Friday, July 28, 2017

Thursday night the Straight Talk Express rolled over the Trump administration and turned the efforts to repeal ACA into Republican road kill.

Back in May I posted on some recollections of John McCain’s way of getting back at his detractors in the context of Trump’s White House needs surgery not band aids.

Blake Morlock (Tucson Sentinel) has some good advice for Trump: Look out, Donald: Straight Talk Express rumbling back to life. President about to pay a price for POW comment.

Sen. John McCain knows how to do political rumble. Morlock recounts how Dubya ran afoul of McCain in 2000 and the price that was paid.

Donald Trump’s presidency suffered a major blow months before it started. His longest-lasting self-inflicted wound may be the day he threw out the line "He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

Insulting McCain and all his fellow POW’s in the Hanoi Hilton was a whole new level of trash talking.

Who holds Donald Trump’s domestic agenda in the palm of his hand?

Among others Morlock lists Collins, Murkowski, and McCain.

"I prefer people who weren’t captured?” Oh, Donald Trump. I hope that testosterone-soaked moment was worth it. The Straight Talk Express is rumbling back to life and its tire tracks are about to be a familiar stain for White House stewards to presoak out of Trump’s too-large jacket.

And Thursday evening McCain lived up to that rep.

John Cassidy (New Yorker) writes about How the Republican Effort to Repeal Obamacare Came Crashing Down.

The historic vote was fifty-one to forty-nine against the bill, with three Republican senators joining the Democrats in opposing it. Two of the G.O.P. dissidents were Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski. Both of them had bravely resisted their party’s previous efforts to pass damaging health-care bills. The other Republican no vote was cast by the cancer-stricken John McCain, of Arizona, who, in an astonishing piece of political drama, helped deliver a monumental blow to his party’s leadership and to President Trump, who once mocked and grievously insulted him.

Some Senators had a clear inkling of what was about to happen.

Shortly before the vote was taken, C-span’s cameras showed McCain engaged in warm conversations with a group of Democrats. He also had some seemingly frostier exchanges with some of his Republican colleagues. At one point, McConnell walked by McCain and the two men appeared to ignore each other. Shortly before the vote, Vice-President Mike Pence—who was in the room to break a tie in case of a fifty-fifty vote—left the chamber. When the roll-call vote was taken and McCain’s name was called out, he gave a thumbs-down sign and said, “No.” Democrats cheered and applauded.

The NY Times has a similar summation in Senate Rejects Slimmed-Down Obamacare Repeal as McCain Votes No.

As the clock ticked toward the final vote, which took place around 1:30 a.m., suspense built on the Senate floor. Mr. McCain was engaged in a lengthy, animated conversation with Vice President Mike Pence, who had come to the Capitol expecting to cast the tiebreaking vote for the bill. A few minutes later, when Mr. McCain ambled over to the Democratic side of the chamber, he was embraced by Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California. A little later Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, put her arm around Mr. McCain.

The roll had yet to be called, but the body language suggested that the Trump administration had failed in its effort to flip the Arizona senator whom President Trump hailed on Tuesday as an “American hero.’’

Many senators announced their votes in booming voices. Mr. McCain quietly signaled his vote with a thumbs-down gesture. …

Before all of this McCain responded to a reporter’s question about his coming vote: “Wait for the show.”

Cassidy concludes:

“I thought it was the right thing to do,” [McCain] told reporters as he left after the vote. A bit later, in a statement, he said, “We must now return to the correct way of legislating and send the bill back to committee, hold hearings, receive input from both sides of the aisle, heed the recommendations of the nation’s governors, and produce a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people.”

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