Friday, July 28, 2017

Trump's Terrible Week of Defeat on Four Fronts

This week was payback time!

Two women GOP Senators and John McCain killed the Trump/GOP repeal of Obamacare last night and thereby repaid Trump's nastiness to women and his denigration of McCain's having been a prisoner in Vietnam.

Of course, payback was not the main reason they voted against Trump's last hope for a repeal of Obamacare. But undoubtedly revenge lent a nice personal flavor to their voting down a bill that would have taken away health insurance from 16 million Americans. It was also the nail in the coffin of all efforts to repeal OBabmacare.

Trump once said, "Who could have imagined health insurance was so complicated". Well, Mr. Trump, obviously you also couldn't imagine that a bully would not always get his way and not be able turn the presidency into a dictatorship.

But it wasn't just Trump's enemies who poked Trump in the eye this week. The entire Congressional GOP smacked him down. The GOP Senate and the GOP House passed a law imposing increased sanctions on Trump's beloved Putin-Russia. This law also killed Trump's power to lift the new and existing sanctions against Russia. It was a smart way to signal Russia that messing in our elections will not get them a president who can give them what they want. Au contraire, honey lamb! On his own, the U.S. president can't do much, especially if the Congress won't let him. He ain't lifting those sanctions now or ever!  He can't! Congress has forbidden it.

That was the whole point of our Revolution and our Constitution. No kings here! No dictators here! A federal government of limited powers, with those limited powers controlled even further by being divided among the three branches of government.

Trump has therefore achieved virtually nothing of his grand plans. He never could because they were either grossly inappropriate goals or he and his cohorts were clueless as to how government and politics work.


No lifting of sanctions on Russia.

No repeal of Obamacare.

No wall.

No massive tax break for the rich. (It died when the GOP in Congress failed to kill Obamacare and its Medicaid component, which was to be the source of the funding for the $700 billion tax break for the rich.)

No massive "round-up of illegal aliens".  (The actual "round-up" has been a thin and spotty thing. Most of the deported will be right back. They always are. I knew them in California. For centuries before the United States existed, their families have been going back and forth across what we declare to be our border. This land was their land for a long, long time.)

No leaving NAFTA nor the Iran deal.

No pulling out of NATO.

No massive influx of jobs.

No revival of the coal industry beyond a seasonal uptick.

No blocking of Muslims entering our country. (The lower courts blocked Trump's ban entirely; the Supreme Court then virtually gutted it and gave what was left some effect only for another 6 weeks.)

So what has Trump got? Nothing. Zip, zilch, goose egg, zero.

What will he get? Not much once the fall arrives because then the Congress will be pre-occupied with housekeeping stuff like the budget. And their budget will ignore Trump's proposed severe cuts because these GOP members of Congress don't want to upset more of their constituents by cutting PBS funding, parks, and other beloved federal programs that Trump has targeted.  Of course you know why Congress will be less Draconian in budget-cutting than Trump wants. Next year is an election year!  And the Congressional GOP is scared of losing the House and maybe the Senate. By an amazing factor of four the number of Democratic would-be-candidates currently beats the all-time record of either party for candidate sign-ups. These Democrats smell blood.

And it is red blood. Not blue blood.

Just to be fair, let's look for a moment at what Trump has lost these past six months. Namely the status of not being in jail.

Trump's bumbling allowed the Russian's meddling in our election to turn into a broad and formidable criminal investigation of Trump, his entourage, his family and all their financial dealings that may or may not involve the Russians. Looking into Trump's past, I find plenty of what looks like criminal liability and very suspicious dealings with the Russian government and other hoodlum governments. Because Trump's egomania led him to fire FBI Director James Comey, he brought on this investigation. Now, in trying to hound Jeff Sessions out of the AG's office so Trump can appoint someone to fire chief investigator Robert Mueller, Trump has so deeply offended Session's chums in the Senate that the GOP Senators made it clear this week that there will be no help from them in getting rid of Sessions or Mueller. Indeed, they plan to block any firing of Sessions or Mueller even if it takes legislation to do it.

In other words, the U.S. Senate Republicans have finally stood up on their hind legs and defied the would be dictator and bully boy.

Our government is still working as it was designed to. For a while we all wondered, didn't we? But it looks like we'll be okay.

Like the old saying goes, "God takes care of dogs, drunks, and the American people."

We sure keep Him busy these days.

Big P.S. I should have included a fifthTrump failure this week, namely his attempt to bar transgender people from the military by announcing such in a tweet. It was given short shrift by the military leadership. They sent him a letter telling him to resubmit the new policy in a formal manner and to have the Secretary of Defense send along the appropriate guidlines. (Guidelines are always a two-year job.) Meantime, the letter said, the military will continue to treat "all our personnel with respect." In effect, Trump was slapped across the face.

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