by Rick Boettger…….
I wrote the below right after Trump won in 2016. It needs an update, in blue italics.
We Will Survive King Donald
I’m writing this mainly for Cynthia, who is depressed and scared. There is no way I can “cheer you up” if you hate our new President-Elect, but I’m hoping you’ll take the gun out of your mouth. That much worked. It cheered up a lot of people, maybe my most popular column ever. See the comments it generated. It is not as bad as you think. No, it’s worse. The Republic of the top 1% will survive, maybe even thrive.
The actual good news? TED CRUZ. If nothing else, Donald saved us from a true extremist Tea Partier. Still true. Even if no worse than Trump, he is not 1% as entertaining. Compared to Ted’s, Donald’s policies are highly enlightened. Um, like comparing shades of Black Hole. The ones I like best, that is, that I imagined, I think are actually better than what we have now.
First, no more stupid Mideast wars. Islamic State seems to be less of a problem, but the jury is out on North Korea. I think the Arab world would actually consider it a good trade, our not going over there to senselessly bomb them back to the stone age, in exchange for our not letting as many of them come here. And yes, of course, create a Safe Zone in Syria so refugees can stay where they want, in their own country. We are simply idiots for not having done this two years ago. And still idiots today—sadly, the safe zone was never created.
Second, better relations with Russia. This has taken an amazingly ironic turn. The only way relations are “better” is that we understand and respect their ability to hack us relentlessly at all levels. This is an area of special expertise for me. Basically, we have started Cold War II by reneging on our ’90’s agreements NOT to surround them with our NATO armies. It is not about Putin taking over Crimea. It’s about our putting four battalions in Poland. Which we continue to do, stupidly, IMHO.
Third, the so-called “national debt” and “deficit” be damned, we are going to invest in our infrastructure again. With a Republican President putting it forward, we have a chance to create a trillion dollars of wealth with a few hundred billion dollars of new money, reprising the ’50’s when we built our interstate highway system. And stimulate the economy with good jobs, lots of them. Oh My God, why did this NOT happen? It was my greatest hope. Instead, Trump wasted a year failing to repeal Obamacare, arguably the stupidest venture undertaken by a winning administration in U.S. history.
Fourth, Obamacare is no loss. Let the Repub’s screw up health care for a while. I think it is the worst government program ever. It transfers wealth from hard-working young people to undeserving middle-agers and health insurance executives. We all have fiftyish friends who got their long-wanted $45,000 shoulder or hip surgeries with their yes-pre-existing conditions “insurance” for a month for $300 (and then dropped it). I have seen multimillionaires with small taxable incomes get $900/ month, while a young server who took an extra part-time retail clerk job see her $600 refund become a $406 tax bill. (Cynthia and I felt so bad for her we invited her to our house, showed her our Obamacare recognition plaque, apologized for inflicting this on her generation, and wrote her a check to cover the bill.) Look at what has just happened to premiums. For many families, a disaster. In 2009 we could have had Medicare for all. This would be as radical as Social Security and Medicare for the old, and like every other civilized country. Instead, we created an abomination. Good riddance. It is indeed a real chance that abolishing the individual mandate will ultimately result in Medicare for all or at least a public option.
Finally, stop worrying about the Supreme Court. They blocked Obama’s last appointment for a year, and threatened to block Hillary’s for eight more. All the Dem’s have to do is tit-for-tat, and simply filibuster all of Donald’s appointees. Nine judges, five judges, who cares. Yes, Scott Walker is proposing that the Senate on its first day vote to revoke the filibuster. I’ve looked into this. It is dubious it has to be done the first day (related to the Senate being a continuing body, returning with two-thirds of its membership). Harry Reid’s Senate in November of 2013 changed the rules to ban filibustering Obama’s judges and administrative appointees. But he did NOT change it for Supreme Court judges or legislation.
Reid and Obama had the chance in 2009 to do anything they wanted, with the House, the Presidency, and 60 Senators—thus the ability to stop a filibuster. They still had the ability to change the filibuster rules for the next five years, and they only did it for the non-Supreme appointees. Mitch McConnell threatened to pay back Harry, but he is as terrified as the rest of the Senators of really changing the minority-veto rules. They will not pull the trigger, not even to stack the Court. I corrected this three days after publication, in a reply I posted: November 14, 2016 at 3:41 pm. Basically I found a quote from Harry Reid that I felt would embolden the Republicans do do exactly what they did right out of the box, in April, and have broken their arms patting themselves on the back ever since. I am amazed they did not further make it a simple majority for legislation, as well. I think Ryan and McConnell think there is too much a chance Oprah will beat Trump in 2020, so they want to keep that Pandora in the box. They can rely on the Democrats not to pull that trigger.
By the way, there ain’t gonna be no Mexican-financed wall. The Donald is amazed so many people bought that! Hmm. Seems to be holding up.
Cynthia and other cheer-ups, stop reading immediately. I am now going to do the Democratic autopsy, and it is going to be bloody. The Republican Party did not win this election. The top Democratic leadership, through mean-spirited and arrogant strategic blunders of the highest order, just gave it away.
Barack Obama told Joe Biden not to run. Why? My guess is spite. Joe opposed the pointless surge in Afghanistan, but Barry knuckled under to the Generals, a Cheney-like chicken-hawk blunder. Tragically unsuccessful. Joe right, Barry wrong. Barry dragged his heels on repealing don’t ask-don’t tell, until Joe forced his hand. Joe was ten minutes ahead of the mood of the country, and we quickly had gay marriage. Joe right, Barry wrong. Joe Biden now reports his son Beau demanded on his deathbed that Joe run. He now admits that he let Obama’s lack of support stop him from honoring that plea.
I am sad to say our President, instead of rewarding merit, went instead like an insecure bureaucrat to the underling who would not threaten his stature, but was just blindly loyal. Choosing Hillary was like the Republicans’ choosing McCain and Romney. All accomplished politicians, to be sure. But that’s what lost for them, and why Hillary was the worst possible choice in a change year.
Think: the Dem’s had Joe, Bernie, Martin O’Malley, and (briefly) Jim Webb, all of whom would have handily beaten Trump. As has been so often said, they chose the only Democrat on earth who could have lost to him. Colluding with Barry were the top Dems, cheating Bernie with their super-delegates, Saturday debates, questions ahead of time, etc. Think: the alternatives had nothing like Benghazi, private servers, or the pussy-grab-neutralizing Monica legacy on their resumes. Make this more explicit: Hillary seven times publicly shamed the women her husband sexually abused. The MeToo movement is making this clear and culpable. For all of Hillary’s hard work and knowledgeable experience, no one should run for office with what she and the Democratic leadership knew she was going to have to face. I forgot to mention the huge speaking fees and contributions to the Clinton Foundation from top Wall Street firms.
Something I forgot to mention last year but which I do believe was important: Obama’s lampooning Trump to his face at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2011. Five minutes of fun, now embarrassing to watch, that top Trump Adviser Roger Stone said made up Trump’s mind to actually run for president, out of revenge for this humiliation. At the time, Apprentice celebrity Omarosa thought, “Oh, Barack Obama is starting something that I don’t know if he’ll be able to finish.”
You can’t blame Comey for his investigation. She owned the server. And the giant health insurance increases were the fruit of the misconceived Obamacare. The only thing not the Dem’s fault was, in the last few weeks, the effect of long-awaited attack advertising by Trump. We now know that much of this was done by Russians on social media, to great effect. Voters were inured to Hillary’s year of attacks, while Trump’s were fresh. And Kellyanne Conway with an assist from Steve Bannon wins the MVP by confiscating Donald’s phone and somehow forcing him to read the teleprompter. Two weeks without a fresh outrage from the Donald was all it took for women and Hispanics to forget (a majority of women voted for Trump, and more Hispanics voted for him than they did for Romney). A reader corrected re: women. A majority of white women voted for Trump, but women overall favored Hillary.
I feel so bad for my many Hillary-loving friends. She and they worked so damn hard. I had expected to be happy in their happiness. I truly hope the first half of this lifted the gloom a tad. By the way, I voted for Trump in the primary (guess why) and Dr. Jill Stein in the general. Why didn’t everybody? I still am happy Ted Cruz is not our President. We’d have the same policies, but without the newly motivated electorate.