As the Trumpcare/Ryan bill has endured a murderous three days, there's been a growing move, from various feral and high profile Trump supporters outside the White House, as well as Breitbart News, to say the bill is at least politically a disaster and that Ryan is to blame.
Is this really what Trump and Republicans ran on, as Ryan claims?
Well, here's President Trump in September, 2015: "Everybody's got to be covered ... I'm going to take care of everybody."
In February 2016: "You're going to end up with great healthcare for a fraction of the price. And that's going to happen immediately."
In January 2017: "We're going to have insurance for everybody."
Clearly, this is not what President Trump ran on.
The key is that Trump clearly does not know or care enough about health care policy to know whether he was lying or not. Will everybody get care? Of course. And it will be the best care. And it'll be cheaper. This is just sales flimflam but he said it. Trump was assured it would be awesome and that was good enough for him.
That makes the situation volatile and unpredictable. Trump's ideological commitment to this bill? Basically zero. Trump's commitment to being loved and not looking stupid? Incalculable. Trump seems at least temporarily imprinted with the access/freedom Ryan mantra. But there's every reason to think that is just skin deep. Trump may not care in any deep sense about millions of people losing their insurance coverage. But he did say his genius and deal making power would make things awesome for everyone. He wants everyone happy and loving him. This bill is not good for that agenda.
Trump's friends are telling him Ryan is leading him into a trap, either through malice or incompetence. The bill is looking like a loser, which will matter to Trump a lot. All of this looks to be converging on Paul Ryan being the fall guy. Which we can't say is really unfair because it is his creation.