The first part, i.e. “uninterested,” hardly needs elaboration: President Trump shows so little interest in learning the details that his tweets on Obamacare make little sense. Could he explain to us what his beautiful Trumpcare would look like? No. He can threaten, but his threats have become self-contradictory.
Regarding the second part: Why would I accuse our 45th president of being way too little disinterested? “Disinterested” means impartial; it means not having an axe to grind, not calculating to seek personal advantage. Disinterestedness is thus good because a government of “laws, not men” (as they used to say) won’t work well at all without it. The structure of the Constitution accounts for interests and factions and strives to control and limit them. But if the executive acts like a thug, and the other branches don’t act decisively to repudiate the bad actors, we are in trouble. I am not expecting the 71-year-old man to change or learn. Actually truth be told I am worried that if he did learn any new tricks we would be in even more of a fix.
Note: I am interested in upholding the distinction between “disinterested” as unbiased and impartial, i.e. not moved by consideration of personal advantage, and “uninterested,” which means “not interested” or “unmoved.” I realize that usages change, but maintaining the distinction with a difference serves a good purpose here.
Could the Almighty have such a refined sense of irony that poor white Trump voters were punished this week by G-d leaving their health benefits intact? Maybe G-d does not really believe in karma? It was real problematic for a lot of folks to have to take healthcare entitlements and handouts from a skinny black dude. But times change, and now we have a really rich, old, large, obnoxious white man in the White House. It would be awful if everybody who needed to get low-cost care got cut off now. Thank goodness the Freedom Caucus understood all this and preserved our Obamacare just when we were starting to think of it as the Affordable Care Act (surprise!). Just hoping the
Paul Ryan said he was “excited” and “encouraged” by the CBO report that Trumpcare/Ryancare will cause just 24 million Americans to lose their healthcare insurance. Ryan is said by some to have planned to suppress 24.1 million votes in the midterm elections. So it’s all good. Cost-benefit analyses that a Koch group may well have carried out show that the cost of voter suppression, even on the grand scale needed to invalidate 24.1 million votes, is far cheaper than the cost of allowing Americans to feel that they are not serfs any longer.
Should I be grateful that the President-elect is trying so hard to make political correctness great again by urging Republicans–twice in one day–to “be careful.” Being careful has been so not-Trump-brand, but that was then. Now is all Trumpcare, all the time. Thus does caution–and what is political correctness, after all is said and done, but prudence and caution–weasel its way into the calculations of the manly and strong new sheriff in town. Not necessarily sad, but true. Parenthetically, the Democrats’ signage needs work: “Make America Sick Again” needs “DON’T LET TRUMP” in big red letters before “make,” for starters. But that is a sideshow. Everybody knows that Trump owns American health care and the American economy and the American military in two weeks. Setting aside GOP hype and cherry-picking and distortion, most people know full well that Trump is not inheriting anything like the kind of crisis Obama did eight years ago. So Trump and McConnell and Ryan have a luxury Obama didn’t: they can repeal and nullify a whole lot of Obama’s horrible/feckless/foreign/takers over makers/pro-linecutters/failed/not-Trumpy-great legacy, or they can wise up and slow walk the hard stuff. Many people will say that that kind of squishiness would give the last laugh to political correctness. As Trump might say, “that’s called life.”
But if Trump says “be careful” twice in a row, the good news may be that he might not blow us all up for a while.
It is early days in Donald J. Trump’s new swamp-draining reality adventure. Let’s chill just a little bit and give him enough running room–I mean rope–and see what happens. I think the best protesting is likely to happen if and when Trump starts pissing people off. And in fairness to Trump or any president (missing you already, Obama, despite your mandarin tendencies) there are not too many easy win-win decisions that a president gets to make. If Trump increases the swamp gas fumes by hiring the oiliest of the lobbyist crowd, and shafts the “forgotten men and women,” the disgruntled “Carrier voters” of the rust belt who put him over the top, then the opportunity for successful protest will ripen. If Trump follows Paul Ryan’s lead and proposes privatizing Medicare and cutting off Trumpcare health exchange subsidies, solidarity against Republicans will be a much easier lift than if people disrupt highway traffic now and piss off ordinary people. Trump and the Republicans are about to take control of all three branches, and they will own the economy. They will either own the Affordable Care Act, or try to displace and dismember it. The hard choices are theirs, let them stew over it.