Trump threatens new attack on healthcare
Trump’s attempt to escape criminal prosecution, disguised as a presidential campaign, has led to to speculation about what he would do if he were to win. There is disagreement on the details. But outside the MAGA bunker, the pundits agree it would involve wannabe fascism driven by grievance, vengeance, and sadism.
The best evidence for this analysis is Trump’s own words. He spends almost no time on policy. Instead, his consuming passion is his enemies list, which includes the Democrats, RINOs, and the criminal justice system.
In one example, he said he would sic the Justice Department and the FBI on his political enemies as he claimed they had done to him. He told Enrique Acevedo on Univision:
“Yeah. If they do this, and they’ve already done it, but if they follow through on this, yeah, it could certainly happen in reverse. What they’ve done is they’ve released the genie out of the box. You know, when you’re president and you’ve done a good job and you’re popular, you don’t go after them so you can win an election.
They have done something that allows the next party … if I happen to be president and I see somebody who’s doing well and beating me very badly, I say, ‘Go down and indict them.’ They’d be out of business. They’d be out of the election.”
It sounds like gibberish. But the meaning is clear, even as big-brain butchered the language.
However, once in a while, Trump will offer a policy position. In a post to his Truth Social platform on Saturday, he promised a renewed assault on Obamacare, saying:
“The cost of Obamacare is out of control, plus, it’s not good Healthcare. I’m seriously looking at alternatives. We had a couple of Republican Senators who campaigned for 6 years against it, and then raised their hands not to terminate it. It was a low point for the Republican Party, but we should never give up.”
Conservative politicians have an advantage that liberal politicians can only dream of — a base that will accept anything their leaders tell them. Much has been made of the mental limitations of MAGAs — their aversion to facts, their love of conspiracies, and their cultish devotion to Trump. But arguably, the base’s most agreeable trait for Republican politicians is its collective lack of memory.
Congress enacted the Affordable Care Act on March 23rd, 2010. Obama had campaigned on the issue two years beforehand. Yet when the Republicans won the presidency and both houses of Congress in 2016, they had no alternative medical plan except to “get rid of Obamacare.”
It is now seven years later — 15 years after it became a prominent feature of the Obama campaign — and the GOP still had bupkis. Trump says he is “seriously looking at alternatives.” Everyone with a brain, including most GOP politicians, know this is complete bullshit. And even if it were true, what would they come up with that they could not even fake in 2017?
The answer is nothing.
Trump’s claim he will revisit Obamacare illustrates both a strength and weakness of conservatives, their messianic pursuit of a goal, no matter the real world and political consequences.
Common wisdom says that the GOP’s first ill-considered and substance-free effort to get rid of the ACA was a significant factor in their dismal performance in the 2018 midterms. The Democrats picked up 40 seats, flipped the House, and netted seven governorships.
However, as the half-century crusade to strip women of reproductive self-autonomy proves, once the rabid right latches on to something, there is no quit in them. It takes a big stick to beat them back. And even as you are hitting them with vote after vote affirming women’s rights, they still look to backdoor their bigotry by fighting to prevent ballot initiatives or watering down the result.
It is hard to predict what the 2024 elections will produce. Polling says Trump has the lead over Biden. But polling accuracy is a unicorn. And there are signs a Trump conviction will turn off independents. Besides, what people will say today when there is nothing on the line, has little to do with how they vote in a year when there are real consequences to their actions. In Congress, the Senate will be tough to keep for the Democrats. — while the House looks like a winnable proposition.
So even if orange shit were to hit America’s fan — and 2016 repeats — the Democrats may well be able to forestall legislative decimation and preserve Obamacare. This bulwark against insanity will be a boon for all Americans, including the MAGAs, as there is no chance the Republicans will have any health plan besides “Just Die.”