Wednesday, April 03, 2019


President Trump recently declared his support for a court challenge that seeks to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act. He also promised a new Republican push for an ACA replacement, then changed his mind and announced that the push will come after the 2020 election.

Why all this now?
Soon after the president decided last week to intervene in a Texas court case on the side of invalidating the entire Affordable Care Act without a Plan B, Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence held a conference call with Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, and Brad Parscale, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager.

Both Mr. Parscale and Ms. McDaniel tried to tell the president that they could not understand what he was doing, according to a person familiar with the call.

Mr. Trump replied that if they did nothing, Democrats would continue to own the issue and the other option was being known as the party that could not figure out how to properly draft a health care legislative package, the person said.
I love it -- Trump is worried about Democratic strength on this issue.

And a McClatchy story tells us that it's not the only issue on which Trump is worried that Democrats have the advantage:
The Trump campaign is seeking a list of “climate change victories” that can be attributed to Donald Trump’s presidency, reflecting a shift in strategy ahead of the 2020 election as polls show growing voter concern over global warming, two sources familiar with the campaign told McClatchy this week....

White House officials have liaised with the Environmental Protection Agency on behalf of the campaign seeking a concrete list of accomplishments, according to one source. And campaign officials are encouraging the president to begin racking up visible environmental victories specific to battleground states, such as Michigan and Florida, critical to Trump’s reelection bid and where climate change has increased in importance to voters.

“I can confirm that the campaign is unduly interested in collecting a string of wins on this,” said a second source familiar with the campaign, citing the president’s commitment in Michigan last week to funding the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and, days later, to infrastructure repairs to Lake Okeechobee’s Herbert Hoover Dike in Florida....
How do you know that we've moved the Overton window to the left on the issue of climate? This is how:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged the role of humans in altering the climate for the first time last week. And Matt Gaetz, a conservative congressman from the Florida panhandle and an ally of the White House, will propose on Wednesday a “Green Real Deal” that characterizes climate change as a threat to national security.
Of course, as the McClatchy story notes, Trump is doing this even as he continues to express doubt about climate science, and even as he considers convening a panel to study the issue that would include deniers and skeptics.

So Trump is still a wingnut -- but he's looking ahead to 2020 and he's worried. He may have boasted that Republicans really won the 2018 midterms because they won the Senate, but he knows there's cause for concern.

This won't prevent him from pursuing brutal, vengeful policies meant to rally his base. But it's nice to know that he's afraid.

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