There’s plenty of blame to go around when it comes to the Republican Party’s failure to repeal and replace Obamacare.
President Trump deserves some of the blame for not coming through on his reputation as a dealmaker – someone who would be able to carve out a path of negotiation that would at least bring the right-hand side of the aisle together, if not both parties in Congress.
John McCain deserves some of the blame for his last-minute decision to vote down “skinny repeal,” thus tanking the last, best hope of moving forward on an acceptable bill.
Moderate Republicans like Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins deserve some of the blame. Hardline conservatives like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul deserve some.
But when it comes right down to it, many people think the man who really needs to answer for this failure is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. And a few conservatives are thinking it might be time for him to step down.
“Let’s be clear about what happened in the last 24 hours in the United States Senate — it was an abject failure of the United States Senate to do what America needs doing,” said Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) in a Friday morning interview with CNN. “It was a failure from newest member Luther Strange at the bottom to the very top with Mitch McConnell as majority leader, and I hope that the Senate will not quit — I hope and urge the Senate to stay in Washington, D.C. until the job gets done. And if they’re gonna quit, then maybe they ought to start at the top with Mitch McConnell leaving his position and letting somebody new, somebody bold, somebody conservative take the reins, so that they can come up with a plan that can get through the United States Senate.”
On Twitter, conservative radio star Mark Levin was on the same page. “McCain joins Democrats,” he wrote. “McConnell fails again and must go.”
Jake Novak, over at CNBC.com, was also calling on McConnell to take a hike, saying that conservatives could not put their faith in someone who valued power more than principle.
“Republicans should have seen this coming at least three years ago when McConnell showed that his first priority was consolidating his own power and everything else came second,” Novak wrote. “During the 2014 elections, he helped to defeat several Tea Party Republican Senate primary candidates in favor of GOP Senate contenders who backed him for the Majority Leader position. He pulled the same strategy last year. You have to hand it to McConnell in that he was able to get and keep his top position in the Senate through two tumultuous election periods.”
McConnell did a heroic deed last year when he held off confirmation hearings for President Obama’s Supreme Court pick, but this healthcare failure cannot be overlooked. Heads need to roll. Republicans have been promising to get this done for seven years, and now they’re acting like there’s nothing more to do but shrug and say, “Welp, we tried. Sorry, y’all.”
Sorry’s not going to get it. The American people need and deserve results.