Can Republicans govern? Having hard time getting to 'yes'… RAND PAUL TAKES VICTORY LAP

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Can Republicans govern if they can’t keep a promise they’ve made for 7 years?

Republicans exulted in November when they won the White House and both congressional chambers, promising aggressive moves on health care, taxes and immigration.
But a spectacular stumble on the first agenda item amid intra-party squabbles begs the question of whether the party will be able to get anything done if it can’t deliver on a promise it has made for nearly a decade.
“We were a 10-year opposition party, where being against things was easy to do,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, faced with the biggest loss of his career. “And now in three months’ time we tried to go to a governing party. We will get there, but we weren’t there today.”
Ryan got his job after House Speaker John Boehner stepped down, often pressed by a raucous conservative wing to take a harder line. But though conservative members groused about Ryan’s handling of the legislation – saying he had boxed out various factions, many expressed confidence Friday that he’d retain his seat – for practical reasons, as well as political.

The Republican Party of “no” for Democrat Barack Obama’s eight years is having a hard time getting to “yes” in the early Donald Trump era.
The unmitigated failure of the GOP bill to replace Obamacare underscored that Republicans are a party of upstart firebrands, old-guard conservatives and moderates in Democratic-leaning districts. Despite the GOP monopoly on Washington, they are pitted against one another and struggling for a way to govern.
The divisions cost the party its best chance to fulfill a seven-year promise to undo Obama’s Affordable Care Act and cast doubt on whether the Republican-led Congress can do the monumental — the first overhaul of the nation’s tax system in more than 30 years — as well as the basics — keeping the government open at the end of next month…
Blame game…
Let the blame game begin.
Republicans’ failure to overhaul the U.S. health-care industry has ushered in a round of internal finger-pointing that threatens to deepen the very rifts that doomed the deal — and carve new ones that are likely to complicate the GOP’s ability to function in the Trump era.
Recriminations have been underway for weeks, but they intensified Saturday and cast a new spotlight on the breakdown that led Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) to pull the American Health Care Act from the House floor Friday afternoon, after it became clear to him and President Trump that they did not have enough Republican votes to pass it.
Bannon wanted to make ‘enemies list’…

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There are “a lot of players, a lot of players with a very different mind-set,” Mr. Trump said. “You have liberals, even within the Republican Party. You have the conservative players.”

But his advisers were more realistic. Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, according to people familiar with White House discussions, described the president’s decision to withdraw the health care bill in the face of its almost-certain defeat as a flat-out failure that could inflict serious damage on this presidency — even if Mr. Bannon believes Congress, not Mr. Trump, deserves much of the blame.

Mr. Bannon and the president’s more soft-spoken legislative affairs director, Marc Short, pushed Mr. Trump hard to insist on a public vote, as a way to identify, shame and pressure “no” voters who were killing their best chance to unravel the health care law.
‘This is not debate. You have no choice’…
DOWD: You got played…

You got played.

It took W. years to smash everything. You’re way ahead of schedule.

And I can say you’re doing badly, because I’m a columnist, and you’re not. Say hello to everybody, O.K.?

Sincerely, Maureen
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) quickly declared victory on Friday, praising conservatives for “standing up against ObamaCare Lite.”
“I applaud House conservatives for keeping their word to the American people,” Paul said in a statement.
Republican leaders pulled their bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare on Friday afternoon, acknowledging that it was headed toward defeat.
Paul — who has been a top antagonist of the House bill — added that “I look forward to passing full repeal of ObamaCare in the very near future.”
Paul and other House conservatives have offered an alternative repeal bill that mirrors 2015 legislation cleared by Congress but vetoed by then-President Barack Obama.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Just two months in, Donald Trump’s presidency is perilously adrift.

His first major foray into legislating imploded Friday when House Republicans abandoned a White House-backed health care bill, resisting days of cajoling and arm-twisting from Trump himself. Aides who had confidently touted Trump as the deal’s “closer” were left bemoaning the limits of the presidency.

“At the end of the day, you can’t force somebody to do something,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.

On its own, the health care bill’s collapse was a stunning rejection of a new president by his own party. And for Trump, the defeat comes with an especially strong sting. The president who campaigned by promising “so much winning,” has so far been beset by a steady parade of the opposite. With each setback and sidetrack, comes more concern about whether Trump, the outsider turned president, is capable of governing.

“You can’t just come in and steamroll everybody,” said Bruce Miroff, a professor of American politics and the presidency at the State University of New York at Albany. “Most people have a modest understanding of how complicated the presidency is. They think leadership is giving orders and being bold. But the federal government is much more complicated, above all because the Constitution set it up that way.”
Trump voters spare him blame…
Fights erupt at rally on California beach…


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