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Jonathan Bernstein

The Republicans Are Running on a Fictional Platform

In the post-truth era, Trump and other party politicians pledge support for the very policies they are trying to undermine.

A fluid situation.

A fluid situation.

Photographer: Toya Sarno Jordan/Getty Images

Here’s a puzzle: Why are Republicans running on fictional versions of their own platform? And how big of a deal is it?

On health care, Republicans from Donald Trump down say they are protecting people with pre-existing conditions. In reality, as Jonathan Cohn explains, the administration is in court to wipe out protections for those people, and Trump supported both repeal of Obamacare and replacement bills that would do little or nothing about the problem. (My Bloomberg Opinion colleague Max Nisen has a good rundown of the necessary trade-offs that Republicans simply refuse to make.)