WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Senior Counselor to the President Steve Bannon arrives before the presidential inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Bullying Won’t Get Conservatives to the Table

Bullying may work in the schoolyard, but it can’t get you everything in life.

Nor should it.

It definitely shouldn’t be the way our lawmakers in Washington do business, but we know sometimes they still do, with varying results.

Case in point: The failed attempt by Donald Trump and establishment Republicans to force an unwieldy, thinly veiled boondoggle on us, while calling it an Obamacare replacement bill.

The American Health Care Act was not the repeal of Obamacare that was promised on the campaign trail, in 2016.

It was a trimmed back version of the same thing, with only minor fixes.

And while it did have several appealing points, with the nipping of mandates and the defunding of Planned Parenthood, there was so much more that the conservative wing of the party could not stomach.

Planned Parenthood could easily be defunded with a separate budget bill, and that needs to happen sooner, rather than later.

The shenanigans leading up to the planned vote on the AHCA, however, are distasteful, to say the least.

A new report is saying former Breitbart News CEO and current White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon, attempted to bully the seasoned professionals that make up the House Freedom Caucus into going against their principles and supporting this bill.

Bannon confronted members of the House Freedom Caucus earlier this week during the White House’s push for the American Health Care Act, Axios’s Mike Allen reported Saturday in his newsletter.

“Guys, look. This is not a discussion. This is not a debate. You have no choice but to vote for this bill,” Bannon reportedly said.

But they did have a choice, and they exercised it.

Apparently, Bannon thought he could treat these lawmakers the same way it is reported he treated the staff of Breitbart.

A Freedom Caucus member reportedly replied: “You know, the last time someone ordered me to something, I was 18 years old. And it was my daddy. And I didn’t listen to him, either.”

Good for him.

President Trump visited with the HFC members himself, several times ahead of the scheduled vote, but some are saying he would not discuss policy specifics of the bill.

Trump preferred to take to Twitter and single them out, saying that for all their pro-life credentials, Planned Parenthood would stand, if they didn’t support the bill.

Again I say, the American people shouldn’t be forced to choke down a horrendous bill to get Planned Parenthood defunded.

It is beginning to look as if Planned Parenthood was the bait used to lure conservative votes, but it didn’t work.

And bullying, blaming, pointing fingers and holding grudges won’t work, either.

The optics on this are bad. President Trump needs a win, now, as does Congress.

Put out a separate budget bill, defund Planned Parenthood, then go back to the drawing board with an Obamacare replacement.

The race for 2018 began yesterday.

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Susan Wright

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