U.S. Capitol Building
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President Trump sent White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney down to Capitol Hill last night with an ultimatum to pass the health care reform bill or forever keep their peace. The meeting didn’t go well but it did have its moments:

A key moment inside the session, several lawmakers said, was when Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.), a freshman lawmaker who lost both his legs in 2010 while serving as an Army bomb disposal technician in Afghanistan, rose and called on his colleagues to unite behind the bill in the same way he and his comrades fought in battle.

A rowdy group of Republicans burst out of the meeting like explorers on a quest for glory. “Burn the ships,” one Republican shouted to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (La.), invoking the command that Hernan Cortes, the Spanish conquistador, gave his men upon landing in Mexico in 1519.

The message was clear, to the GOP leaders now and the Spaniards in 1519, there was no turning back.

As you can see, a significant portion of the House Republican caucus got swept up in the moment. They are ready to “burn the ships,” assuring that there can be no retreat from their mission to repeal health coverage for 26 million people.

But, in the White House, they were making it clear that a vote for TrumpCare is really a vote for ChumpCare.

All the signals are there. Look who doesn’t support this health care bill:

Mr. Trump has told four people close to him that he regrets going along with Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s plan to push a health care overhaul before unveiling a tax cut proposal more politically palatable to Republicans.

He said ruefully this week that he should have done tax reform first when it became clear that the quick-hit health care victory he had hoped for was not going to materialize on Thursday, the seventh anniversary of the act’s passage, when the legislation was scheduled for a vote.

Two of his most influential advisers — Stephen K. Bannon, his chief strategist, and Gary D. Cohn, the National Economic Council director, who had a major role in pushing the bill — came to agree, and did not like the compromise that was emerging…

…To Mr. Trump and his team, the health care repeal is a troublesome stepchild. His son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, who is vacationing with his family in Aspen this week, has said for days that the bill was a mistake to support.

So, among the people who think it was either a mistake to take up a health care bill at all or who think it is a mistake to support this particular bill are President Trump, his son-in-law, his top strategist, and his National Economic Council director. They’re leaking that they think failure to pass this bill will be a 100% win for the administration.

And, yet, they sent their Budget Director down to the Hill last night to tell folks to plunge ahead. No retreat, no surrender!

What kind of sucker do you have to be to vote for ChumpCare?

How pissed off would you be if you were a Republican lawmaker who has to decide how to vote on this piece of crap when you have the White House telling you that they’ll go after you if you vote against them and telling the press that they see losing the vote as a 100% win?

You’d have to be a dumb son of a bitch to burn the ships behind you on this vote, especially considering that the bill has the support of about 17% of the people, which is lower even than the Crazification Factor. If you don’t know, the Crazification factor is calculated by looking at how many people preferred Alan Keyes to Barack Obama in the 2004 Illinois Senate race:

Obama vs. Alan Keyes. Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That’s crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.

When support for something falls below 27%, it’s fair to compare it to head lice, herpes, Dick Cheney, or the filet mignon at Trump Grill. You don’t want to be on the record having supported these things.

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Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at ProgressPond.com