President Trump is attempting to climb back into the saddle after the disastrous attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act last Friday. He seeks quick action from his allies in the House.
The past week has seen a flurry of activity to do just that. But it will be impossible without the support of 25 House members who represent the House Freedom Caucus of conservative members. He is struggling to convince the frayed nerves of his conservative right wing.
Friday’s lack of support was a debacle even in the eyes of the president’s natural allies. There is presently no coordinated move forward to find agreement for the votes necessary. The political mess is harming other legislation the president wants to go forward including tax reform. Predictably, Trump has taken to Twitter to blame the conservative House Freedom Caucus for his defeat. He insists that Obamacare will “explode” without their support.
A close ally of Trump is Fox’s Judge Jeanine Pirro. He tweeted his followers to watch her show the past weekend. In turn, Pirro used that platform to call for the resignation of Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
But is that wise?
Trump needs to do some soul-searching. He is reflecting an unwillingness to do the honest self-reflection that might help him avoid repeating mistakes. The question may be, can such an ego do that? Timothy O’Brien, who wrote a biography of Trump, said recently, “He lives in a sort of reality-distortion field where he doesn’t want to acknowledge that he makes any mistakes. He rarely acknowledges making mistakes, and I think that is largely because he has been insulated from the consequences of his mistakes his whole life.”
Still another Trump biographer, Michael D’Antonio, has said that “Even those of us who know him and his fighting mentality have to marvel at his ability to find new battles.” This is what is called “On the job training.”
Tobe Berkovitz, a Boston University professor who specializes in political communication said, “If he didn’t bounce back from adversity, he would be hosting ‘The Apprentice’ at the current time. He’s the maestro of agenda-setting, both for good and bad. All it takes is 140 characters, on Twitter, and at least one or two news cycles get converted to focusing on a new aspect of Trump and his presidency.”
Odds are on Trump recovering from this mistake so early in his presidency. He will bounce back as the stakes grow higher and the temperament and partisan rancor heats up even further. The anti-Trumpers will be against this president no matter what. It’s a practical matter that will involve the American people putting their voice into the fight Trump is waging.