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Trump's epic ineptitude sinks Obamacare reform

"We learned a lot about loyalty," said President Trump after shooting himself in the foot over healthcare today.

No, Mr. President. We learned a lot about your own ineptitude. Or rather, we learned what anyone who has paid the slightest actual attention to your career rather than to your boasting already knew: that you are in fact an incredibly inept dealmaker, a terrible strategist, and a blowhard.

After running on the promise of a wonderful health care plan that would insure everybody, the President and the Republican congressional leadership came up with a monstrosity that would have left millions more Americans uninsured than are today. And both the crazies who so hate Obamacare that repealing it is more important to them than benefiting the American people and the sane Republicans who actually care more about the welfare of the American people than about ideology balked.

Rather than exercising common sense and discretion by working to build a bill that he could get a consensus of his own party behind, President Trump chose to play his natural role- playground bully- and broke off negotiations with his own party's congressional caucuses, telling their members that it was his wy or the highway- that  he would negotiate no further, demanding an up-or-down vote today. This is the kind of thing you do when you are dealing from a position of strength when you have the votes and you know it. Only a completely inept naif does it when his own leadership is telling him that he does not have the votes and that if he forces the issue he will lose and be publicly humiliated.

But then, we've known ever since the early Republican debates that Mr. Trump has absolutely no idea how the American government works. From Supreme Court justices who sign bills and conduct investigations to presidents who revise the libel laws to non-existent articles of the Constitution cited before the Republican congressional leadership, it's been clear ever since the beginning t that he couldn't pass a grade-school civics class and that it's doubtful that he is sufficiently knowledgeable about the Constitution to be able to pass the test to become an American citizen. His bullying personality and his arrogance have been clear for all to see, and his non-stop stream of insane statements and proposals did not auger well for his ability to play well with others in the role of president.

He was, in short, as blatantly unqualified a potential president as it was possible to imagine. But he wasn't Hillary Clinton.

His bull-in-a-china-shop handling of the healthcare issue is pretty much what I've expected all along. Donald Trump has made a fool of himself by taking a cap pistol to a gunfight, by forcing the issue exactly when it was clear that the only possible outcome would be a disaster. He has demonstrated, in short, a complete lack of political acumen, and a world-class lack of simple common sense.

The outcome is that he has forced his own party to give up the attempt to reform Obamacare. If he'd been the master negotiator he claims to be he would have understood that when you're in a weak position you don't force the issue. You keep negotiating! Instead, he has shot himself in the foot, blaming Democrats and "disloyal" Republicans with more sense than he has for his own blunder.

The latter, of course, is no surprise. Nothing is ever Donald Trump's fault. Narcissists don't roll that way.

His administration is well on the way to being manifestly the absolute disaster I've expected- a disaster so embarrassing and so profound that I expect it to sound the death knell of the Republican party. A Democrat will almost certainly be elected in 2020 and in every subsequent election in my lifetime. In choosing Donald Trump, the Republican party will have bankrupted itself in the credibility department.

With major figure after major figure in both his campaign and his administration turning out to be compromised by personal involvement with Russia, the viability of this administration is only going to go downhill from here. The Trump administration will go into history as a joke, a byword, a synonym for presidential ineptitude, a cautionary parable of incompetence.

Get used to it: the U.S. is about to have a one-party system, and that party will be the "progressive" Democrats. And I'm sorry, but I still think that such is a worse outcome even than enduring a mere four years of Hillary would have been.

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