If Trump wins in the Hoosier State tomorrow, repeal is a dead letter.
Indiana’s Republican primary is not merely the Cruz campaign’s last chance to stop the Trump juggernaut, it will also determine the ultimate fate of Obamacare. If Trump wins Indiana tomorrow, he will almost certainly win the Republican presidential nomination only to lose the general election to Hillary Clinton, who is committed to preserving the unpopular law. Even if Trump manages to eke out a win in November, he will probably be hobbled by a Democrat-controlled Senate that will kill any Obamacare repeal bill. A vote for Trump in the Hoosier State tomorrow, in other words, is a vote for Obamacare.
And the Donald’s chances of winning Indiana are high, according to the polls and respected analysts. Moreover, the Hoosier state has an “open” primary that allows Democrats and ostensible independents to influence the outcome of the Republican race. Trump has typically done well in such contests by preaching what John Tabin describedin this space a couple of months ago as “a brand of populism that is repellant to much of the Republican base.” This has caused deep divisions within the GOP, spawning movements like #NeverTrump, but it will help the Donald move closer to a first ballot win in Cleveland.
Winning the GOP nomination, however, isn’t the same thing as winning the general election. And virtually no one with actual political expertise believes Trump has a chance of beating Mrs. Clinton in November. Politico reports that, in a series of discussions with GOP strategists, “More than three-quarters of GOP insiders expect Clinton to best the Republican front-runner in a general-election contest in their respective states.” The story continues as follows: “In three of the biggest swing states — Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida — Republicans were particularly downbeat about the prospect of a Trump-Clinton contest.”
The Donald’s loyalists dismiss such opinions by attributing them to “the GOP establishment,” but Trump has far bigger problems than a few disgruntled insiders. In addition to being the most unpopular presidential candidate in decades, he is viewed askance by key demographic groups without whose support no candidate can win. A recent Gallup survey found the following: “Donald Trump’s image among U.S. women tilts strongly negative, with 70% of women holding an unfavorable opinion and 23% a favorable opinion of the Republican front-runner.” Women make up more than half of the electorate — election over.
Which brings us back to Obamacare. Trump can’t repeal the perversely titled “Affordable Care Act” or anything else if he can’t get elected president. And when he loses in a landslide to Hillary Clinton, she will claim a mandate to expand President Obama’s “signature domestic achievement.” In other words, she will make the already intrusive and dysfunctional health “reform” law even worse. Her vision for building on Obamacare’s “successes” involves a soviet-style regulatory regimen that would dictate how insurance companies, drug manufacturers, and care providers operate and what they charge their customers.
Clinton also plans to exhume the dreaded “public option.” According to her campaign website, “Hillary supports a ‘public option’ to reduce costs and broaden the choices of insurance coverage for every American.” This idea was so bad it never made the cut to be included in Obamacare. Even single payer advocates have denounced it. And it gets worse. Clinton also plans to expand Obamacare eligibility to illegal aliens: “She believes we should let families — regardless of immigration status — buy into the Affordable Care Act exchanges. Families who want to purchase health insurance should be able to do so.”
This illustrates the cognitive dissonance that plagues Trump’s supporters. By backing a candidate whom no one believes can win the general election, the very government policies that make them angry will be perpetuated for at least another four years. Trump’s supporters are angry about how Obama and Congress have handled illegal immigration. Yet their candidate will lose badly to a woman who supports amnesty and openly declares that she will make sure illegal aliens receive taxpayer-paid health care. They hate Obamacare, but their candidate will inevitably lose to a woman dedicated to expanding it.
Trump’s supporters will call this “GOPe” propaganda. But, as Dan McLaughlin points outat RedState, they are already looking for someone to blame for Trump’s eventual defeat: “For all the bravado of Donald Trump’s online supporters, now that his sweep of the Northeast has put him in a potentially strong position to take the nomination, they are… preparing to blame other people for Trump’s inevitable loss in November.” McLaughlin uses Breitbart’s John Nolte as an example: “If Trump loses to Hillary… I will forever blame #NeverTrump.” This is a group, you will recall, that includes the notorious RINO, Mark Levin.
Yesterday Trump said, “It’s over,” meaning that if he wins the Indiana primary he has locked up the GOP presidential nomination. And he is probably right on that point. But this statement, like so many of his utterances, reeks of unintentional irony. If he wins tomorrow, the fight to repeal Obamacare will also be over. Trump will never see the inside of the Oval Office unless he is the guest of his friend, President Hillary Rodham Clinton. Hoosiers are pretty sensible people, as a rule. Let’s hope they put a stop to this insanity tomorrow.