Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Bask In "Barr Report" PR Glory? Trumpies Would Rather Torch The ACA And Divide Their Party

It was JFK who once offered this insightful quote on Republicans and their symbol, the elephant:   "You've  seen the circus elephant, with his head full of ivory, a long memory, and no vision..The Republicans are like the circus elephant who moves around the circus ring and grabs the tail of the one in front of them."  Meaning, they lack any practical foresight, any vision.  In today's context, they also seemingly lack the savvy or brilliance of strategy to be able to secure - however temporarily- the "Win" they  got from the Mueller findings.  Actually, make that the William Barr spin and  premature conclusion on the Mueller findings - which as one former acting solicitor general (Walter E. Dellinger)  noted will be evaporated when the actual, unabridged report is made public.

But the Reepos don't even appear to know how to secure a temporary consolidation for a clear PR victory.  So full of hubris and drunk with perceived victory, they vowed revenge on all those who persecuted their sorry asses, e.g.

Trump and his allies plan to use Barr’s summary of Mueller report as cudgel against critics 

Then revealed the same Barr DOJ that delivered a PR coup Sunday - but now more drunk with unearned power- filed a notice late Monday in a federal appeals court to invalidate the Affordable Care Act.  This bone- headed move would basically gut health care for over 20 m people who benefited from the ACA expansion of Medicaid, and also make it more difficult for millions of others to secure care if they have pre-existing conditions..   Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, how about beating down court house doors to do it?

The backstory to this farce began two years ago when the Trump bunch  staked out its new position in a lawsuit filed by Republican attorneys general in Texas and other states.  This was after Congress failed  to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but later reduced the law’s tax penalty for people who do not have insurance to zero. The suit contended that the absence of the real tax penalty rendered the law’s “individual mandate” — the requirement that most Americans have insurance — unconstitutional..

Without a requirement to purchase insurance, the Reepo lawyers argued, the law could not then insist that insurance companies cover pre-existing medical conditions and a suite of other “essential health benefits,” such as maternity care, mental health therapy and prescription drugs.  A judge in Texas agreed and invalidated the entire law, including its expansion of Medicaid and subsidies to help many low- and middle-income people buy insurance. 

The Justice Department initially said that only parts of the law, including its protections for pre-existing conditions, should be struck down. But on Monday, the Barr -led DOJ - clearly intoxicated by the win it believed it gave to Donnie Dotard -  expanded its attack to say the whole law should be invalidated..  Do they really believe the people affected (more than half Trump supporters) are this dumb, and they won't see what's happening?

This confirmed for me once and for all that Attorney General William Barr is nowhere near as smart as he thinks he is.  If he had been, he'd never have made such a stupid move, especially after the summary he put out on Sunday to try to exonerate Trump.  (Which even hard core Trump haters admit cost them political advantage, since Trump is now more emboldened than a drunken buffoon standing in the middle of 5th avenue trying to stop traffic with hand waving.  But as with all such buffoons that act can't last long.)

Never mind, Barr had his cheerleaders - including the Tea Party Patriots Action - an organization of conservative extremists who asserted "the attorney general made the right decision."   Well, we'll see about that, won't we?

In the meantime, as one wit put it: "Typical  dummies. Take their cars to the car wash then park it under trees with shitting birds."

Needless to say the Justice Department’s move caught both parties by surprise, and put Republicans in a very awkward position.  As Tom Reed (R, NY) put it:

"Not only is this a poor political move, this decision hurts real people who will unfairly lose their health insurance coverage as a result. We need to work to find ways to fix our health care system — not blow it up.”

Doh,  yuh think?  

Even House No. 2 Reepster, Kevin McCarthy,  who a day earlier was so pumped up by Barr's barf he was yelping for the Dems to "move on" - was caught flat footed, saying:

"I haven’t read through what they — was it last night? I think the president has always been very clear that he wanted to repeal Obamacare, and to put a system in that actually lowers the cost and protects individuals’ pre-existing conditions.”

Yeah, but do this right after a huge political  PR win where you all got to gloat and "spike the football"?  Interjecting a  move that will have more than 15m of your voters - who stand to lose their coverage - so pissed they will have forgotten all about Trump's phony vindication from a phony PR summary.  Well, after some further ruminating on what the Dotard demanded of his DOJ, McCarthy got the picture and spat: "That's the dumbest thing I ever heard of! It's about like punching yourself in the face!"  Well, at least you finally figured it out, maestro.

Susan Collins  was more forthright in her distress:

"I thought it was bad enough when last year they wouldn’t defend parts of the law, including the parts protecting people with pre-existing conditions.  This goes far beyond that and I think was a huge mistake.”

Yes, and now your intrepid party will pay again, like they did in the midterms, and despite William Barr's fake clearance of Trump from any crimes.  Who gives a shit about Trump's vindication when they're losing their health care?

Where I differ from the media pundits is when they write "this gives House Democrats a new opening and winning political strategy to move past impeachment."

Well, maybe, maybe not. Depends what the full Mueller report discloses, which former Solicitor General Dellinger believes will be laden with impeachable offenses.

In any case, Dems aren't dopes like the Republicans.  They can actually walk and chew gum at the same time!

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