown promise, telling people that Obamacare will be repealed at an unspecified time in the future.
That’s the public face of failure. In private, however, the usual “Trump is raging at his inner circle about everything” stories are circulating. “Trump is venting about his frustration with what he considers failed leadership by Senate Republicans as he takes his lumps this week in wars with, well, everyone,” Axios reported on Wednesday morning. That “venting” apparently includes physically mocking Mitch McConnell and John McCain “In private, President Trump has taken to physically mocking M&M: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (slumped shoulders; lethargic body language) and Senator John McCain (imitating the thumbs-down of his historic health-care vote).”
First of all, don’t try to make “M&M” a thing. It’s not a thing. Second of all, this walks right up to a familiar line for Trump, who has a long history of mocking the disabled. (McConnell learned to walk after suffering from polio and McCain was tortured while a POW in Vietnam.) And third of all, it is not exactly the kind of behavior you’d expect from someone who “has the HCare vote.” Trump needs McConnell to pass tax reform and much else. He needs McCain, too, although that bridge seems to have been burned right to the ground. Trump might be blaming everyone else for the mess he’s made, but he’s acting like he doesn’t need anyone at precisely the moment when he needs more help than ever.