Both men are political outsiders. Both are known for being fiercely independent and frustrating members of their party. And both are now emerging from the rubble that is the failed Paul Ryan healthcare debacle more willing to work together to help set right what both agree is so wrong in Washington D.C.
Rand Paul had warned the president the Ryan healthcare reform bill was a weak effort likely to divide conservatives against moderates within the Republican Party. Trump was grateful for the warning, but is said to have ultimately took the advice of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to get behind the Ryan effort. Priebus and Ryan are longtime political allies. Trump, wanting to prove himself capable of being a team player, more than lived up to his promise to work with the Republican leadership. He spent hours meeting personally with lawmakers, made dozens of phone calls, and had staff running up and down the halls of Congress attending meetings.
In the end, Senator Paul’s warning proved correct. The Ryan healthcare bill failed to make it to a vote. The Speaker fell some twenty votes short of passage. Priebus was quick to blame the conservative Freedom Caucus, a group of Republicans who demand smaller government. They saw the Ryan bill as simply a different version of the same failed Obamacare legislation. Both sides reached an impasse and negotiations stalled.
President Trump was said to be upset at how unwilling to negotiate both sides appeared to be. He never called out anyone by name, though it is well known his already tepid feelings toward Ryan are now even more so. The President, while admiring Freedom Caucus principles, feels the group must be more willing to work out a deal to ensure things get done for the American people.
Within that gap has emerged Senator Ryan who just today indicated a new Obamacare repeal and replacement deal was “close.”
Paul’s emergence as a political ally to Trump is no doubt causing heartburn among some of his longtime Senate colleagues such as consistent anti-Trump Republicans like Lindsey Graham and John McCain. (McCain is now in his 30th year in the Senate.) Senator Paul’s opposition to America’s habit of globalist endeavors and military intervention is in stark contrast to figures like McCain and Graham, who have proven time and time again their desire to commit U.S. troops overseas regardless the cost of lives and dollars.
If Rand Paul is successful in helping to negotiate a viable alternative to the disastrous Obamacare law, it will signal a dramatic shift in the D.C. Republican power structure – which of course means Mr. Paul will likely face opposition from his own party to see that effort fail. It has been some time since the Republican leadership has actually cared about getting things done for the American people. They only appear concerned about holding onto power and then doing nothing with it.
Senator Paul and President Trump are poised to change the mode of operation.
They deserve our support in helping them succeed.