Press: Ryan’s gift to Dems

Press: Ryan’s gift to Dems
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

In politics, you don’t always have to be clever. Sometimes, you just have to be lucky. Think of those times when one side scored a big victory, not because they did something so smart, but because the other side did something so dumb.

When I was Democratic state chair of California, for example, we had a hard time registering Hispanic voters until Republican Gov. Pete Wilson put anti-immigration Proposition 187 on the ballot — and Latinos flocked to the Democratic Party by the millions. It was Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaMcCarthy: ‘No deadline on DACA’ Democrats will need to explain if they shut government down over illegal immigration Trump’s first year in office was the year of the woman MORE’s push of healthcare, not any magic by then-House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDems face hard choice for State of the Union response Even some conservatives seem open to return to earmarks Overnight Finance: Trump, lawmakers take key step to immigration deal | Trump urges Congress to bring back earmarks | Tax law poised to create windfall for states | Trump to attend Davos | Dimon walks back bitcoin criticism MORE (R-Ohio), that enabled Republicans to win the House in 2010.

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But now the tables have turned. Democrats’ chances of taking back the House in 2018 have suddenly soared — not because of any brilliant statecraft on their part, but because of the utter ineptness of Republicans. It’s been only four months since Republicans seized the whole enchilada — control of the House, Senate and White House — but they’ve already proved they don’t know how to govern.

How not to govern? Lesson No. 1: Nominate a candidate for president who has no political or military experience, no idea how government works, no interest in learning and no regard for facts. Then team up with him to make your first priority repeal of the most popular health insurance plan ever, no matter what Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDems flip Wisconsin state Senate seat Sessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants GOP rep: 'Sheet metal and garbage' everywhere in Haiti MORE says, and replace it with a bill that enjoys only 17 percent support.

Lesson No. 2: Ignore all the rules of governance you yourselves put in place. Vote for a massive bill which overhauls one-sixth of the economy without posting it online for three days, without waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to score the proposal and, in the case of most Republicans, without having even read it.

Lesson No. 3: Don’t work with Republican colleagues in the Senate. Do what you’ve already done 65 times. Rush through the House an ObamaCare repeal bill that not one single Republican senator supports and is, therefore DOA in the Senate.

Lesson No. 4: Vote for a bill that transfers $800 billion to big insurance companies and the very wealthiest of Americans, while inflicting real pain on millions and millions of Americans, including those who voted for Donald Trump. Even before the official CBO score, there’s no doubt that under the GOP plan over 20 million Americans will lose their health insurance; older Americans will pay more; Medicaid, the nation’s largest healthcare program, will wither and die; over 100 million Americans with diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer or any other “pre-existing” condition, will pay more for insurance, if they’re lucky enough to get any at all; and essential health benefits like maternity care or mammograms will no longer be covered.

It’s hard to believe even hard-hearted Republicans would vote for such a bill. Yet 217 of them did, because they believed it was important to fulfill a hollow campaign pledge — even if it meant collective political suicide.

Repeal of ObamaCare is Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP leaders pitch children's health funding in plan to avert shutdown Lawmakers see shutdown’s odds rising Fix what we’ve got and make Medicare right this year MORE’s gift to Democrats. How ironic. Republicans won the House over passage of ObamaCare in 2010. They’ll lose the House over repeal of Obamacare in 2018.

Press is host of “The Bill Press Show” on Free Speech TV and author of “Buyer’s Remorse: How Obama Let Progressives Down.”


The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.