Thursday, June 08, 2017


The New Republic's Brian Beutler seems to believe that the Speaker of the House has morals and a conscience:
[Paul] Ryan’s special pleading on [President] Trump’s behalf already requires him to insult the public’s intelligence. He may have sunk so much cost into his complicity that he sees no option other than to sink more. Rather than take the hits as they come, he should consider the predicament he’ll face if Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller refers an obstruction of justice complaint to Congress. Like [James] Comey, Mueller is a former prosecutor and FBI director. If he tells Congress, in so many words, that Trump would face a federal indictment were he not the president, will Ryan still reconcile himself to ignoring the crisis he’s helped inflict on the country?
The answer to that is: Of course he will. There's only one "crisis" affecting this country that Ryan cares about: the crisis of too many non-rich people receiving government benefits while rich people pay any taxes at all and their companies are subjected to any regulations at all. Literally nothing else about government under a Republican president can possibly disturb his sleep. Certainly not a criminal behavior by that Republican president.

There are still some people who believe that Republicans will eventually bail on Trump, one reason being that they're not getting the legislation they want from him. That may be changing:
GOP moderates in the Senate are open to ending federal funding for ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion, but want a longer deadline for ending the additional funding than their leadership has proposed.

Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) have proposed a seven-year phase-out of federal funding for the Medicaid expansion, beginning in 2020 and ending in 2027....

Portman’s and Capito’s willingness to end the program is significant, in that it suggests centrists will not demand that the Medicaid expansion be permanent, and that Republicans may be able to find common ground on the critical issue if the additional federal funds are phased down more slowly....

Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) have also made positive comments toward Senate healthcare discussions this week, in a sign that other moderates could come around and vote for the bill.
Folks, they really are going to succeed at getting rid of Obamacare unless voters raise hell. It's possible that Russiagate is actually too much of a distraction right now for us to notice this. They'll do it in slo-mo, so voters won't punish them in the next election cycle and will forget who deserves the blame in subsequent cycles. And if they pull this off soon, the other dominoes start to fall -- huge tax windfalls for the rich, massive non-military budget cuts, and all the rest. It won't matter what the public thinks of Trump -- he'll still be the president, he'll still have the authority to sign the bills, and he'll do it.

Republican voters, in their news bubble, will be told he and the GOP Congress really are making America great again. They'll believe it, at least for a while, no matter what they see happening in their own lives. And they'll certainly never believe that all the Russiagate talk is anything more than fake news.

I'd love to see Trump's misdeeds exposed. I just don't think it will matter. Let's root for Mueller, but let's focus on what Republicans are doing while we're tracking Russiagate.

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