So, I was not surprised to hear conservative columnist Quin Hillyer express his bubbling frustrations, anger not really at the Democrats or even at President Donald Trump but at the Freedom Caucus and others.
And, "screwed" might have been one of the least "pointed" comments Hillyer made on Friday, shortly after the proverbial "shinola" hit the fan.
Instead of Republicans getting rid of Obamacare forever, as Speaker Paul Ryan said later that afternoon, they’re left with the Affordable Care Act being the “law of the land”.
For those who have opposed the health care law for the past seven years, seeing the repeal and replacement substitution go down in flames last week, watching the American Health Care Act nosedive would indeed be a bitter pill to take.
Hillyer has been a fierce critic of Trump and played a role in the Never Trump movement. He is the Contributing Editor of the National Review, his columns appear in various national publications. He has spent time as the conservative columnist for The Advocate newspaper in Louisiana and has a long career of embracing Republican policies and speaking out against the extremists who sometimes dominate its politics.
Hillyer has never been known for mincing his words but that might be the understatement with his comments in a Facebook Live phone interview with him shortly after the American Health Care Act collapsed. Needless to say, he was angry at the behavior of the House Freedom Caucus and groups he describes as his allies such as Freedom Works and Heritage Action.
Here are a few of his sharp barbs that clearly reflect his emotions of the moment:
“I don't think anybody in America who actually cares about public policy is really very happy today and I am very frustrated today. “
“Even most liberals in the media admit Obamacare is collapsing especially in rural areas. I now live in Alabama. We have only one major health care provider a couple of other little ones you can find if you really look, but the people's premiums are skyrocketing and people's choices are diminishing by the day and so not having a fix for what's wrong with Obamacare is a very bad thing and that's why the House of Representatives was trying to move on something to fix or replace Obamacare, and they failed. They left a big big egg on their faces and-and it's not just they and it's not just conservative like me, it's the American people who will suffer because they could not get their act together.”
Are they the only ones at fault for our health care predicament? In response to my questions, Hillyer said it was everybody's fault and said that the Democrats in 2009 and 10 (2010), "passed the worst piece of legislation in American history.
The columnist said, “Obamacare, it's been in the process of ruining our health care system that was passed entirely with Democratic votes not a single Republican vote and it was passed by all sorts of legislative tricks and cheating that should never had been allowed and because of it, our premiums are going through the roof, our choices are diminishing, doctors are retiring out of frustration, it's a bad deal. on the other hand that was seven years ago and people don't want to worry about blaming somebody for what happened seven years ago. It was the job of the new Republican Congress and the new Republican administration to fix it and they just blew it.
Hillyer said that Paul Ryan and company really did not handle the creation of the bill very well, but they worked sincerely. The conservative columnist also felt that the President "never learned the details, he never made a real effective public effort to sway the American people but he didn't say or do anything to mistakenly torpedo it, either.
But Hillyer’s sharpest criticisms were directed upon those who have been his usual organizational allies and the Freedom Caucus who he said "just interested in having their way or the highway, who could not take "yes" for an answer, who every time they were given the concession they asked for more. Hillyer said, “instead of moving in the direction of compromise and they insisted that this thing be voted down, but they don't have another plan, they don't have another way that in any way doable to fix this, to come up with another piece of legislation that can fix the problems with Obamacare”.
Hillyer further said, "Instead, they just go and dance on the grave of this bill and they say see we showed you, you don't get come up with something pure enough for us, and we showed you how powerful we are.... they showed they were powerfully asinine bullies who cannot actually govern and it it is outrageous.
In response to my question asking whether this group has been Trump's base, he agreed and said, “They don't have the guts even now to criticize Trump cuz they're coward and cretins at heart, what they're going to do is now go and try to blame and take down speaker Ryan. He was the only one so even if he fumbled the rollout of it, but he was the only one who tried to work with all sides, try to meet their objections, tried to act like a conciliator and all these feeling get for it is they're going to fundraise off of blaming him, because that's what they're interested in, is their fundraising and it's despicable and they are they every single bad thing that happens in the health care system now, everything that thing that we see that was caused by Obamacare or not fixed by Obamacare now should be laid at the plate of the House Freedom Caucus, the conservative hardliners who just screwed the American people.
Watch the rest of this "explosive" interview with Quin Hillyer