In a blistering editorial, the Wall Street Journal pointed the finger at the multiple culprits within the Republican Party who "choked" when given a chance to finally replace the Affordable Care Act after seven years of trying to undermine it.
With House Speaker Paul Ryan(R-WI) unable to successfully pressure rebellious Republicans to back his bill, and President Donald Trump washing his hands and saying he was moving on to tax reform, the Journal called the collapse of the GOP bill a "debacle."
"House Republicans pulled their health-care bill shortly before a vote on Friday, and for once the media dirge is right about a GOP defeat. This is a major blow to the Trump Presidency, the GOP majority in Congress, and especially to the cause of reforming and limiting government," the editorial stated before adding, "Republicans have campaigned for more than seven years on repealing and replacing ObamaCare, and they finally have a President ready to sign it. In the clutch they choked."
The Journal noted that the GOP hardliners known as the Freedom Caucus had a major hand in destroying the bill, writing, "When one of their demands was met, they dug in and made another until they exceeded what the rest of the GOP conference could concede. You can’t have a good-faith negotiation when one party doesn’t know how to say yes—or won’t."
"There will be no such repeal in this Congress, and probably not in any other. Republicans run the government and that means they are responsible for what happens in health care," the editorial continued before getting to the root of the problem.
"Much of the current conservative establishment profits from fanning resentments, not governing. Legislative compromises don’t help Heritage Action raise money for its perpetual outrage machine. An earlier generation of leaders at Heritage understood that the goal of winning elections was to achieve something. The current leaders seem happy with failure."
"Perhaps Mr. Trump and the GOP can recover from this debacle, but as an opening act to a new Presidency the collapse of his first legislative campaign is ominous," the editorial -- which can be read here -- concluded.