The Slatest

Today’s Impeach-O-Meter: Trump Vows to Eventually Pass Zombie Zombie Zombie Zombie Zombie Health Care Bill

Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Impeach-O-Meter is a wildly subjective and speculative daily estimate of the likelihood that Donald Trump leaves office before his term ends, whether by being impeached (and convicted) or by resigning under threat of same.

Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander said today that he and Democratic Washington Sen. Patty Murray have reached a bipartisan agreement to stabilize Affordable Care Act insurance marketplaces. Donald Trump is attempting to take credit for this deal, which he had nothing to do with, but hasn’t stopped there, also telling reporters that “we [Republicans] have the votes” in the Senate to pass the much broader Graham-Cassidy bill repealing the ACA in “March or April” of 2018.

I enjoy this because it combines three great Trump tropes into one dense body, like a super-heavy collapsed star made of bullshit.

1. “We have the votes.” They don’t. POTUS keeps saying that Graham-Cassidy failed only because there was a Republican senator in the hospital when it was being voted on. The senator in question wasn’t in the hospital, but the bill wouldn’t have passed even if he had been because of other GOP opposition.

2. Random, spontaneous claims about scheduling. You may recall that during the campaign Trump promised to repeal Obamacare on his first day in office. That … didn’t happen. During the transition, in January 2017, he said he wanted repeal to take place within “weeks” after inauguration. That also didn’t happen. Now it’s going to be done by April of 2018. Maybe that will happen! (Recall also that Trump keeps saying he’s going to get his vaunted border wall done “ahead of schedule” even though it hasn’t yet been so much as designed or budgeted for.)

3. An extremely unpopular idea being revived over and over and over and over and over again because the president’s only real guiding principle is that he wants to undo everything his predecessor did. A spring 2018 revisiting of Graham-Cassidy would be, by my count, the sixth distinct Affordable Care Act repeal effort. (There was the first House bill, the House bill that passed, the first Senate bill, the “skinny repeal” bill, and the first Graham-Cassidy bill.) None of these bills have polled well, and they’ve sucked up all the oxygen in Washington, D.C. so that nothing else has gotten done. But: Obama bad!

The point is, this doesn’t seem like a plausible or politically savvy plan. We’ll nonetheless keep the meter steady; at this point, Trump doing self-defeating things related to Obamacare is just the status quo.