So you think you’ve got Donald Trump all figured out, huh? As John Wayne would say, “not hardly.” In fact, if the Duke were alive today, I doubt there would be a bigger fan of the president. Certainly there’s a machismo shared by these two American legends, if nothing else.

While most of Washington buzzes in a self-obsessed flurry of analysis regarding the health care legislation getting pulled, some of us can detect a clear Trump maneuver in the mist. After all, not everything can be learned about Donald Trump by reading the Art of the Deal. That was business, this is politics. The differences are as telling as they are necessary. For instance: some enemies identify themselves at the door, others must be flushed out. Hence, the great health care bill debacle of 2017…

At first glance, you might render the opinion that the president waded into the depths of murky congressional waters, such that he wasn’t prepared to navigate. That would be a critical error in judgement, if you ask me. What better way for Trump to assess the playing field, then to allow Speaker Ryan to roll up his sleeves and fire up his PowerPoint? Make sure it’s called “Ryan Care,” which it was, and make sure your much maligned chief-of-staff knows it’s his job to push the bill. If you’re Trump, do just enough to create the illusion you want this bill, but never allow it to be conceptualized as anything that could taint the “Trump brand.” Then, stand back and watch as all your enemies show their hands, while others blow precious political capital on a clunker of a bill.

Trump has set up a scenario where democrats are happily cheering on the sidelines for an imploding policy failure that America hates and cannot afford. What’s more, he’s identified republicans that will defy him openly to the media, and for the encore: he exposes Paul Ryan’s soft, yellow underbelly as Speaker. Not bad for a few rough news cycles, huh?

Yes, the health care bill failing will limit our ability to cut taxes. Yes, it will limit the scope and ambition of our tax reform package. And yes, this inaction will lead to a regionally applied and catastrophic failure of Obamacare within 12 months. The markets will get jittery, and pension funds nationwide will slide back into red as quickly as they began to recover. Hell of time for a Primary election, don’t you think?

By the Fall, health care premiums will be in the stratosphere, more insurance carriers will be pulling out altogether, and states that adopted Medicaid expansion will suffer tremendous budget deficits as federal subsidies…well, subside. It’s a nightmare scenario for any incumbent facing a Primary challenge; of which, there will be plenty.

When that time comes, they will all crawl to the president for assistance. “Help us,” they will say, oblivious to the irony of it all. 2018 is your judgement day, congress. President Trump will live to see another fight, regardless of what majorities look like in Congress. Of course, republican voters nationwide are again reminded what a useless luxury majorities are anyway. Call on him, they will: “you must be presidential and do what’s best for the country!” And when that moment comes, the masters of the Beltway will be faced with the reality that the “rookie” president saw it all coming from a long way out. Humble pie will be served a la mode, after a healthy serving of crow.

“But the NY Times said Trump suffered a devastating blow!” Oh, really? How will it play out for Schumer and Pelosi when states like Ohio and Pennsylvania have exploding Medicaid costs, adding to already substantial deficits? Wonder how Sen Brown in Ohio will feel next year? I’m really, really curious what Gov Wolf and Sen Casey will think in PA. I doubt anyone of them can be saved now. It’s a political equation I’ve already solved after this week.

A reminder to everyone in the Beltway, republicans and democrats, establishment media, etc: Trump has one major weapon in his arsenal none of you have and that is us. We, the army of patriots who elected him, stand ready to dismiss those who obstruct the agenda. By any measure, any metric in politics, that’s what I call a “Trump card.”

Adam Gingrich

Founder of Wick Media Productions. Worked for Donald Trump's Campaign, overseeing the Pennsylvania region, Adam has been a Political Consultant for most of his adult life.


  • Good observations. Trump’s best interests were served by supporting Ryan enough to allow him to fail or succeed on his own. If Ryan would have pulled it off, it’s a team win. If the bill flopped, it goes on Ryan’s resume. Trump had little to gain personally, with this bill, and despite what the media says, not much to lose. He learned a lot about the process, the competency of his team and their loyalty, which going forward, will tell him who he can count on and who he can’t.

  • TPF

    If Trump wanted to flush out people and score an early win, he would have asked Congress to send him the same Obamacare repeal bill that was vetoed by Obama. “Send me the bill boys and girls, I am ready to sign it.” If any Republican fails to support the same bill they voted for 16 months ago, primary them. I am concerned that Trump is being surrounded by too many GOP establishment types and the swamp is taking over slowly but surely.

  • GG

    Glad to see that Bill and Jack were able to chase away the fog and let the sun shine through… DJT @POTUS is not just the “Art of the Deal”… He IS the REAL DEAL… we are WINNING… and Daddy spoils us… NEVER SHALL WE BE TIRED OF WINNING… BUT….We will be spoiled rotten….<3 (Not to celebrate prematurely, ALL GOOD Things to those who wait… and BELIEVE) 😉

  • I’m a businessperson (without a URL). A yuge Trump supporter – he’s the only “politician” I’ve followed since Ronald Reagan and then Ross Perot. But this pivot stating that this was Trump’s plan all along is nonsense……

    The Dems are now pushing Single-Payer which they will use going into the 2018 mid-terms. With the outrageous premiums / deductibles of Obamacare, and more and more American’s electing to be uninsured, the majority will reach out for this short-term fix and not concern themselves with the long-term consequences.

    Add that Adam is completely correct that the failure of Obamacare repeal now limits what Trump can do in tax cuts (as well as funding for The Wall) – and most companies committing to billion-dollar expansion in the USA in 2017 are doing it depending on cutting regulations and taxes. Those companies are not going to wait around for the 2018 elections and then Congress meeting in 2019 to see if anything can be done. They are for-profit, have to stay competitive, and their management has to produce. A company cannot drive in neutral for 2-3 years – it will literally go out of business as competitors take over their market.

    The American people gave the Republican’s everything…..and the Republican’s gave it back.

  • Wickman

    Initially thought this was a setback but after taking a step back to look at the larger picture it becomes pretty obvious that President Trump set a trap and disloyal Republicans, the Dems, Ryan and, as always, the media, walked right into it. President Trump is usually multiple steps ahead and this time will be no different, the only question now is, how much damage will it do to his political enemies?