Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Florence Nightingale was not a Republican. Trump was going to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with something "terrific, beautiful". The first thing President Clockwork Orange did was to crow after the House passed some hybrid health-care bill that no one understood. Nevertheless, Republican House members were bused to the White House Rose Garden to celebrate what few had even read and what even fewer understood. That all-male chorus, guided by the House speaker, looked slightly demented, like a group of old besotted pom-pom men in free-fall. The president, who has no sense of loyalty or follow-up, decreed a few days later that this heralded health Magna Carta was "mean."  So much for Trump's logic.

The second act in the Senate was equally surreal. A small coterie of Republicans (all male) under the enlightened stewardship of Mitch McConnell (Obamas's bete noire) tried various avenues: repeal and replace, repeal. They all misfired, while the GOP started to freak-out while witnessing how unpopular this epublican assault on hard won entitlements was becoming. The hate for all things Obama blinded them to what was happening, even in their safe God- and gun-abiding reservations. Hence, the Affordable Care Act remains, for the time being, the law of the land.  This fiasco is a loss of face and risks having negative consequences on the other Republican priority:  tax reform.  It also lays bare the divisions in a party wherein half stands for better and for worse with the president, and half is connected to the emergency phone number.

The Democrats are now invited to come in and to look into a bi-partisan effort. The Dems are themselves divided in two camps, one being willing to consider co-operating, the other preferring a hard opposition. It would be wise to choose for opposition on an issue which is so "existential". Obama won a battle against all odds and did not receive any support from the Republicans.  It is "pay back" time! It also becomes urgent that the Democrats stand firm on ideological ground and, in given time, with a leadership that acts, sounds, and looks future-oriented. The Schumer/Pelosi partnership has been a highly effective team but it is time for change, the more so that the battles in 2020 and 2022 will be merciless. This unusual president needs to be countered by unusual argument so that his absolute disdain for truth and lack of political and diplomatic finesse are unmasked. The future for the Democrats lies with the likes of Kamala Harris and Cory Booker. 

The Russian imbroglio gets thicker with every day that passes. Even if the final explanation were benign, the lack of flair, dignity and fair-play would be enough to disqualify the Trump label, which is becoming toxic. Chris Mathews compares the Trumps with the Romanovs.  I see more a Mubarak & sons comparison. At the end of the day this administration is basically un-American, tone-deaf and devoid of scruples. Worse, in the persona of Trump (the same goes for his family), there is some recall of ostentatious bluff, Kardashian-like. It is hard to imagine this man in a 9/11 or Sandy Hook aftermath which brought out the best in Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama, and their families.

In the short-term a trade war will probably be activated and most gearshifts will be revisited so that the culture war can be reset on higher priority. The opposition will grow, thanks to the increased involvement of women (Republican and Democrat alike) who are rebelling against this "country for old men". The Trump base (35%) looks solid for now but this former "Brexit camp" had better watch what is going on in the United Kingdom as a result of a misguided vote. The view is not rosy. The so-called "deplorables" are already the involuntary accomplices of their own "extinction" due to a Trump's calculus. They better wake up and regroup before time runs out of options.

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