3 biggest takeaways from Republicans pulling their health care bill

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Trump's not so good at "the art of the deal"

Source: Evan Vucci/AP

Despite boasting his dealmaking prowess for the past several decades, President Donald Trump proved himself to be completely unprepared for the kind of negotiating that the White House requires. Trump couldn't even balance the different interest groups within his own party let alone handle negotiations between Democrats and Republicans. 

That could prove fatal to his agenda beyond health care. The next big thing that Trump claims he wants to move onto is tax reform, in which the president thinks there is more room for agreement within his party. But there are already major intra-party divisions forming in that very debate, which could prove to be the death knell in yet another major campaign promise.

Republicans aren't ready to be in charge of anything

President Donald Trump speaks with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) at the U.S. Capitol.
Source: 
SAUL LOEB/Getty Images

Republicans have six years of honing their skills as an opposition party under their belt. Many of their rank and file members have only ever known how to extract concessions from their own caucus and have gotten used to enlisting the help of big outside players like the billionaire Koch brothers to back them up in the fight. 

But those skills are less useful once your party has full control over both houses of Congress and the presidency. It's not just that they have no will to work together, they don't even know what it would look like if they did. 

The movement matters

Byron Navey of Florence, South Carolina, voices concerns during a town hall meeting with Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.)
Source: 
Sean Rayford/Getty Images

The most important takeaway from this whole ordeal is that, when it comes to legislative battles, grassroots movements like the one that sprung up to oppose trump and protect the Affordable Care Act matter. Though many have focused on the role that intransigent House conservatives played in killing the bill, Republicans also hemorrhaged moderates who were facing angry constituents in their town halls back home.

If movements like Indivisible can continue to to pressure their representatives on future Trump agenda items, he may not be able to get much done.

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Andrew Joyce

I cover politics and policy.

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