Why? That's the big question the mass media is asking about the sudden failure of the Republican leaders' relentless push to demonize and kill Obamacare.
After all, they started with the original lie that right-wing Republicans have harped on for nearly a decade: Obamacare is a total failure. We'll "repeal and replace" it as soon as we get control of the national government, they shouted. Then, when Trump happened, he made killing Obama's Affordable Care Act his top legislative priority. Ryan chimed in with a perfect imitation of Chicken Little, squawking that the ACA is in a "death spiral."
In fact, the president and the House speaker were lying. While Obamacare has flaws that require fixing, overall it's been a tremendous success. It has reduced by almost half the number of Americans who had no health coverage (benefiting especially many white working-class people who had supported Trump).
But the GOP bragged that they would quickly knock Obama's trademark reform out of the park. And their star slugger was on deck — Donnie Trump, the self-proclaimed Dealmaker Extraordinaire! He assured his fawning political cronies that selling his "repeal and replace" plan to Congress was no different than selling memberships in his luxury golf resorts. "It's the same thing," he insisted. "Really, it is."
So, why did he fail? Most media speculation has focused on the real estate mogul's inability to grasp the nuances of legislating. True, but the fundamental cause of the embarrassing public collapse of the Trumpcare plan was not about process, but substance.
As a master huckster, Trump could probably sell BS to a feedlot — but this bill was far more repugnant than the stinkiest load of BS. It gutted health care coverage for millions, while also sneaking in nearly a trillion-dollar tax cut for huge corporations and Wall Street speculators.
Even some Republican lawmakers gagged on the stench. But the real story is that the American people themselves — including many working-class voters who had believed Trump was actually going to help them — got a whiff of the nasty stuff he was peddling.
Alerted by grassroots groups like Our Revolution and Indivisible, a mass rebellion erupted in the home districts of Republican Congress critters who were selling out the health of America's workaday majority.
As the protests spread and dozens of GOP lawmakers washed their hands of his bill, Trump was exposed as a clueless dealmaker, repeatedly asking his staff: "Is this really a good bill?"
You can contact Jim Hightower at jimhightower.com.