I have waited till now to comment on the debacle of the GOP/Trump Healthcare reform also know as the AHCA in hope that things might settle down a little, silly me. So here goes.
Ever since the Speaker withdrew the AHCA last Friday I have been hearing that it is going to be Waterloo for the Democratics and the ACA. I agree, but not for the reasons most people think. There were three armies at Waterloo and two of them won. The battle the last few weeks over AHCA is a little like the campaign of the 100 Days that climaxed with the Battle of Waterloo. In both cases the side that was expected to win easily, lost. In both cases the side that won, won because of stubborn refusal to give up and by sudden break in the will to continue fighting by the other side when the invincible is shown to not be invincible.
Everyone expected the Trump Whitehouse to be unstoppable with the Master Deal maker leading the way. What they didn’t understand, even thought it was obvious from the start, was that Donald Trump had no understanding of how deals were made in politics. Like many businessmen, Donald Trump, failed to understand one simple thing, you don’t make deals in politics the same way you do in business. The rules are different, measurement of success are different, and the payoffs are different. The people we would be working with to make the deal(s), some new this and some didn’t, and some didn’t care.
He also didn’t understand that you have to have credibility to make threats and that his business rep didn’t translate over to the political arena. What does this have to do with Waterloo you ask? Well, Napoleon also didn’t understand the battlefield he was facing at Waterloo. He underestimated the Generalship of Wellington and the misunderstood the tactics used by the British. He also overestimated the drive of his Generals he detailed to ‘vigorously’ pursue the ‘defeated’ Prussians. He also didn’t really understand the men he was leading, while brave and tenacious they were no longer the men who could face adverse results and comeback for more.
Like Napoleon, Trump, did not and does not understand the 247 people who make up the GOP delegation in the House. These men and women have their own base of support and in many cases own little or nothing to either the National party or Trump himself for there seat in congress. Unlike Trump, many hold very firm idialogical ideals that they will not abandon for a simple win, nor can mere money be their payoff. (Not only is it often illegal it is not why there are were they are.) First he ignored them when he crafted the bill, or as some think excepted the bill crafted by the Speaker and just expected them to quietly vote for the bill. When that didn’t work he tried threatening them, which most looked as simple bluster, and then he tried placating them, which they took as weakness.
Like Napoleon’s battle plan at Waterloo, Trump tried to just blast his way thru what he saw as just the weak oposition of the Democrats he found them stand firm. Then he found out that people he had depended to gruard his flank weren’t there for him. Finally when he asked his people to make a last ditch stand they turned their backs on him and said ‘NO’.
So yes, the AHCA defeat last Friday was a Waterloo, and the Democratics were Wellington. BUT the Ogre is only bloodied and there is still a great deal of fight left in him so like Wellington they must follow up both closely and carefully. The Freedom Caucus is still a power to be contended with as is Speaker Ryan. All maybe wounded but as any experienced hunter, or plotico, knows, that is when they are most dangerous.
For those of you who will like to question my knowledge of the 100 Days and the Battle of Waterloo I attach here short bibliophile of books I have read on the subject. It is not, I assure you exhaustive but merely the ones I still own after my drastic reduction library space a few years back.
The Waterloo Letters Ed. By H. T. Siborne
The Campaigns of Napoleon by David G. Chandler
The Anatomy of Glory by Henry Lachouque and Anne S. K. Brown