Vice President Mike Pence didn’t mince any words when he addressed CPAC on Thursday, making it clear that when it comes to repealing and replacing the Unaffordable Care Act, the Trump administration would not settle for any half-baked measures:
Let me assure you, America’s Obamacare nightmare is about to end, despite the best efforts of liberal activists at town halls around the country. The American people know better. Obamacare has failed, and Obamacare must go.
We’ll have an orderly transition to a better health-care system that finally puts the American people first.
If this all sounds familiar, it’s only because the GOP has been campaigning on repeal since this monstrosity was signed into law seven years ago. It’s also a big reason why the GOP took back the House in 2010, followed by the Senate in 2014.
So why the urgency to bring it all up again at CPAC? Well, with all the leftist astroturfing taking place at Republican town hall meetings across the country, some rallying of the troops is in order. But it’s also pretty obvious that Pence fired a warning shot at the GOP-controlled Congress, which has been sending mixed signals about its own determination to repeal Obamacare. That kind of wish-washyness was perfectly encapsulated by former House speaker and all-around surrender monkey John Boehner when he told Politico that no way, no how would Republicans repeal the law.
Thankfully, as Ted Cruz said, “The last I checked, Boehner doesn’t have a vote anymore.” But Boehner is still representative of that wing of the GOP that can’t quite get its head around the fact that they are in control. Maybe it’s just because they can’t shake the loser mentality after eight years of Barack Obama–but I think it’s more likely that they’re just plain scared. It was one thing sending the White House repeal after repeal, knowing that the president would veto every time. It’s quite another to send a repeal to Donald Trump, knowing that he’ll sign it. Repeal means taking responsibility. Certain factions in the GOP, whose default position is to cringe, are now balking at that.
Democrats, meanwhile, know full well that Republicans are toast if they don’t deliver on repeal. That’s why they’ve been pouring so much effort into these town halls. They figure if they can scare individual members enough, Congress will drag things out and water things down so much that voters will abandon them in disgust. In this, the Democrats are correct. That’s what makes immediate repeal and replace not only good for the country, but essential for the GOP as well.
Mike Pence knows that. Let’s hope that Congress gets the message too.