To Watch or Not to Watch, That is the Question


It is the evening of February 27, the evening before the Big Speech Before Congress? Should we watch the Big Speech Before Congress or should we wash our hair?

On the one hand, the instinct to avert one’s eyes is profound. How would you feel about an invitation from the Aardvark’s to watch an endless loup of last night’s Academy Awards fiasco? I’ll bet you would find you had some other pressing commitment, like changing the cat litter.

On the other hand, there is something compelling about the chance to watch history in the making, as King Lear’s madness bursts into full flower, in front of the entire world.

Yes, I appreciate that the Mad King theme risks becoming shopworn and tribe. But take a gander at this evening’s article, Trump giving lawmakers whiplash on Obamacare.

President Donald Trump is giving Washington a case of whiplash when it comes to his plan for Obamacare, saying one moment that he’s going to kill it and replace it with something “great” and then publicly flirting with letting it implode the next.

Whether the White House can repeal and replace the law this spring — as Capitol Hill leaders say is the goal — largely depends on the president’s ability to focus and outline the specifics of what he would like, while convincing reluctant GOP members to back a plan. So far, his rhetoric has been all over the place, offering differing timelines and ideas, depending on the venue and the person he’s speaking with.

“Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated,” Trump said Monday morning. He added to the GOP’s nervousness by refreshing the idea that Republicans should maybe just let Obamacare collapse under the weight of rising premiums and volatile exchanges — though he claimed it wasn’t an idea he would pursue.

“Let it be a disaster, because we can blame that on the Dems that are in our room — and we can blame that on the Democrats and President Obama,” Trump told Republican governors. “But we have to do what’s right, because Obamacare is a failed disaster.”

Huddling with insurance CEOs, Trump talked up how fantastic his Obamacare replacement would be without giving details. Separately Monday, he said it would be very difficult to do something good.

On balance, I will probably watch, with my old friend Jack Daniels by my side, praying for the millions whose health he endangers as he drowns in policy considerations beyond his grasp.