Rep. Jason Lewis, R-Minn., who was defeated in his bid for reelection, has a theory that makes a lot of sense about why Republicans lost the House: John McCain.
According to exit polls, the top issue on people’s minds as they entered the polling stations was health care. That was by design. Democrats waged a massive, national effort to convince voters that if Republicans maintained control of the House, they’d take away the right to get health care regardless of preexisting conditions.
Lewis writes in the Wall Street Journal:
The Republican Party lost its House majority on July 28, 2017, when Sen. John McCain ended the party’s seven-year quest to repeal ObamaCare. House leadership had done an admirable job herding cats. On the second try, we passed the American Health Care Act in May. Then McCain’s inscrutable vote against the Senate’s “skinny repeal” killed the reform effort.
McCain’s last-minute decision prompted a “green wave” of liberal special-interest money, which was used to propagate false claims that the House plan “gutted coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.” That line was the Democrats’ most potent attack in the midterms.
It was endlessly repeated by overt partisans in the media . . . because the AHCA didn’t pass, it was impossible to refute the lies about it.
And since the plan had not passed, it was possible to create fear about the prospect that it would.
McCain will go down as one of the great men of our time because he was palatable to Democrats, at least as long as he wasn’t running for president. And Democrats write history.
His conduct under capitivity during the Vietnam War was heroic. But his career as a senator was marked at times by deep concern for . . . John McCain. His support for campaign finance reform, I believe, was an attempt to revive his reputation after the Keating Five scandal. And his vote against Obamacare repeal was pure vengeance against President Trump, who had insulted him. It was petty, and it harmed the country.