President Donald Trump would have us believe that he is a master deal-maker, and he probably believes it himself.
The 1987 business manifesto, "The Art of the Deal," is credited to him, and much of his career has been spent boasting about his knack for cementing billions just by shaking hands. However, with his presidency being nothing more than a succession of massive failures, it's time for everyone (especially his supporters) to see Trump for exactly what he is: a fraud.
The campaign promise that drove Trump to the presidency was dead on arrival. Trumpcare was already crawling when it reached the halls of Congress and House Republican leaders had very little choice but to put the bill out of its misery if they were going to salvage what remained of their credibility.
While this was good news for many who were terrified at what a replacement to Obamacare would mean for their lives, it was nothing short of disastrous for the Trump administration — perhaps most notably for the president himself.
Trump has built his career on his image as a successful business man. It's a huge part of why he was elected to the highest office in the United States and how he was able to woo millions of voters with his claims that he could run the government like one of his "successful" businesses. Press secretary Sean Spicer even referred to him as a "closer," and many sincerely believed that once he entered the White House there was nothing he could not do.
Well, it's no surprise to his opponents that there's a whole lot Trump cannot do. His inability to successfully create and promote a health care plan that would embolden people to abandon Obamacare is just one failure in a long career of disappointments.
He's put his money into everything from airlines to pageants to steak, and each venture has proved as brittle as the man's ego, which, no matter how disappointed House Speaker Paul Ryan looks, is the thing hurting the most after today.
"Has he pulled out every stop, has he called every member, has he tweaked every tweak, has he done every single thing he can possibly and used every minute of every day that's possible to get this thing through," Spicer posed to reporters. "Then the answer is yes."
Spicer's speech today was supposed to make us feel sympathy for Trump. It was supposed to deflect the blame from him onto anyone else, but that's not so easy to do when he's built himself up as a business god. While no one on either side of the aisle expected Trumpcare to be an easy feat, they did expect to see the art of the deal in action.
In a hypothetical reality in which Trump actually learns from his mistakes, the take-away from today would be that business and government are two very different things. As stated in a Forbes article years ago:
Not everything that is profitable is of social value and not everything of social value is profitable.
There were too many American lives at risk and too many obviously greedy hands for Trumpcare to get enough votes to pass. It was a far too blatant attempt at lining already well-lined pockets at the expense of the other 99 percent.
Politicians in all parties could not get behind the bill because it would have devastated their communities — which also happen to be the pedestals that keep them in power.
While the money-making objective is key to business, it is not for government. People are.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Carlos Barria