U.S. President-elect Donald Trump (L) meets with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) (C) and Vice-President elect Mike Pence on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 10, 2016.
Photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Republican taunts come back to haunt them

There’s a running joke across much of the political world that for every story related to Donald Trump, there’s a Donald Trump tweet that makes the story look a little worse for the president. There’s a reason the Trump Twitter Archive has become such a valuable resource: the joke is funny because it has proven merit.

This morning, for example, plenty of folks are highlighting this 2014 tweet from Trump, in which the Republican wrote, “It’s Thursday. How many people have lost their healthcare today?”

Given House Republicans’ efforts today to pass a regressive health care bill, which would take coverage from tens of millions of Americans, this missive hasn’t aged well.

But it’s not just Trump. In 2009, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) appeared on MSNBC and declared, in reference to a Democratic health care bill:
“I don’t think we should pass bills that we haven’t read, that we don’t know what they cost.”
Ryan is now rushing through his health care bill, despite the fact his own members haven’t read it, and despite the fact that they have no idea what the bill costs. (GOP leaders refuse to consider waiting for a report from the Congressional Budget Office.)

Around the same time, Mike Pence – who’s now the vice president – mocked Democrats as saying, “Don’t blame us, we didn’t read the bill we voted for.”

That hasn’t aged well, either.

Also in 2009, House Republicans argued that House Dems shouldn’t vote on health care legislation without a CBO score. Indeed, they made quite a fuss about this at the time.

How do Republicans explain the tension between their taunts and their own behavior? So far, they don’t explain it at all.

The irony is, pretty much everything GOP opponents of the Affordable Care Act said during the debate in 2009 and 2010 was wrong then, but accurate now. Republicans said Democrats carelessly rushed through sweeping legislation, affecting one-sixth of the U.S. economy, eschewing bipartisanship, procedural norms, and due diligence.

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but I’m starting to think those complaints were less than sincere.