Health Insurance

ObamaCare’s secret GOP fans and other notable comments

From the Right: The GOPers Who Fear O'Care Repeal

House Speaker Paul Ryan insists he'll have enough votes to pass an ObamaCare repeal bill, but Byron York at the Washington Examiner asks why this really is even in question, given the comfortable Republican majority. The solution: “Because lots of Republicans don't want to repeal ObamaCare.” In fact, “they don't even wish to sorta repeal ObamaCare,” citing opposition within their districts. In the end, the current bill “falls far short of a complete repeal of ObamaCare.” GOP moderates “appear to become moving the goalposts, even as the conservatives offer concessions.” They “were perfectly happy for conservatives to accept blame for killing the first bill, however are showing their true colors by rejecting compromise around the second version.”

Centrist: Mattis & Trump – An Odd Couple That Works

The relationship between “the mercurial and inexperienced” President Trump and his “unflappable” defense secretary, Jim Mattis, is “an unlikely partnership, but to date it mostly works,” suggests David Ignatius in the Washington Post. Indeed, Trump “can take credit for selecting a generally solid national-security team as well as for listening to its advice.” Mattis, though “mildly eccentric by military standards,” is “fundamentally a group player who moves having a group, rarely in isolation.” Meaning that he's “bonded with Trump's other key foreign-policy advisers” to form “a strong, self-confident group” with “little of the infighting that characterizes Trump's domestic advisers.” Mattis brings “a wariness of overly hasty military commitments” to the table: He believes “foreign policy became overmilitarized recently which a strong State Department voice is important.”

Mideast Desk: Some Iranians Leery of Moscow Ties

The Russian embassy in Tehran has turned into a target for militant anger, denounced – such as the US embassy there 40 years ago – as “a nest of spies,” reports Amir Taheri at Arab News. This, despite Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's ” 'Looking East' strategy based on an alliance between Tehran and Moscow” by which he agreed “his Islamic Republic would take no position on major international issues without 'coordinating' with Moscow.” Aligning with Russia, “which includes a 200-year-long history of enmity and war with Iran,” is a bitter pill with a. And today Vladimir Putin is suspected of trying to meddle in Iran's upcoming presidential election. Which has some citing that old Persian adage comparing Russia to “a big bear to admire from afar; if he embraces you, he'll crush you.”

Culture Critic: Study Shows Dems Least Tolerant Students

Bre Payton in the Federalist reports on a new study of Dartmouth College students with an unsurprising conclusion: “Those who recognized as Democrats are the least tolerant.” The survey asked students how comfortable they'd feel about rooming with a student who holds opposite political views. Of self-identified Dems, only 39 percent said they'd feel at ease; 45 percent felt uncomfortable. But 69 percent of Republicans and 61 percent of independents didn't have trouble with that arrangement; only 12 % of Republicans were uncomfortable. “No surprise,” says Payton, given what's been happening on college campuses. Besides, as “a political minority” on most campuses, “if conservative students refused to reside with their liberal peers, it might be harder to find a roommate.”

Iconoclast: Maybe Electing Trump Wasn't So Crazy

Andrew Sullivan constitutes a startling confession at New York magazine: “I'm much less afraid of Trump than I had been last year.” Indeed, “those people who were worried the Constitution may not hold, which liberal democracy was teetering around the edge of implosion, have so far, mercifully, been proven wrong.” Obviously, Sullivan feels by doing this while he sees Trump and also the GOP Congress as ineffectual, suggesting the right's political strength depends “on being in permanent opposition, without needing to actually implement something.” But also, he believes a President Hillary Clinton's “incompetence and indecision might have because of the GOP even more political oxygen,” leading to “an ugly death spiral for Democrats.”