Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Republican Legislation

As appalled as I was (and am) by the election of Donald Trump, my real concern these days is the Republican leadership in the House and Senate.  (Ed. note:  I see I've blown it once, but I try to follow Bernice King's suggestion that we refer to the president by his number, because it encourages his narcissism when we publish his name.)

 Paul Ryan routinely excuses every idiocy committed by 45 ("He's new to government...").  And Mitch McConnell, who began last year by ignoring his constitutional duty to advise and consent on presidential nominations, is now personally rewriting the Republican health care bill, in secret with a small cabal of co-conspirators, and plans to ram it through the senate with no public hearings, no review by the Congressional Budget Office, and no time given to senators to read it. If the Republican rank and file in the senate had any balls at all, they would stand up en mass and refuse to vote on a bill they hadn't been allowed to read; but I don't think they've even considered that.

The Republican leaders use 45 as a smoke screen, to keep everyone's attention off what they're up to.  They learned that from him.  The mainstream media routinely complain, correctly, that the President is breaching the Constitution; believe me, the Republican congressional leaders are right next to him, refusing even to work with Democrats or moderate Republicans, revising Congressional rules of procedure to make it easier to pass their legislation without opposition support.

The Congressional leaders will support any insanity 45 proposes, because they expect him to sign off on the bills they want to pass.  And the bills they want to pass, my fellow Americans, will disenfranchise you and me, especially if we are old, poor, minority, female, or any combination of these.  They don't want people like that to vote at all.  They will also raise your taxes and give the money to the rich.  Nobody yet knows what's in the secret health care bill, but we know what was in the House bill - no insurance for 23 million Americans who now have it; Medicaid gutted, with Medicare next on the list. I can't imagine this "secret" bill will be any better.  McConnell doesn't seem to realize - or maybe to care - that his secrecy on the bill is an indictment of it.

I have yet to see a Republican health care proposal that can't be summed up as "Just Die, Already."

I've emailed both my Senators to oppose the secret Republican health bill (and thank you, Sen. McCaskill, for your public objection to the whole process!).  But my senators are Democrats; they will vote against the abomination, but they're outnumbered.

My only rays of hope are the Special Investigation into the Russian involvement in the 2016 election, and the committee investigation in the Senate Intelligence Committee.  But even if one or both of those does turn up probative evidence that Trump has broken some law or Constitutional principle that could justify impeachment, impeachment can only happen if Ryan agrees to prosecute the case and McConnell's senate agrees to hear it - and convict him.  They can keep him in office until 2020, if not longer, just by ignoring evidence.

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