Trump’s Big, Fat Unforced Error

It’s fascinating that in what might be his moment of greatest triumph, the Creature managed to step in some slop. On Monday, Trump’s Justice Department asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans to nullify the entire Affordable Care Act.

After the spanking they got in the midterms, Republicans in Congress had decided to drop their objections to Obamacare and move on to other issues, like blaming climate change on velociraptors, or whatever it was this moron was going on about.

But Trump’s Justice Department not only dragged the Republican Party back to the health care drawing board; but the so-called president is back to making promises his party can’t keep.

President Trump praised the move during a lunch with Senate Republicans, and suggested the GOP should embrace a new congressional battle over health-care policy ahead of the 2020 elections.

“Let me tell you exactly what my message is: The Republican Party will soon be known as the party of health care,” he told reporters before the lunch. “You watch.”

In other words, Trump is an effing moron. The Republicans have no workable plan to replace Obamacare and never will. If they could do it, they would have done it by now. Note that it has been estimated that 21 million Americans would lose health coverage if the ACA is struck down.

It’s widely reported that Republicans are furious with Trump for putting them back into the same position that got them roasted in the midterms. And this report from Axios makes it clear that the decision to make repealing Obamacare a major issue for 2020 came from the White House, not the Justice Department.

As Politico’s Eliana Johnson first reported — and Axios has confirmed — “The Trump administration’s surprising move to invalidate Obamacare on Monday came despite the opposition of two key Cabinet secretaries: Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Attorney General William Barr.”

Republican officials are privately blaming Trump’s chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, domestic policy chief Joe Grogan, and acting director of the Office of Management and Budget Russ Vought for engineering the new position. …

Several Republican senators told Axios they were surprised Trump spent most of the Senate GOP lunch on Tuesday on health care. Trump led with health care and went back to it several times during the meeting. “He’s clearly very passionate about it,” Sen. John Kennedy said. “It was one of few times at these things the president spoke more than the senators.”

Trump wants to do this. But why? I get the impression that the failure to repeal the ACA in 2017 still gnaws at him. It’s reportedly the reason he can’t stop bashing six-months-dead John McCain. John McCain’s vote kept Trump from fulfilling a campaign promise, it’s said. But even that’s bogus, because Trump’s campaign promise was to replace the ACA with something better, not to deprive 20 million people of health coverage.

And, of course, that didn’t happen. And Trump has no clue how this health care thing works.

Karen Tumulty writes,

Trump may be going through this as a theoretical exercise merely to please his base. After all, the Supreme Court has already ruled twice that the key parts of the ACA are constitutional.

But it may also be that Trump believes that the hardball tactic will somehow bring Democrats to the negotiating table. If that is the case, he is making the same miscalculation he did when he shut down the government on the assumption that it would give him leverage to get the money he wanted to build his border wall.

The old dog has a pathological inability to learn new tricks. And he still refuses to listen to those trying to dissuade him from boneheaded plans. WaPo reports today:

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) urged President Trump to hold off on pushing for a court-ordered destruction of the Affordable Care Act, advice the president ultimately ignored, according to a senior Republican official familiar with the conversation.

The unheeded counsel, which McCarthy recounted to fellow lawmakers in recent days, underscores the angst that has set in among Republicans now that Trump is pursuing the politically precarious strategy with no plan in hand to replace Barack Obama’s signature health-care law.

McCarthy has complained privately to donors that the GOP attempt to gut Obamacare — including its most popular provisions, such as protections for preexisting conditions — was the main reason the party lost at least House 40 seats in last year’s midterm elections.

See Greg Sargent, Republicans blast Trump for making it harder for them to lie about health care.

Oh, and as for Mike Lee and his velociraptors, I like what Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said about him.

9 thoughts on “Trump’s Big, Fat Unforced Error

  1. Tread lightly here.

    MiKKKe Lee is a highly respected (by KKKonSServatives only) as a KKKonstitutional SS-KKK-olar (from out da holler)!

    He is that, and not anything as pedestrian as an arKKKeologiSSt.  How insulting is that?



  2. Also too:

    tRUMP may be spouting his plans to destroy ObamaCare only to further distract us from what's really in Mueller's report when other are allowed to examine it with a finer toothed comb than Barr did.

    He's not just a "Master of Disaster," he's also the " Master of Distraction."

    It's sometimes amazing how complex some simpletons can be!

  3. Also three:

    tRUMP hates, loathes, despises Obama with as much passion as he has for money, power, and status. 

    Obama is everything tRUMP never was, isn't now, and never will be, or could be.

    He's tried to destroy any and all the good things Obama did – even while during his presidency the Republicans (many still in office) were trying to castrate the man's program, since they couldn't castrate the man.m

    tRUMP is a jealous orange bag of shit*!

    * My apologies to shit which, in the right circumstances – fertilizer, for instance – has some utility to humans – unlike tRUMP.

    When tRUMP dies – the sooner the better – maggots won't land on his toxic eyes, and worms won't eat his poisonous flesh!

    They're far more intelligent than tRUMP and his MAGA deplorables!!!

  4. Trump hates Obama and recognizes that expanded access to health care is Obama's signature accomplishment. So I agree with Gulag there. 

    IMO, Trump expects the promise of Health Care is the same as access to Health Care. For some voters it will work – for many it will NOT. It's like taking a car and making someone walk – the promise of a future better car won't console them when they have to walk in the rain. They HAD health care. If Trump takes it away, they will notice real soon and the promise of something better won't help.

    Where do I sign the 'Thank You' card to Trump. This isn't an error – it's a catastrophie for the GOP – all of them who follow Trump off this cliff.

  5. Cohen said that Trump never wanted to win at all. During the campaign Trump joked about getting sick of winning. So maybe now he's trying to lose? Is this his cry for help?

  6. I would compare Mike Lee to any pop politician who in all probability, will wind up making better money working as a lobbyist for some environmentally destructive industrial concern.  His lack of regard for science or the encouraging of thoughtful economic discussions is evident everywhere.

    In short, he’s a con artist.  We don’t need their kind ‘solving problems’ for American families.

  7. Trump is the sphincter of the body politic, and I hate the GOP for a million good reasons.  But there is a pathway here for them to actually do something about the health insurance mess in the USA, a path which might not be available to the Democrats. 

    My first point is that the GOP is actually better at drastic changes in policy than the Democratic Party.  Nixon went to China.  They are shameless; they are great at ignoring last year's lies (when a Democrat is President, they howl about THE DEFICIT, but are glad to blow up the budget when they hold the White House). 

    Also, their donor base is more concentrated, more organized, and has deeper pockets; they could live without donations from the insurance industry just fine, whereas the Democrats are afraid to piss off anybody. 

    If/when the core conservative insiders (Koch brother types) realize that the US health care system/mess is reducing their profits, they will be tempted to support big changes.  Their think-tanks are probably working on options already (remember, the basis of the ACA was designed by the Heritage Foundation for Romney in MA). 

    I expect them to come up with a two-tier proposal: keep high-end private care for those who are willing/able to pay for it (so they still get the "best" doctors), then give VA-style care to everybody else. 

    Some sort of national HC system is inevitable.  Obamacare added some important safeguards, but the system is still not sustainable (especially after the GOP knee-capped it).  If the GOP gets out in front of the issue, they can control the results (minimizing tax-the-rich schemes to pay for it) and get a huge political win.  If they let the Democrats control the debate, the GOP will be stuck defending a status-quo that nobody likes.

    Remember, Germany was one of the first countries to provide national health care – under Bismarck, who is not generally known as a great liberal.

  8. It is unseemly to actually rejoice that Trump is going to try to utterly destroy every part of the ACA, and may succeed.

    Tens of millions will lose their private health insurance or their coverage with expanded Medicaid.

    And people will die. Maybe lot's of people.

    That is not something to be glad about.

    It is something to mourn, because the Dems will be unable to fix anything if the Duce actually does get his way and ACA is lost.

    And whatever the Court's rationale for killing off the whole of ACA is, it will stand in the way of any eventual efforts to go forward if and when we get another Democratic president with a Democratic congress willing to work together on that.

  9. Pingback: Trump: It's All About the Base | The Mahablog

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