Aug. 14th, 2017

l33tminion: (Default)
The Russia Thing: Don Junior's "defense" amounted to "they tried to arrange a quid pro quo but I was too dense to have any idea that was what they were doing. It's amazing how quickly the talking points shifted from "obviously nothing like that would have happened" to "it's clearly no big deal that happened". Political bias is what it is, but it's still alarming to see conservatives do a complete 180 on questions like "does morality matter?" I suggest the usual exercise for Republicans of making a sincere effort to imagine how you would feel if Hillary Clinton (Barack Obama? Bill Clinton?) did anything even remotely like this.

The Healthcare Thing: Republicans have been running for seven years on the unpouplarity of Obamacare, and the idea of "repealing Obamacare" remains somewhat popular. But they have not bothered to perform the crucial step of coming up with a plan that's actually more popular than Obamcare. Or, for that matter, even a deeply unpopular plan that they could still somehow ram through with hours of debate, no bipartisan amendments, no hearings, and fifty votes plus Pence. It was amazing to see the Republicans thrash through every major type of repeal. There was the no-repeal repeal, the particular version of which made things worse for the poor and better for the old before making them much, much worse for the old as well. There was the repeal and delay, where Republicans could run on having "repealed Obamacare" but no one gets to see the change until after the midterms. There's the free-lunch repeal, where you repeal just the mandate and hope that the conventional rules of economics just don't apply any more (the CBO predicts they do). The only things that remain untried are the repeal just the name and anything that resembles Trump's promises of "insurance for everybody" that's "much less expensive and much better". This isn't over yet, the Republicans could find some other plan that gets the support of one more senator, or maybe it will actually involve some convoluted plan to lure a Democratic senator from a state with a Republican governor and appointed replacements to some other part of the administration. But maybe they should consider the normal legislative process?

The North Korea Thing: North Korea is a horrible nightmare state, and war with North Korea would be an immense humanitarian catastrophe. But there's plenty of opportunities for delay to make the situation much, much worse. This seems like it would be hard situation to handle for a diplomatic, competent President with a functioning administration including a fully-staffed State Department.

The Actual Literal Nazis: Trump's response to Charlottesville was slow, tepid, and equivocating, at the very least deeply compromised. It's no wonder many white nationalists view it as not-so-covert support. This pattern of right-wing street violence being aided by "both sides" equivocation and lukewarm prosecution is a familiar one.
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