With the pulling of Trumpcare, we see the faultlines in the Republican Congress taking practical effect and dealing party leadership a defeat.
What are your guesses on the 2018 Republican primaries? Trumpists going after Freedom Caucus? Moderates falling? Both sides turning on the leadership in the middle? Or are the R primaries snoozers, and with healthcare dropped they become one big happy family for tax, budget, and regulation cuts while trying to minimize divisions and maintain or grow their majority?
In an effort to pass repeal/replace, the Prez was pointing out to the “No” voters that their 2018 reelections would be in danger in the event the bill failed and the ACA survived. But in the end they pulled the bill rather than put all the Reps’ votes on record. Are we a bit surprised Paul & Donald didn’t try to isolate/expose those who defied them by forcing a vote? If anything, it seems more like an attempt to preserve Republican unity for upcoming agenda items.
Trumps threat to try and go after GOP members that voted against him already seems to have been a bluff. He backed down on forcing a vote (and thus forcing members who were against the bill to publicly vote against it), and he’s already making conciliatory noises.
There will almost certainly be another show-down in a few months when the vote over the debt ceiling comes due. So maybe the Trump will try the same tactic than and actually mean it that time. But it seems unlikely.
Donald Trump doesn’t have any coattails, and he has no control over Congressional elections. As a result, Congressmen and Senators have no reason to fear him.
Look, there WAS a Trumpite running against Paul Ryan in the last Republican primary. Ryan squashed him with zero effort. Most Republican Congressmen would do the same to a Trumpite challenger.
Tea Party/Freedom caucus members have real networks and organization. Trumpists are just angry guys, excepting any overlap. If Trumpists actually remember this slight in 2 years they’ll likely get crunched if they attempt to primary a TP candidate. My impression is that “establishment” Republicans have been a little more deft fending off TP primary challenges the last couple of cycles. So my suspicion is that we’ll return to an incumbent advantage around this new normal.
But before another run at Obamacare, the subject of Dodd-Frank will have to be addressed. I have a feeling the Trumpists will be largely on board with the Freedom Caucuses stance on this, regardless of what Trump blathers on the subject. That will make any Trump attempts to bully Freedom Caucus members look pretty weak.