Republicans are very unsatisfied with the fact that party leaders are not succeeding to keep their promise to eradicate Affordable Care Act.
Conservative activists are blaming Republicans of the establishment who are in control of Congress, and they are blaming their president for the lack of leadership. And the circle continues as president blames “a few Republicans” and the Democrats for blocking his agenda. For the party that came into power this January and is struggling with it ever since this finger pointing marks a new low.
“If embarrassment were fatal, we’d all be dead,” Republican strategist Rick Tyler said referring to party’s performance since taking control of the White House and both chambers of Congress. “The American people have given us enormous responsibility and enormous trust and we’re blowing it.”
After four Republican senators opposed to the GOP’s latest health care plan, President Donald Trump warned that the party might give up on repealing the Obamacare after seven years of promising to do that. Some conservatives said that the plan did not go far enough in repealing the law.
“I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll just let Obamacare fail,” Trump said, trying to reduce the political consequences. “We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it.”
The situation enlarged the divisions in Republican party from Georgia to Colorado to Texas as conservatives stated they will punish ineffective Republicans in Congress. On the other side, GOP operatives mentioned this could have terrible political consequences for the party referring to next year’s midterm elections.
“Everyone’s ticked off,” said Owen Hill, a Republican Colorado state senator challenging six-term GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn. “All we’re seeing is failing to make any traction on fulfilling promises to voters.”
Although many point out Trump’s success in rolling back Obama’s administration regulations and the fact that he filled a Supreme Court vacancy with Neil Gorsuch, who is a conservative, the party failed to enact any major legislative achievements for six months in power.
When asked how would he explain this lack of achievements to voters, Mitch McConnel, Senate Majority Leader said, “Well, we have a new Supreme Court justice.”
According to Frank Luntz, Republican pollster this is not good enough for Republican voters who were promised with health care repeal 7 years ago. He called health care failure that happened this week “tremendously significant.”
“I don’t think voters who expected, and even demanded, Obamacare repeal will forgive the GOP for failing,” Luntz said. “It is about keeping your promises. And if you can’t achieve your signature legislation, what exactly can you achieve?”
The Senate Conservatives Fund and conservative activists said they will recruit opponents for “Obamacare Republicans.” Actually that is already happening in some states. In Huston hospital executive David Balat is running against nine-term GOP Rep. John Culberson. “There’s hesitation for brave leadership and decision-making based on conservative ideology,” Balat said in an interview.
In Georgia it is same situation. There, former Tea Party Express leader Amy Kremer said, “These people have got to go.”
“You’re now going to see a meeting of the minds about who’s going to be primaried,” said Kremer, who is now leading a pro-Trump political action committee.
She, like many other conservatives, accused McConnel and Paul Ryan for “trying to derail Donald Trump’s agenda” on health care. “It’s not a failure on Trump’s part,” Kremer said. “Everybody knows these people didn’t want Donald Trump to win.”
However there are also people who blame Trump for this. Chicago-based GOP donor Bill Kunkler said that Trump failed to lead on what he called sensible Republican reforms.
“It’s all dysfunctional and self-inflicted,” Kunkler said of the White House’s political struggles. He added he sees Ryan as the party’s de facto leader.
“I think people feel, like me, that the Republican establishment is the refuge from this maelstrom we’re in right now,” Kunkler said.
While all this is happening, large number of Republicans are constantly warning of a rapidly shrinking window to get anything done. On Tuesday Trump said he is ready to change his focus to the infrastructure or tax code. But as midterm elections are closer, administration will just become more overwhelmed and slowed down by politics.
“It’s critical they show movement,” North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes said regarding party leaders. “They’re showing deadlock right now, and that won’t cut it” for the midterm elections. But Trump offered one simple answer to those who are not satisfied with Republicans’ performance, “We’re going to have to go out and get more Republicans elected in ’18, and I’ll be working very hard for that to happen, OK?”