If the “enemies list” of people who will be hurt by the Republican tax bill gets mad and “woke” enough to overcome GOP gerrymandering and vote suppression next November, and Democrats regain the majority in Congress, I am fine with Bernie or Jon Tester or Heidi Heitkamp or Claire McCaskill writing “Medicare for all” on a cocktail napkin and having that become the law of the land. Mitch McConnell’s flouting of “regular order” and the sight of a Senate bill with X-ed out pages and jotted corrections in the margin is abusive and undignified and regrettable and infuriating–but mainly because the substance of the bill is an attack on the social contract between generations. Fixating on process “violations” won’t win over very many “forgotten men and women” who voted for Obama as well as Trump. Democrats can and should focus on the bad effects, the bad substance, the uncertainty and insecurity and unwelcome changes the bill imposes on many millions of voters. Jon Tester’s video was great, but the big story is the heavier burdens being laid on middle-income American voters. I believe that is the winning message. Substantive injustice is the big issue, procedural issues are an irritant but a side issue.
CNBC, the Financial Times, and the Wall St. Journal all report President Trump may scrap the retirement advisory rule set to go into effect next April. Trump may hate rules and regulations, and his “forgotten men and women” may be ecstatic and delirious right now, but if they have retirement accounts, getting rid of a regulation that protects savers by imposing a fiduciary duty on people selling advice on 401K accounts is going to cause a boomerang effect. Whether Trump ever gets blamed for that, who knows. But governing is a whole new world for him. How much ammunition does he want to hand to Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders?
Obamacare mental health care navigators are said by reliable sources to have captured Senator Ted Cruz. They knocked on his office door and promised him a free Obamaphone and he fell for it. They are holding him hostage until the House repeals the Citizens United decision, passes the farm bill, funds the Affordable Care Act for ten years, passes a new Voting Rights Act, as well as a bill legalizing gay marriage nationwide and providing free wedding cakes for all such couples (or threesomes or foursomes if so desired).
Senator Bernie Sanders denounced Republican inflexibility on Cruz ransom conditions, noting that his own stated position had previously included a law jailing all CEOs of Wall Street firms and putting them in the stocks adjacent to Trinity Church for six months in all weather. Sanders remarked that he is now willing to compromise by providing umbrellas to cover executive heads in the rain.
- GOP tries to counter shutdown narrative (politico.com)