Greg Sargent is right that the whole point of what Trump and now John Kelly say about Mueller and the Confederate statues and black Congresswomen is the power to define truth aside from or over against any and all verifiable fact or reality.
Trump says he cannot be tied down to “political correctness” because he is on a mission to MAGA. But sometimes, just sometimes, there’s no daylight between political correctness and simple politeness and decency.
If I said lack of compromise is what caused the Irish potato famine, John Kelly might (rightly take) offense. He might feel I was disrespecting his ancestors and making apologies for the genocidal actions of powerful English overlords. He would probably be right. But Kelly shows little understanding of or care for how or why his assaults on historical reality vis-a-vis the Civil War might outrage anybody who matters. (BTW Mr. Kelly there were more than “two sides,” there were also freed slaves–did you forget about them?) Kelly did not display much conservative virtue on Fox TV last night. Neither is he the adult in the Oval Office, unfortunately. Conservatism in the USA, real conservatism worthy of the name, is about protecting liberty and keeping government within limits, not about enabling authoritarianism. Real conservatives are suspicious of sweeping change, but not addicted to sentimentalizing past injustices. (Kelly made apologies last night for Chinese authoritarian rule, too.) John Kelly is not a conservative in my book, he is just an abusive reactionary.
Clever Senator Mitch has front-loaded “all the sweet stuff and delay[ed] all the painful stuff,” says Nicholas Begley in the Washington Post (quoted by Greg Sargent, Plum Line blog). Tax cuts happen right away, even retroactively, while the deep cuts to Medicaid don’t begin until 2021. Thanks, Mitch, for all the “Better Care.” You are piling up debts no honest man could ever pay off. Whether the harsh Medicaid cuts ever fully go into effect or not, the tax cuts for the rich are designed to be permanent. You have just made our glaring inequalities even worse. Do you really believe this bill increases liberty and freedom–of course you don’t. You know full well from seeing Obamacare work in your own state of Kentucky that, as Josh Marshall summarizes, the ACA “took a pot of money and plugged it into the system to provide secure coverage for a large number of Americans who were neither destitute nor solidly in middle class or who had medical statuses which made it onerous or impossible” to get coverage. “Take away the money and those people all lose their care.” Your version of freedom–or the version you cynically pretend to believe, more likely–is a truly sickening fantasy. Compared with “other” advanced and civilized countries, our taxes are not crushing. The real snowflakes: your greedy donor class.
And against all kinds of evidence, many people still say “give Trump a chance.” I get that trolling “snowflakes” and “elites” is a thrill, but if this bill means Trump is delivering for them, our Country is devolving even faster than I thought, and not in a good way. Trump will not abide blame for any of the carnage and premature death that follows. I do hope that enough people will be hurt or embarrassed or shocked by GOP rapaciousness to bother to vote next year, when everybody, not just the folks in Georgia or Montana or South Carolina, gets a chance to express buyer’s remorse over our sorry bunch of legislators.