The White House Press Secretary says a true thing, and it's actual news. That's our world.
In yesterday's press briefing, Spicer said this: "You've taken a bunch of these free votes when it didn't matter because you didn't have a Republican President. And you got to vote for repeal and go back and tell your constituents something like 50 times-- well this is a live ball now."
Yeah, that pretty much sums up why it's harder now. Reference time: David Mayhew's Congress: The Electoral Connection. Mayhew asks, what if Members of Congress cared exclusively about reelection. They would engage in three types of activities: advertising, credit-claiming and position-taking. That last one is what all those pointless Obamacare repeal votes under Obama's administration were about. Republicans knew that nothing would come of those votes. They were just showing their base how much they hated Obamacare.
Now that shit is real, it's a lot harder. The Freedom Caucus used to be willing to vote for partial measures because they would vote for anything that was at all anti-Obamacare, and the moderates didn't have to worry about consequences. Now? The Freedom Caucus has dug in and the moderates suddenly care about the consequences of their votes.
Governing is harder than position-taking.
We'll see if they can pull it off today.