It was, for sure, a big victory Republicans scored last year. Too big it now turns out.
The GOP swept up voters from virtually every geographical corner and ideological cul-de-sac in the country. Stolid, old-time Midwestern Republicans, Southern states-righters, farmers everywhere, miners and cattle-country conservatives in the West, bigots and birthers and people who'd simply had their fill of Barack Obama and his liberal coastal coat-holders -- all flocked to the Republican cause.
Not enough for a popular vote majority, you understand -- something that drives D.J. Trump off the rails even more than usual.
But enough to tip the balance in the Electoral College to the Guardians of Privilege and, in the process, saddle them in Congress with an indigestible collection of competing interests who've little in common except rage, as they're discovering.
In the main, the GOP's voters were classic "mad-as-hell-and-not-going-to-take-it-anymore" types and they opted for the most obviously mad-as-hell guy in the race, namely D.J. Trump. I mean, he is really mad. And, in Trump, they got what they wanted -- or thought they wanted.
But, as often happens, they also got something they didn't want. They got a commitment to take away the health insurance coverage guaranteed by Obamacare and sought by Americans going back to Teddy Roosevelt. Now they're stunned. But that should be no surprise. We're not dealing here with rocket scientists here.
The sad fact is that a large slice of the American electorate was conned by Trump and GOP leaders who swallowed their own good sense and echoed him. Taken into camp like a collection of rubes, they were.
They actually believed the Affordable Care Act could be repealed on Trump's first day in office. Just like that, a snap of the fingers you might say. Remember that one?
The irony is that Republicans conned themselves. They actually believed killing Obamacare was virtually a done deal -- like getting Mexico to pay for a Southwest wall to keep out (I kid you not) Mexicans.
Actually the assault on Obamacare was not so much a done deal as a dumb deal, the dumbest authored by either party in recent memory and a product of arrogance inspired by a president who oozes arrogance.
In following his lead they've squandered the first six months of the Trump presidency laboring in vain to fulfill a promise conceived as much in venom for Barack Obama personally as in any well-thought-out policy studies of the issue.
Indeed, despite all their labors and the importance of the issue Republicans have never held any public hearings -- nary a one -- on the Obamacare repeal. It was all too much for one Republican, Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas, who criticized what he called "a closed-door process." Had they bothered with hearings they'd have been swamped with evidence that the people most opposed to scuttling Obamacare were some of the very same working-class Americans who voted for the Twitter-in-Chief. All they had to do was listen to Sen. Shelly Moore Capito, a West Virginia Republican.
West Virginia is coal country, a classic example of a state whose blue-collar labor force has largely been left behind in a globalized, high-tech world. It gave Trump one of the largest state majorities in the country.
But the Trump GOP's repeal of Obamacare without an adequate replacement -- something Republicans never gave much serious thought to -- would have devastated these thousands of Trump voters, in West Virginia and elsewhere.
But the Trump Republican Party doesn't run on research. It runs on rage.
As Capito put it in announcing her opposition to the GOP health plan now lying in state in the Senate, "I did not come to Washington to hurt people." It's something to think about.
Can the Trumpsters recover from this self-inflicted wound? Probably. But it depends on Trump.
All signs indicate Americans are ready to support tax reform (though it's likely to prove more contentious than Republicans think) and a big job-creating infrastructure program. But first Trump's got to give up beating the dead horse of Obamacare -- he's lost that fight -- and his snide attacks on Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
He hints he'd like to fire Mueller. But that way leads to a constitutional crisis. Maybe even to impeachment.