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The GOP Establishment Is Committing Suicide

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Republican Leadership
(Reuters photo)

Wednesday, the Senate Republicans failed to pass the Obamacare repeal and replace package that was seen by many as the last-ditch plan to fulfill the Republican establishment's promise to repeal Obamacare "root and branch."

This failure comes on the heels of another abysmal vote in which the package put together by Senators Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, to allow insurance companies the freedom to sell non-Obamacare compliant plans coupled with an increase in state funding was also voted down.

This refusal to make good on the Republican establishment's promises should really surprise no one, especially after two of its architects, former Speaker of the House John Boehner and former House Majority Whip Eric Cantor, admitted that the promise to repeal Obamacare was a lie.

The Washington Post reported that former Speaker of the House John Boehner told a business gathering last week that Republicans are "not going to repeal and replace Obamacare" because "the American people have gotten accustomed to it."

"Here we are, seven months into this year, and yet they've not passed this bill. Now, they're never—they're not going to repeal and replace Obamacare," Boehner told a private crowd in Las Vegas, according to video footage obtained by The Washington Post. "It's been around too long. And the American people have gotten accustomed to it. Governors have gotten accustomed to this Medicaid expansion, and so trying to pull it back is really not going to work."

Tuesday, Washingtonian Magazine published an interview with Cantor in which he admitted that the "Defund Obamacare Tour" that drove the news cycle all through Congress's 2013 August recess and the 2014 election cycle was a "charade."

Asked by Washingtonian's Elaina Plott if he feels partly responsible for the Republicans' current predicament, Cantor is unequivocal. "Oh," he says, "100 percent."

He goes further: "To give the impression that if Republicans were in control of the House and Senate, that we could do that when Obama was still in office ..." His voice trails off and he shakes his head. "I never believed it."

And Cantor says he wasn't the only one aware of the charade: "We sort of all (meaning the GOP's Capitol Hill leadership) got what was going on, that there was this disconnect in terms of communication, because no one wanted to take the time out in the general public to even think about 'Wait a minute—that can't happen.' " But, he adds, "if you've got that anger working for you, you're gonna let it be."

It's a stunning admission from a former member of the party leadership—that the linchpin of GOP electoral strategy for the better part of a decade was a fantasy, a flame continually fanned solely because, when it came to midterm elections, it worked. (Barring, of course, his own.)

But now the Piper whose music created that fantasy must be paid.

A week ago, we observed that this vote would be the last chance Capitol Hill's establishment Republicans had to fulfill their promise to repeal Obamacare and get right with the GOP's conservative majority.

Republican voters have finally figured out what we've been talking about for years—and Boehner and Cantor have confirmed—the Capitol Hill Republican establishment's strategy of government by "show vote."

Now voters have watched this circus for six months and come to realize that there is no excuse for not passing the agenda President Trump and most Republicans in Congress campaigned on.

And with that realization has come recognition of another undeniable truth: The only sure path to repeal Obamacare, reform the tax code, rebuild our economy and build the border wall lies through the Republican Primary Elections.

So far, the battle for the repealing Obamacare and the rest of the Trump agenda has been conducted on the basis of a polite family disagreement. President Trump and his supporters have negotiated with the nasty establishment Republican children in the family and assumed that politeness (and perhaps some pork barrel-type bribery) would eventually bring them around, but it hasn't worked.

And the reason the family disagreement strategy hasn't worked is because the Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, John Kasich-type "Republicans" aren't, and don't want to be, in the same family with us conservatives—they are on the other side.

They don't want to liberate their fellow citizens from the chains of Obamacare and government control of health care and health insurance—they want to keep the power to tell other people what to do firmly in their own hands.

The good news in all of this is that government by show vote is over.

If the Capitol Hill Republican establishment can't pass a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare that they already passed in 2015, then it is time for conservatives to recognize this is no longer a family disagreement, take the gloves off and declare war on those who reneged on their 2015 vote.

This article was originally published at Used with permission.

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