Via CSPAN, Mitch McConnell in defeat. Can someone make me a poster?
Here's a few key points to know about the so-called “skinny repeal” billórepealing the individual and employer mandates of the Affordable Care Act, and possibly more down the lineóthat Mitch McConnell and the Republican party tried to ram down our throats last night/early this morning:
- They didn't finish writing it until lunch yesterday (Ben Terris, The Washington Post)
- McConnell's office didn't publish it until 10 p.m. yesterday (John Cassidy, The New Yorker)
- Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) still fillibustered the bill to prevent Democrats from speaking about it (Terris again)
This abomination of a legislative process didn't pass by only the barest of margins, 51-49, and only because, along with†46 Democrats, 2 independents, and the usual 2 Republicans (Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska), John McCain voted thumbs down. Or one thumb down. He wasn't there for the initial vote, then sauntered in during the Ps, did the reverse Fonzie, and walked back to his seat. (Tierney Sneed, Talking Points Memo)
All the other Republicans? The supposedly sane voices like Lindsey Graham and Ben Sasse? They went along. That's Paul Krugman's point in his column today. It's not just Trump, it's not just McConnell and Ryan; it's these so-called moderates, the aiders and abetters.
Meanwhile, over at New York magazine, Andrew Sullivan reminds us that this week also saw the president of the United States: 1) attack and malign his attorney general for recusing himself from an investigation that the president would like to obstruct; 2) turn a Boy Scout jamboree into a partisan “Trump Youth” rally; and 3) dismiss 15,000 trans soldiers from the military via tweet, with nary a word to the Pentagon. Today he's holding rallies before cops, urging them to not be gentle during arrests. Yesterday, or the day before, his new communications director told a reporter that the White House chief of staff “cock-blocked him,” said a senior POTUS advisor is “trying to suck his own cock,” and suggested using the FBI and DOJ to eliminate his enemies. He also suggested eliminating them as in killing them. Yes. The president's communications director.†
So this isn't near to ending. The Republicans are hugely unpopular, but they're gerrymandering the shit out of districts, working to prevent (Democrats) voting, and in the face of an incompetent, corrupt administration, the right-wing propaganda machine just turns it up a notch. This morning, NPR did a piece on how, thanks to right-wing cable news and right-wing radio, Trump supporters think the Russian scandal is no scandal at all; that it's fake news:
When asked whether there was anything that would make them rethink the Russia story, the Bauchles said they would need to hear the news from someone they really trust, such as Limbaugh or Hannity.
On the plus side, some wag has†backed McCain's thumbs-down moment with the soundtrack to a WWF “Stone Cold” Steve Austin sudden appearance and takedown. I like the camera closing in on McConnell, twisting. But in the long run it's stone cold comfort.
But we got today.†
ADDENDUM: So I post, go to Twitter, and find out that while I was writing the above the president of the United States fired his communications director. Sorry, no, that would make too much sense. He fired his chief of staff, the guy his communications director was bitching about. So long, Reince. Start typing that tell-all book. Please.†