First They Came for the Muslims

Niemoller

First they came for the Muslims, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Muslim.

Then they came for the undocumented workers, and I did not speak out—because I am not an undocumented worker.

Then they came for the African-American next door, for the offense of Living While Black, and I did not speak out—because I am not living while black.

Then they came for my Social Security and my Medicare—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Highlights from the new Trump budget include the following:

  • The Trump budget would cut about $845 billion from Medicare over 10 years
  • It cuts $241 billion from Medicaid
  • It would push Medicaid toward block grants which cap the amount each state would receive, which when the money runs out would result in pared-back benefits, recipients being tossed off the program or both
  • It would eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid, which would mean millions would lose their health coverage
  • It would cut $25 billion from Social Security

Do Not Read This Post on a Full Stomach

con man

If you want to feel really bad, check out someone named David Byler, a “data analyst and political columnist” who analyzes the data and columnizes his findings—to make a strong case that Trump has a 50-50 chance of reelection.*

I call your attention to Mr. Byler’s views in the interest of intellectual honesty, and deeply regret the angst you are now feeling.

To mitigate some of your pain, I direct you to Greg Sargent’s piece of around tennish this morning: Trump’s emerging reelection strategy: Double down on failure and lies. Among other things, Sargent explicitly answers Byler, and has some very good points to make. He sums up this way:

In short, Trump’s economic nationalist agenda has proved to be both a failure and a fraud. This is the prism through which swing voters will likely judge his promise of four more years of the same. Yet Trump appears certain that for those voters, he can make 2020 all about the Democrats’ alleged “socialism,” and not about his own disastrous presidency.

It has been observed that the lies are coming faster and faster, and that they are more and more blatant. For example, we learn this morning that Trump says ‘fake news’ pushed story that he called Apple CEO Tim Cook ‘Tim Apple’, when he was seen on TV doing that very thing.

Some continue to see this behavior as evidence of serious mental instability. But I have come around to the view that serious mental incapacity is the more precise explanation. Trump lacks the mental ability to construct a logical policy argument, or anything that bears a family resemblance to a logical policy argument.

I feel his pain. I, for example, lack the mental ability to draw a decent portrait or a landscape. If my job description required drawing landscapes and portraits, I would be very bad at my job.

Like the doomed cobra who keeps on trying to poison the mongoose, Trump strikes out with fear and lies because that is the only thing he is mentally capable of doing. But the mongoose has evolved an immune system that the cobra can’t harm. A bare majority of Americans appear to have evolved an immure system impervious to Trump’s lies and fear mongering.

At least that is what we may reasonably, but cautiously, hope.

* All such conversations assume arguendo that his current legal position will be roughly the same in November, 2020, as it is right now in March, 2019. In other words, that he won’t be wearing a prison jumpsuit.

Lunacy’s Last Liminal Lurch

best-of-times-worst-of-times

This morning, I am, once again, channeling my inner Pollyanna: this feels like a moment when we are at the threshold of serious change.

They predicted a short senatorial career for Doug Jones of Alabama. Now, we learn that Roy Moore—the one Republican likely to go down in humiliating defeat—is going to challenge Jones in 2020.

For the benefit of those Alabamans who require a bullhorn, not a dog whistle, Moore’s political action committee is named C.S.A.

Screen Shot 2019-03-09 at 11.17.46 AM

And then there’s Georgia. The Atlanta Journal-Constitutiondoes not specialize in elegant, trenchant political prose. But this morning, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution elegantly, trenchantly elaborates on the impending political suicide of the Georgia Republican Party.

And, may I say, it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of folks.

Apparently, For Republicans, a 23-Point Gender Gap Isn’t Enough.

There Were Good People on Both Sides

Unite the Right

Twenty-three House Republicans voted against House Resolution 183, apparently because of the comprehensiveness of its condemnation of bigotry.

A pundit remarked, “The House resolution vote had good people on both sides. But all the bad people were on the Republican side.”