The Post edi­to­rial: Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump must build coali­tions af­ter his heath care fail­ure.

The Denver Post - - NEWS -

Don­ald Trump promised Coloradans this past sum­mer that, if elected pres­i­dent of the United States, he would fix the grid­lock in Wash­ing­ton and start get­ting things done.

Speak­ing — we as­sume — tongue in cheek, Trump promised Repub­li­cans at the Western Con­ser­va­tive Sum­mit in Den­ver that he would lead the party to so many vic­to­ries, Colorado con­ser­va­tives would tire of the suc­cess.

And, of course, Trump also as­serted on the trail that he alone could fix the na­tion’s prob­lems, and he ranked re­peal­ing and re­plac­ing Oba­macare a top pri­or­ity.

But as the world watched last Fri­day, Trump’s strong­man ap­proach to re­form­ing Oba­macare failed spec­tac­u­larly, even in the now Repub­li­can-con­trolled Wash­ing­ton, where House Repub­li­cans had been wait­ing for seven years to do the deed.

This was so much more than a bad beat­ing for Trump and for the Grand Old Party. This was an epic, self-in­flicted hu­mil­i­a­tion for the new pres­i­dent and an enor­mously costly set­back for Repub­li­cans. There is no other way to view the col­lapse. Trump hoped to force the hold­outs’ hand, when he should have un­der­stood he didn’t have the votes.

The irony is supreme. For seven years now, the nar­ra­tive from the hard right has been that pas­sage of the Af­ford­able Care Act rep­re­sented the pin­na­cle of run­away gov­ern­ment over­reach that must be neutered and tamed. The ACA fu­eled the Tea Party re­bel­lion that led to a Trump pres­i­dency. Dur­ing that time, House Repub­li­cans voted to re­peal the ACA more than 60 times.

Yet some­how, the Repub­li­cans didn’t ac­tu­ally have a plan the party could rally be­hind. And, some­how, Trump wasn’t keen enough to re­al­ize the one thing that the hard­lin­ers in his party won’t do is say “yes” to any­thing they don’t fully agree with.

If Trump the deal­maker hopes to have much suc­cess with his am­bi­tious agenda, he will need to start build­ing the coali­tions he needs to make deals and get the job done.

While he is at it, he should fi­nally ad­mit, at least to him­self, that he needs to start act­ing pres­i­den­tial and learn — no mat­ter how much he dis­likes it — how Wash­ing­ton works.

Un­til he does so, who could blame more moder­ate or es­tab­lish­ment Repub­li­cans for feel­ing like they needed to start putting some dis­tance be­tween them and the pres­i­dent?

Last week be­gan with the di­rec­tors from the FBI and the NSA stat­ing in con­gres­sional tes­ti­mony that Trump can’t be trusted re­gard­ing his claims that Pres­i­dent Barack Obama il­le­gally had his phones tapped. Fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tions into Trump cam­paign con­tacts with Rus­sian of­fi­cials con­tinue.

Nei­ther of Trump’s Mus­lim bans made it through the courts.

As the Repub­li­can strate­gist Steve Sch­midt told The New York Times, “No ad­min­is­tra­tion has ever been off to a worse 100-day start.”

Trump came into of­fice with an am­bi­tious agenda, and even Democrats say they are will­ing to try to make Oba­macare bet­ter. Or they were say­ing that, when it looked like Repub­li­cans had all the tools they needed to re­form the law in their im­age.

Now Trump’s en­e­mies are em­bold­ened. For much of the early days of his young pres­i­dency, Trump still en­joyed the el­e­ment of sur­prise. There was a power in the cloud of con­fu­sion he cre­ated by try­ing to rush through big changes. That fog is lift­ing now.

If Trump wants to right the ship, he ought to look within.

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