RUSH: Now back to health care. Again, the two primary things. I have detected — I’m sure you’ve seen it too if you’re paying attention — that many people that love Trump and want Trump to succeed more than anybody are scared to death that he’s being tricked and that Paul Ryan and the Republican leadership are outsmarting Trump every day. They’re lying to Trump and they’re leading him down the garden path and they’re stalling his agenda and they’re making Trump pay the price ’cause they don’t like Trump any more than the Democrats do. And, “Gee, President Trump, we hope you wake up and spot this, Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump, do you realize what they’re doing?”
There’s a genuine fear out there that Trump’s being outsmarted or outmaneuvered and doesn’t see it. Again, I’m not trying to be critical of anybody. It’s why I’m not mentioning names here. This is not the point. I’m simply observing what’s out there and telling you I don’t think Trump’s being tricked by anybody and I don’t think he’s being outsmarted by anybody. Nor do I believe the people in his immediate orbit who are his strategists and advisers are being outsmarted by anybody.
“Yeah, but Rush, it could be ’cause he’s not of Washington he doesn’t know how these processes work, and they do.” Maybe. But some of this stuff is so obviously blatant. The second thing about the Obamacare repeal and replace is that the general consensus now is that the Republican bill — call it Ryan version 2.0, Ryancare, Trumpcare — is destined to fail, it’s gonna fail, ’cause it just can’t pass the Senate.
That’s the consensus theory. It’s doomed, don’t you know. It doesn’t have a prayer. And further, not only is it doomed, but so are the Republicans now because they’re gonna own it. They’re gonna own this process whereby Obamacare was taken away, ’cause part of the meme is that people love Obamacare now. Remember that too. During the campaign and after the election, Obamacare, you poll it, people hated it. They didn’t like it at all. Now magically everybody loves it! And they don’t want anybody taking it away. Isn’t it amazing how this happens?
It’s fake news, folks, but that’s what’s being reported. The Republican replacement bill is so bad, so mean, it’s really wreaking havoc. Well, the Ryan bill does punish Trump supporters in three blue states. That’s true. But the idea that Trump doesn’t see this, I have a little trouble with that. But overall the theory is that the Republican repeal and replace effort’s going to fail, and the Democrats are gonna clean up. The Republicans are so stupid and they’re so bad and they’re so confused that they’re gonna end up making sure that the Democrats win the Senate back in 2018. That’s how bad, because they’re gonna break it, Trump and the Republicans are gonna get blamed.
And so the theories are out there now, how can we shift the blame for failure to the Democrats? In Washington, in the media, at the think tanks, in all of the intelligentsia locations, the smart people are now talking about the Obamacare repeal and replace in terms of imminent defeat. And so the brilliant strategists are now trying to figure out how to end up having the Democrats blamed for this failure. Now, that, to me, is typical Washington. Total immersive pessimism and negativism, as in it won’t work, as in it can’t work, as in people don’t want it to work, as in it’s gonna blow up on the Republicans, as in the Democrats are gonna win the Senate back.
Doesn’t that sound like every day, like isn’t that another version of, “If the Republicans don’t start reaching out to Hispanics, and if the Republicans don’t agree to amnesty, they’re never gonna win the White House again.” And yet what happened? We have a guy run for office on the basis we’re gonna shut the border, we’re gonna deport the criminal ne’er-do-wells, and he wins big! Exactly the opposite of the Washington conventional wisdom.
And yet the Washington conventional wisdom is Obamacare repeal and replace dead, Ryan outsmarting Trump, Ryan doesn’t want Trump to succeed. This is all gonna cause the Democrats to win back power and then everything will be normal and okay again. And let me give you an example of part of the theory or the thinking that says the real political objective now, since everybody agrees that it’s going to fail.
That’s another thing. ABC, CBS, NBC, certain conservative blogs, certain television, the general consensus is that the Obamacare repeal and replace is dead. It doesn’t have a prayer. It’s over. That’s just the conventional wisdom. Ryan doesn’t know what he’s doing. The only thing he knows how to do is to thwart Trump, Ryan da-da-da. You’ve heard the theories.
So Dr. Charles Krauthammer, who is brilliant, who is in a class by himself, last night on the Fox All Stars portion of Special Report with Bret Baier during the All-Star Panel segment, Krauthammer threw his hat in this discussion of how do we end up — well, I’m paraphrasing him, but his comment here is on how the Republicans can engineer this failure to be blamed on the Democrats.
And, just in terms of if you take it out of context, just by itself, it is brilliant political strategizing. I want to share it with you here. I’m not gonna play the sound bite. I’m gonna read it to you. Krauthammer said: Breaking down the strategy for Republicans on health care, pointing out that Republicans may be able to save face if the bill goes down in the Senate.
Remember now, everybody talking about this has accepted the bill is going to fail. That is the, quote, unquote, enlightened opinion in Washington. It’s gonna fail. It doesn’t have a chance. It’s horrible. So Krauthammer weighs in and says what the Republicans have to do is make sure it fails in the Senate, because if it fails in the House, it’s over. They are forever humiliated and embarrassed, and they may lose control in 2018.
Here’s what he said. “It’ll all depend on what the conservatives in the Freedom Caucus decide.” Meaning the conservative caucus in the House, Republican side. “The Freedom Caucus are the ones who can take the bill down, and if they do, if they take it down, the injury to the Republicans and to the Trump presidency is going to be incalculable.”
So that’s part of the thinking, that if this fails it’s over for Trump and the Republicans. That’s it. Within the first year of the Trump presidency it’s over. I’m not criticizing Krauthammer. Don’t anybody misunderstand. He’s just joining the chorus here and analyzing it on that premise.
I don’t accept the premise that it’s an automatic failure here even if this bill goes down. My thinking is that may be part of the grand, big scheme. But anyway, I don’t want to go too far out on a limb here yet. Krauthammer continues: “In the end, [the Republicans] have to get it through the House. If you want to be completely cynical about this and in the end try to bring the Democrats back in, you pass it through the House.” You have to. “You bring it to the Senate and instead of obeying all the rules of reconciliation, you put everything you want into it, into a bill in the Senate.”
To hell with this reconciliation versus sixty votes. You just dump everything you want in this bill and you throw it into the Senate. And then you in the House say, we tried; we did everything we could. “And then you dare the Democrats to filibuster.” You dare the Senate to turn it down. You put everything you want in the bill — which is not what they’re doing, by the way. Krauthammer’s idea is: Go for it, man! Put everything in there. Be bold! Put everything in there and send it over to the Senate and make them reject it.
“If they succeed in doing that, then the Republicans say they tried. We promised. We tried to get everything in that would rescue this health care system,” and we did. We put everything in it. The Ryan bill doesn’t, folks. The problem with the Ryan bill, I’ll tell you in a minute. Let me finish this. Krauthammer says, “And then what happens is you get the collapse of Obamacare. And again if you are playing a cynical game, you blame it on the Democrats.” So, you see, the thinking here is: It’s going to fail, so how do we make it the Democrats’ fault?
And Krauthammer’s idea is: Load it up with everything the Democrats don’t want. Just load it up with all the real fixes. Throw it over to ’em, have McConnell and Chuck Schumer go nuts, and have them kill it. And that way, the Republican Party is spared. Blame it on the Democrats. “What Ryan has done” is just the opposite. Ryan is “trying to obey the rules, do [some] through reconciliation, do it in three steps,” and all of that. Ryan playing by the rules is “why the Democrats have the upper hand. In the end, it must get through the House. That in and of itself would be the worst outcome for it to die, in the House at the hands of Republicans.”
Well, if what you’re talking about is the bill’s failure — if that’s a foregone conclusion that it’s going to fail because of whatever Washingtonian reasons and parliamentarian reasons — then this is very smart. Load it up. Just write a bill that has every needed reform that you want, including eliminating the state-line limitation. Throw it over to the Senate and make them kill it. But he says Ryan’s not doing that. Ryan’s playing by the rules.
He’s got a three-step plan, and he’s front loading the bad stuff so that the good stuff happens in out years. The problem with that is by putting all the bad stuff in the front, it’s not gonna last long enough to get to the good years, like the $375 billion deficit in 10 years. It’s not gonna be… There won’t be a health care plan in 10 years if they do it this way. There is no three-step plan because steps 2 and 3 never happen because the bill fails after step 1’s initiated.
RUSH: I’m gonna spend some more time on the translation of the Krauthammer comment, ’cause it’s hard to follow when I’m reading it to you and remembering everything. But it’s not… It’s actually pretty clear, but it’s… Just in terms of straight political strategy in a vacuum, it’s brilliant.
RUSH: Here’s, in the meantime, Vinny in Green Point, Brooklyn. Vinny, welcome. Great to have you here.
CALLER: Rush, it’s a pleasure to speak with you again.
RUSH: You bet, sir.
CALLER: Pretty furious over what came out in the last 24 hours. I’m not furious at the left because you’ve taught us to expect this day in and day out from them, and I do. I’m furious over the GOP’s unwillingness to engage the Democrats and the Fake Media and defend this president, and if I were President Trump at this point… ‘Cause I think the writing’s on the wall. It’s going to be like this every day, day in and day out, 24/7. I would call Senator Mitch McConnell into my office. I would call Senator (sic) Paul Ryan into my office. And I would turn to McConnell, and I would say:
“First off, you’re back-benching people like John McCain. You’re removing him from committee work.” That’s number one. If he’s gonna openly go against this president as he’s done — meaning John McCain — he deserves no less than scorn, and he certainly doesn’t deserve to be running any committees, him nor that lapdog, Lindsey Grahamnesty. Secondly, I would then turn to McConnell and say, “Mr. McConnell, if you want your wife to continue to be a cabinet member, well, you know what?
“You better start getting out there and fighting the good fight.” And then I’d turn to Mr. Ryan and I’d say, “Mr. Ryan, I understand your state has a recall mechanism. Maybe we’ll see if that extends to congressmen.” Because I don’t see anyone going on point to this president, okay, and defending him. Instead, I see them acting as the establishment and as people who don’t want to cooperate.
RUSH: They’re afraid to defend him, Vinny.
CALLER: I’m furious. I’m not furious over the Democrats, because, hey, I expect this of them. And this whole tax thing? Yeah, there’s nothing but. But you know as well as I do that the media’s gonna run like there is something there.
RUSH: That’s exactly right. They’re afraid, Vinny. Well, there’s a lot going on. You’re right about them be establishment not really being down with Trump. But they’re afraid. They’re afraid that all this stuff is true, and they don’t want to associate with it.
RUSH: (interruption) What’s that? (interruption) Oh, yeah. Oh, absolutely. Folks, I do not believe that this bill is destined to fail in the Senate. I don’t believe it’s destined to fail in the House. Now, I may be only one of a handful of people. I’m telling you, the conventional wisdom already — and this is by design. Do you realize…? We always have to define who we’re talking about here. And when talking about the Washington establishment, it exists. It’s made up of real people of a certain stature. They are both Republicans and Democrats. They are lawyers, judges… generals!
Would you be shocked, would you be surprised if I were to tell you…? You know, we’ve discussed on this program there’s two kinds of generals. You got the politically correct, PC generals in the Pentagon who seem to climb the ladder of success in the defense industries and defense part of government by doing everything politically correct — being noticed accordingly and being trusted as such — and then we have the warrior generals, and those are the guys we like. The warrior generals are not worried about this PC stuff.
They just want to win when they’re sent to battle. Would you be shocked if I were to tell you that over half of the warrior generals in Washington are “progressive”? Meaning liberal. (interruption) You would be surprised? You’d be surprised? Well, I’m telling you, don’t doubt me. I’m telling you not to doubt me on that. (interruption) Well, because of a misconstrued definition of conservatism that isn’t true anymore. Just like it used to be that everybody thought Big Business CEOs and successfully wealthy people had to be conservative. “They don’t like regulations.
“They don’t want the government in their business, in their lives.” And yet, would you agree with me that the Democrat Party is now the home of the real wealth in this country? The Kennedys, the Pritzkers, Bill Gateses, the Buffetts, the Silicon Valley types, the Hollywoods? Would you not agree? (interruption) Okay. The same thing has happened to the military. Same thing. How do you think it’s happened that the military has become, in part, a social experimentation project? The establishment’s a very powerful thing, folks, for people that are in it and want to be in it.
One of the big organizations in the establishment, something that all establishment members aspire to, is membership in the Council on Foreign Relations, including warrior generals. They would kill to be invited. You… Now, the Council on Foreign Relations, you can join two ways. You can pay them money and you can join (and you have what is the equivalent of a probationary membership), or you can be invited, which makes you a real member. And they crave it. I mean, that’s… Membership in the Council on Foreign Relations is one of the status symbols or status points.
Anyway, the establishment does not want anybody or anything that is going to upset the way the establishment works to succeed. Even if they think Obamacare is rotten as a piece of legislation, the fact that Trump wants to expose it and blow it up? No. If one of them wanted to? Different story. But the fact that it’s Trump? “We’re not gonna let Trump have this victory.” So those are the things that Trump has arrayed against him. And that’s why, when you’re talking about anybody in the establishment… Folks, look.
If you spent as much time Hoovering up data and information as I do, you wouldn’t question me when I tell you that the conventional wisdom in Washington is that the Obamacare repeal and replace is doomed! It doesn’t have a prayer! It’s going to fail. Because it is desired that the repeal and replace fail, because the prime mover of repeal and replace is the outsider, Donald Trump. Now, it’s obviously more complicated than that. But I’m speaking here in as unconfusing a way as I can about it, in order to be understood.
I don’t care where you go, I don’t care what network you tune in to; I don’t care what analysts. If you listen carefully, the overriding conventional wisdom — which is what the, quote/unquote, “smart people” of Washington believe — is that Ryan’s bill’s a turkey. It doesn’t have a prayer, it can’t pass the Senate, and therefore it’s going to fail. That happens to be it. If you tune in and read, watch, listen to anything about health care, that’s what you’re gonna hear today. That’s what you heard yesterday. You’re gonna hear about three phases.
Let me tell you what the Ryan bill is as it’s being presented without getting into the specifics (which means learning a foreign language). The Ryan bill has supposedly three phases, and the Ryan bill, as Dr. Krauthammer says, plays by the rules. Paul Ryan is a stickler for the rules, is a stickler for being a good guy. So the parliamentary rules, the parliamentary rules of House and Senate, they are followed, because they are respected and revered. So the Ryan replacement bill is a 10-year bill, and in the first three to four years all of the pain of repealing Obamacare is front-loaded.
All of the potential damage to Medicare, the potential early devolvement of the exchanges, all of the things that are necessary (we are told) to repeal and replace Obamacare, “Look, it’s gonna hurt, folks; it’s gonna hurt,” and so Ryan’s put the hurt all-in in the early phases. And then you hear people talking about phase 2. Even Trump. Phase 2, phase 3, that’s where we’re gonna get rid of the state-line restriction on insurance companies being able to sell to anybody. Well, here’s the problem — and this is not conventional wisdom. This happens to be math.
The pain that is in the early years of the Republican bill — in other words, getting rid of the exchanges, throwing people off Medicare, removing some of the Medicare expansion, all these things that to get into detail would require you to learn a foreign language, so I’m not gonna go there. The bottom line is a lot of pain, a lot of rising premiums is early, because the good stuff in the Ryan bill — the replacement that makes it better — doesn’t happen until after, say, year five or six. Well, the conventional wisdom, again, is — and Tom Cotton said this, senator from Arkansas.
This talk of three phases is… There isn’t gonna be a second or third phase, ’cause phase 1 is gonna blow up on everybody! Phase 1 is gonna cause so much financial pain and panic over access to medical treatment, not the insurance — well, that’s part of it, but actually getting medical treatment, affordable insurance — is so bad in the early years, that it’s not gonna survive to even get to a phase 2 or phase 3. And this happens to be alternative conventional wisdom thinking. Now, I look at all this and I’m not a Washington insider, an establishment person, and I don’t want to be.
I simply ask myself, “Why in the name of Sam Hill is it this complicated?” And I say, “Well, one of the reasons it’s this complicated is because the complicatedness was written into it. It’s part of making it hard to unravel that it is just tentacle after tentacle after tentacle of parts of government we don’t even know exist that have a hand and a say-so in this, and it’s an absolute mess, and just to repeal it…” Then we get into the whole: How do you do it? Reconciliation for part of it, which you don’t need 60 votes for?
But you can’t do all of it with reconciliation. You have to get 60 votes to repeal some of it, and we’re never gonna get 60 votes ’cause we’re never gonna get the Democrats. And that’s when I ask, “Why? Why can’t we come up with an intelligent, really smart way that repeals this junk — we’re the United States of America! — and replaces it with something that makes utter common sense, that is rooted in fiscal responsibility and a little self-reliance, a little mixture of everything that the Democrats can’t afford not to support? Why is that not even an option? Why does nobody even consider it a possibility?
Why is the order of the day “it’s doomed”? Because if it’s doomed… If this repeal and replace that’s being talked about right now is doomed, and it’s the first bill that Trump’s trying, I’ll tell you why it’s doomed to failure. Because they want failure written all over Trump’s face and name in the first six months of his administration. They figure if they can do that, they can make the remaining 3-1/2 irrelevant, if they can create the news narrative that Trump is an abysmal failure in his first big legislative effort out of the box. That is what is going on here, in my humble opinion.