“I guess I’m here, what? 64 days? I never said, ‘Repeal and replace Obamacare.’ You’ve all heard my speeches. I never said, ‘repeal it and replace it within 64 days.’” - President Donald J. Trump late Friday afternoon after “Trumpcare” was pronounced D.O.A. and laid to rest by imperial decree.
Trump was at last truthful in this fumbling, stumbling, bumbling utterance. He never did use those exact words. What he said instead over and over again dozens of times was that “repeal and replace Obamacare” would be virtually immediate (on his “first day in office”) and easy (“no problem for me”) and universally beneficial without exception (“giving everyone big league coverage in every state at much lower premium cost.”)
The walls are tumbling down.
Recent days have revealed cascading consequences of a White House in full disarray, displaying chronic chaos, staggering ineptitude and rampant presidential paranoia at seemingly every turn.
Begorrah. Hope you had your bets down March 17. We were treated to a world class trifecta during Trump’s Saint Patrick’s Day meeting with visiting Chancellor Angela Merkel when he managed to insult three major global powers all at once in the same press conference. Claiming Germany owes the U.S. money for NATO, hallucinating England wiretapped Trump for Obama, and castigating a trade-cheating China, pompous posturing hit a new milestone in disingenuous diplomacy.
FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers have now testified under oath that no proof exists to support Trump’s claim that he had been “wiretapped” in any way by President Obama. Comey has also publicly announced that the bureau is currently investigating the possibility of criminal connections between Russian operatives and members of the Trump team.
On the crippled legislative front, “Trumpcare” had proposed to work its worst on the elderly, sick and poor as an $880 million dollar cut to Medicare over 10 years would have produced a virtually equal tax reduction targeted to the super rich.
In late hours of mindless panic the night before failure was final, Trump agreed it might be a fine idea to win ultra conservatives of the House Freedom Caucus to his increasingly more caustic campaign by proposing the option of doing away with specific “essential elements” guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act. These would include such things as ambulatory patient and emergency services, basic hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance abuse treatment, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services laboratory work, chronic disease management and pediatric offerings.
Undoubtedly, all of this would deliver cheaper insurance (“lower premiums”), but with almost nothing of meaningful consequence properly covered, accompanied by sky-high deductibles.
For spurning this generous Trumpian offer of legislative leniency and not “giving him a win” (Donald’s single thought clearly expressed in anemic efforts at persuasive dialogue according to all testimony), members of the House Freedom Caucus experienced heavy incoming tweet fire early Sunday as an enraged chief executive twittered away, blaming the entire right wing of his party for “saving Obamacare and Planned Parenthood.” This sentiment was immediately echoed on Sunday morning talk shows by White House chief-of-staff and guy with space alien name, Reince Priebus.
With Trumpcare as dead as Donald’s diet, it seems “tax cuts” are next on the agenda for financial wheeling and dealing, dicing and slicing, cutting and gutting.
Budget Director Mick Mulvaney’s initial proposals for the 2018 fiscal year are obscene with massive increases in military expenditures, outrageous slashing of social spending and nothing at all for climate change - an item Mulvaney has relegated to mythological status.
But Trump still has his troops.
“Lock her up” yet rings from the rafters.
In November absence at the polls of an educated electorate - our slowest learners often select their fastest talkers.
Batten down the hatches. It’s full greed ahead.
But will the EPA go away? Can Spicer be nicer? Dump Trump?
This Saturday, April 1, the Oakhurst Democratic Club presents: “Won’t Get Fooled Again” - An April Fools’ Day 2017 special - an uncensored open discussion - a free-for-all forum in which everyone who wishes to speak about anything gets a chance to talk.
It all happens at Denny’s on Highway 41 with breakfast served at 8:30 a.m. and our presentation beginning at 9:30.
The public is cordially encouraged to attend regardless of party affiliation.
Coming in May, the Oakhurst Democratic Club will feature, “Today’s ACLU” - in June, Award Winning Author Tim Hernandez and “All They Will Call You” and in August, KVPR Director of Program Content, Joe Moore and KVPR President and General Manager Mariam Stepanian discussing, “Valley Public Radio and Freedom of The Press.”
It’s time to leave the sidelines.