They exposed themselves. For seven years, Republicans in the Senate have promised to repeal Obamacare if we gave them the House, the Senate, and the White House. They structured legislation to ensure it could not be filibustered. And they themselves could not deliver the necessary votes.
In the end, they offered up a skinny repeal that did not repeal Obamacare and would have necessitated a bailout of Obamacare within six months — something it is obvious enough Republicans would have been glad to do with Democrat assistance.
We should remember that this is the logical outcome of Mitch McConnell repeatedly siding with liberal and moderate Republicans. It was Senator McConnell who sided with Lisa Murkowski after she left the GOP. McConnell aligned the NRSC against the Republican candidate against Murkowski. It was McConnell who turned the NRSC into an incumbent protection service that tried to even get Charlie Crist elected as a Republican.
Until leadership changes in the Senate GOP repeal will not be possible. And frankly, without a different President it won’t happen either. While I am perfectly willing to lay this at the feet of McConnell, it is also abundantly obvious that President Trump does not know how to advance a legislative agenda and did not know what the hell was even in this legislation. The President failed to unite his party and both houses of congress then made the big mistake of thinking he could threaten senators who do not fear him.
Likewise, it appears the rumors of a deal are true — McConnell would push kabuki theater, make it look like the GOP would repeal Obamacare knowing full well it would not, and now he and Schumer can get some nominees through the Senate and move on to a tax reform that bails out Obamacare.
For seven years the GOP lied to its base. I suspect they may be repaid in kind next year when its voters do not show up at the polls.