Thursday, July 20, 2017

El Sexto Mes: La Mierda Continua Suceder*

BREAKING NEWS!Trump’s Unmitigated Assholery Continues Unabated!

The Guardian has been running a series of interviews with Trump supporters, the most recent of which concluded with these comments from Rich and Kim Green of small-town Pennsylvania:
“I would go more towards the person, than the party, myself. I’m more about, let’s do the right thing here,” Green said. “It is kind of stupid to be diehard Democrat or Republican.”
Kim Green, 52, agreed that Trump the man – his personal sympathies and his policy priorities – was more important than Trump the Republican.
“Because he’s for the common man,” she said. “And I don’t care what anybody says about how much money he has and everything else. He’s just like everybody else, he’s for us.”
“Or it’s the biggest scam America’s ever fell for,” Rich Green interjected. “One of the two.”

I would advise you to pick Door Number Two, Rich, because here’s one thing you can be sure of: Donald Trump is NOT for the common man, much less, the common woman.

I confess, it’s a bit tiring reporting on, or even reading about, all the sleazy, self-centered, and dishonest things Trump has done over the past six months, but what the heck – we don’t want to pretend everything’s normal, do we?

Trump’s latest screw-up was his effort to ram through a repeal and replace Obamacare plan. It failed for the simple reason that most people like Obamacare, especially the people who faced financial ruin before it was enacted. And now, those same people, many of them the “common man and woman” types that Trump pretended to care about, will be ruined if the GOP succeeds in repealing the Affordable Care Act.

The mess that Trump and the Republicans have conjured up over health care stems from their grossly dishonest claim that Obamacare was a failure and that they would put a much better plan in its place. There was never any chance they would put a better plan in place because doing so would involve either instituting a public option or increasing costs to the wealthy in order to subsidize insurance for poor families, neither of which Republicans (nor “Mr. Common Man Trump”) were willing to do.

So why did the Republicans loudly denounce Obamacare for seven years if they couldn’t improve on it? Because it was Obama’s program and, as Mitch McConnel made clear in January 2009, the Republicans’ primary goal would be to see Obama fail.

Well, the failure is real enough, Mitch, but it does not belong to Obama.

Besides failing at health care, continuing to lie about the Russian ties of many of his people, shocking the world by pulling out of the Paris Accord, baffling our closest allies with disengaged and aimless policy statements (about North Korea, for example), steeping his administration in corruption through his family’s businesses, and lying nonstop on twitter and elsewhere, Trump has also managed to drag down the world’s confidence in the U.S.

A recent Pew survey has shown, for example, that in almost every country friendly to the U.S., respect for America’s leadership under Trump has declined. Declined a lot.

Here are some numbers indicating how much lower confidence in the U.S. is under Trump as compared to Obama:

Germany         75% lower

South Korea    71% lower

France             70% lower

Canada            61% lower

UK                  57% lower

Japan               54% lower

The news isn’t all bad for Trump. In Russia confidence in American leadership has increased by 42%.

Here are some charts from the Pew study illustrating the general decline in American prestige under Trump.

The sad thing – well, one of the many sad things – about the Trump presidency is that to a lot of us it feels like the country doesn’t have a president at all. Yes, he occasionally undoes some aspect of environmental protection, or working people’s rights, but in general he seems to spend his time thinking about how to increase his personal fortune and to get people to tell him he’s an amazing guy. But in the meantime, who’s leading the country? I really don’t know. Steve Bannon maybe?

Anyway, in spite of the increasingly slimy Washington swamp (which may become an actual swamp if Trump’s environmental policies lead to further rising of the ocean levels), I encourage all to have a pleasant summer.


*Month Six: Shit Continues to Happen