That's the argument many of the louder voices on the right are shouting. In the story they tell, the speaker of the House is fully responsible for the
"Americans elected the one man they believed could do it. A complete outsider. Someone beholden to no one -- but them," Pirro said straight into the camera on her TV show.
"And Speaker Ryan, you come in, with all your swagger and experience, and you sell him a bill of goods which ends up a complete and total failure. And you allow our president, in his first 100 days, to come out of the box like that?"
"Folks," she continued, "I want to be clear: This is not on President Trump." (The "not," by the way, is all-caps on her website.) "No one expected a businessman to completely understand the nuances, the complicated ins and outs of
Translation: Donnie's a good boy, he just fell in with the wrong crowd.
Back over at Fox (where I am a contributor),
There are three interesting things about this new orthodoxy.
First, that's not what Trump says. On Saturday morning, Trump placed the blame squarely on the
The Pirro crowd, however, can't endorse the effort to blame the
The second point: Contrary to what Pirro says, she and the other members of Trump's amen chorus did expect him to work miracles, or at least they said as much. Indeed, during the campaign, Trump said "it will be so easy" to get rid of Obamacare. Trump and his boosters insisted there was nothing he couldn't do with his Jedi-like negotiating skills and gift for "winning."
So the only explanation that can rescue them from the agony of cognitive dissonance is to insist that Trump was betrayed.
That's why Hannity's claim that Trump did "everything in his power" to get the bill passed is an accidental admission against interest. It concedes the falsity of the idea that Trump is a modern-day, omni-competent Cincinnatus who will lay down his golf bag to save the republic.
Third: It's a sign of things to come. Some conservatives opposed Trump in the primaries because they -- we -- didn't trust him to uphold conservative principles. The Hannitys and Heritage Foundations insisted these fears were misplaced. And on some issues (Trump's
But now, because of the
Should that come to pass (a difficult task given the polarization of the parties), there will be more talk of betrayal, but the loyalists will doubtless find a way to blame anyone but Trump.