Friday, July 28, 2017
A vote in the night.
Seven years ago, the Republican Party stepped on a mirror and said, "See? That bad luck thing is just an old wives' tale."
Through four elections, as they lied their way to one electoral wipeout after another with repeal promises they were sure they'd never have to keep, they adduced each legislature that fell, each add to their US House and Senate majorities, and the recapture of the presidency, as ever more proof they were right.
They voted down Obamacare 47,908 times. It got to where new GOP House members, every other January, demanded new repeal votes so they could carve some notches of their own.
Along the way, because they just love their little alliterative catch phrases, they latched onto "Repeal and Replace."
It was wildly popular, like Nixon's secret plan to end the Vietnam War fifty years before, and every bit as cynical and bogus.
They never had a plan. They never wanted a plan. All they wanted- all they want- is permanent bogeymen to oppose. Obamacare. Gay Rights. Foreigners. Taxes. Being against things is way easier than actually fixing them. The latter course means taking responsibility for outcomes.
Then they got Chance the Gardener planted at The White House and they saw they'd run the table.
They could have sent the President the Alien & Sedition Acts, the inventory of the Smithsonian, his own tax returns, the phone book for a large city- and as long as the last person he heard told him it was the Repeal & Replace Law, he'd sign it.
They had to act. The threat of a veto was finally gone, and the President said it would be so easy, he'd repeal and replace on Day 1.
But it quickly became apparent action meant embracing the tar baby themselves: a nice metaphorical irony, given their keen embrace of racism, subtle and overt, by turns, to delegitimize the last eight years.
The CBO scores damned them. People tuned out an old snapping turtle like Mitch McConnell blubbering about scores and out years and offsets. They remembered, "24 million will lose coverage."
Whittling it down to 16 million this morning, in their eight-page, Reader's Digest Condensed Last-Ditch Version, didn't cut no ice with nobody.
Even the President discovered health care reform was "harder than anyone knew." Doubly so for a party that has never believed in it, ever. They have no idea how to being to make a Replace.
So in the end, early this morning, the Republicans threw the bout. They bribed and bullied and cajoled to keep the margin close, but they let enough of their own off the leash to spare them having to run on actual repeal and fantasy replace in 2018.
Now they can pass the poisoned cup back to the Democrats- they hope. They will try to run, next year, on social issues, tax cuts, and fear of whatever Other polls best.
They have also pinned the ears back on their idiot stepchild up the road. The news cycle will move on, and the President will flop about like a gaffed salmon on the deck of a Russian factory trawler as Ivanka wails, Jared smiles enigmatically, and the senior staff castrate each other with rusty barbed wire.
Sweet are the uses of payback: for a man with a narrowing future, Senator John McCain made Donald Trump his bitch this morning.
"He's not a war hero," the President said. "He's lost so much he doesn't know how to win anymore." "Crusty," he called the senator.
This morning Senator McCain- a man who, after five years as a prisoner of war, knows from how to wait- closed his account at Fucks to Give Savings & Loan, and sent Vice President Pence home to his Rick Warren tapes.
Then he cast Vote No. 51 to show up his party as the hacks, zanies, mountebanks, and frauds they have acted for the last seven years, and wrote himself into history.
"Somebody sweep up that broken glass," Mitch McConnell groused, slouching off to his office.