The Republicans’ hopes for killing Obamacare are fading fast. The already existing plans for protests over the next few day, drawn up when it appeared a vote was possible, just may be enough to end this round of folly.
Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce summed up the political dilemma on health care quite nicely today, noting “Ignorance and cruelty are the pre-existing conditions here, and the Republicans are finding out they’re not covered for those.”
What’s not going away, however, are the ideologies infecting the GOP’s big donor class. These folks paid good money to see government destroyed and are still looking for a return on their investment, so don’t put away those marchin’ shoes just yet.
On Monday evening the Senate’s stab at Repeal and Replace concluded as Senators from Utah and Kansas announced they would not support the measure. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell then announced a vote on repeal only, with a long enough delay to get past the November 2018 elections.
The Wreck and Run (aka plan C) began to crumble immediately, as constituents to learned this “simple” measure would leave 30-32 million more people uninsured and add $137 billion to the deficit, among other things.
GOP effort to simply repeal Obamacare is like a heart surgeon saying “I can’t do a transplant, so I’ll just remove your heart. Cool?”
— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) July 18, 2017
Now the GOP circular firing squad is forming up. Republican Senators are fed up with their leadership to the point of open rebellion. Republican Representatives are refusing to pass a measure on Russia sanctions passed by the Senate, 97-2. And the Twittler-in-Chief is headed for yet another meltdown that must be explained away by his handlers.
As Paul Krugman noted on Twitter, “It looks as if Trump won’t pass any major laws. He’ll have to settle for destroying America’s ethical standards and moral authority.”
Within the executive branch, Trump’s minions are working overtime. The State Department’s office of Cyber Security is on its way out, along with the desk associated with researching war crimes. Scientists serving in the Environmental Protection Agency have been dismissed. Funding has been eliminated for 81 programs amounting to $213 million for teen birth control and research. And so on….
Finally–on this topic,– for today, here are Jonathan Chait’s words on the current state of affairs, making my point that there’s plenty of danger ahead:
The power to destroy remains within the Republican Party’s capacity. The power to translate its ideological principles into practical government is utterly beyond its reach.
In keeping with the GOP’s one demonstrated ability, House Republicans have unveiled their 2018 budget blueprint, intended to pave the way for a major tax code rewrite.
The rewrite is mostly about redistributing wealth upwards, so it should surprise nobody that the blueprint slashes billions from politically sensitive programs like food stamps, student aid and federal pension funds.
And just to prove their conservative cred, House Republicans have decided to one-up the President:
Unlike Trump’s budget, the House proposal cuts into Medicare and Social Security — entitlement programs that the president has pledged to preserve. The House plan also makes a less-rosy economic growth assumption of 2.6 percent versus the 3 percent eyed by the Trump administration. Both, however, exceed the 1.9 percent figure used by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office in its most recent economic estimates.
This budget plan is likely headed for the same scrap heap of history as Trumpcare, but won’t fail on its own.
At some point (we’re not there yet), the time may be right for a “hey, what about a compromise approach?” moment, which will fail because doing so would involve actual accomplishment. Oh, and going against the wishes of the GOP donors rooting for a libertarian paradise for themselves.
Ready for some mean gossip? Look no further than ‘Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump and the Storming of the Presidency,’ released this morning by Penguin Press.
Author Joshua Green, a senior national correspondent for Bloomberg Businessweek, has plenty of inside dirt on the workings of the Trump campaign.
The Britain’s Daily Mail published a review of the book on Monday that’s being widely circulated on the internet.
Here’s a snip from the review, concerning the dismissal of Paul Manafort as campaign manager, a change demanded by Rebekah Mercer, whose family contributed $3.4 million to the Trump effort. (The tale of Gov. Chris Cristie’s fall from grace, involving Trump’s germophobia, is also compelling.)
Manafort’s dismissal was hastened by a New York Times article that ran the next day saying that he had been paid $12.7 million from a pro Russian party from Ukraine.
Manafort had not only kept this secret from Trump but he had not even told his wife who ‘leaped up from the couch in fury’ when she found out, the book claims.
Aides said that the story was the ‘kill shot’ for Manafort and that later that week when Kushner returned from vacation he told him:: ‘We’ve really got a problem here. You’re going to have to step down’.
Manafort objected because it would ‘look like I’m guilty’, the book says.
Kushner pressed him and said it ‘would be helpful if you stepped down’.
Manafort resisted and said: ‘Yes, but I can’t do that’.
The book says: ‘At this Kushner’s demeanour hardened and he glanced at his watch. ‘We’re putting out a press release at 9am that says you’ve resigned. That’s in 30 seconds’.
(**h/t to Lefty Coaster @ Daily Kos for the title idea.)
Looking for some action? Check out the Weekly Progressive Calendar, published every Friday in this space, featuring Demonstrations, Rallies, Teach-ins, Meet Ups and other opportunities to get your activism on.
Get the Weekly Progressive Calendar delivered to your inbox every Friday. And it’s Free! Subscribe and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!
Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to “The Starting Line” and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!
I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.Org Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.