Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"When Grace dances, I should dance"

I don't have the links to this I would like, but my memory and a recent post concur that NPR had a discussion (not necessarily a story I can find on their website!  Drat!) that the July 4 deadline (actually June 30, a date that will now live in infamy.  Or maybe not....) was a drop dead on repeal of the ACA because the GOP needs to get tax reform under "reconciliation," too, and the only way to get two bills through that specific process in one calendar year is to space them out.  Or something.  Truth to tell, my knowledge of the arcana of Senate rules is nil, and even less than nil on this subject.

But there were reasons McConnell needed repeal of Obamacare to pass by Friday of this week, as I mentioned before.  He has now decided that's not going to happen.

This could well be a bigger problem for the GOP than they wanted to have.  Yes, the repeal and replace measure is just a method of tax reform aimed at shoveling money upward to the rich.  Yes, it will increase the number of uninsured to levels higher than before Obamacare was implemented.  These are features, not bugs.  And yes, I think their commitment to this is strong enough to see it passed by September 30, a deadline according to this ThinkProgress article.

For the moment can I do a little happy dance in the face of all the Cassandras convinced that if my attention wasn't focussed on Mitch McConnell rather than James Comey or Jared Kushner or Ivanka Trump, that my sympathetic magic powers would allow the Senator to wreck the U.S. economy?  Because really, it doesn't work that way.

Anyway, this probably wrecks tax reform, which wasn't going to go anywhere anyway, but might have tried harder on the wings of a smooth road to ACA repeal.  Repeal is inevitable, and the strategy is to fight it and then hang it around the neck of the GOP in 2018.  Another reason tax reform needed to happen this year; nobody is rewriting the tax code in an election year.  Not even Paul Ryan.

Yes, national political life would be easier with Hillary Clinton in the White House, but these are the conditions that prevail.  Trump is Our Man on Their Side in anything legislative.  He's as ignorant as a child and as incurious as stump, as willing to listen as a brick wall and as capable of learning as a dead dog.  He's the albatross around the neck of the GOP.  The only thing to do now is to make that curse stick.

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