On March 24, Republican Congressional leaders withdrew the American Health Care Act – H.R. 1628, also known as AHCA, TrumpCare, RepubliCare, and RyanCare (after the House Speaker) – a mere 16 days after it was introduced in committee. The bill had been slapped together as a fulfillment of the “repeal and replace Obamacare” promise that Donald Trump had repeatedly made on the campaign trail, and which Republicans had been clamoring for since 2009, when “Obamacare” (the Affordable Care Act) became law. But it satisfied almost no one, and it was clearly not going to get enough House votes to be passed on to the Senate.
What to call this turn of events? CNN said it was “an epic failure.” Fox Business called it a “stinging defeat.” The Washington Post chose fiasco, a bit of 19th-century theater slang that borrows an Italian word for bottle, although the connection with failure is now obscure. On Twitter, conservative columnist Ben Shapiro it “self-beclowning.”
But many observers summoned up a word with French roots and nonpolitical origins: debacle.
this spectacular debacle for Trump/GOP was achieved entirely by Trump/GOP — opposition didn’t have to do a thing— Philip Gourevitch (@PGourevitch) March 24, 2017