One of the many reasons why the success or failure of Ryancare will not signal an automatic end to the Trump presidency (as notoriously claimed by some in the media) is there are too many important issues confronting our broken political system to place special significance on just one.
This week, for example, begins the confirmation hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. The press coverage has (surprisingly) been mostly positive since Gorsuch began making the rounds visiting with senators from both parties almost two months ago.
The general consensus is Gorsuch will be confirmed one way or another, even if the Republicans must use the “nuclear option” to rescind the Democrats’ filibuster power in the Senate.
No matter, the Democrats are primed to put on a good show in opposition to Gorsuch. They are compelled to do so since their freakish leftist group backers are demanding it.
Elana Schor of Politico reports, “Liberal groups have pushed for Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s caucus to take a harder line against Gorsuch, publicly airing their disappointment with Democrats for letting the affable Gorsuch largely breeze through the run-up to his hearing. That tension could ease if the Colorado-born appellate judge stumbles or flop-sweats this week in the hothouse of the Senate Judiciary Committee. But no matter how Gorsuch performs, activists are vowing that Democrats who don’t oppose the judge will face consequences…
“NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue, whose abortion-rights group has rallied with Elizabeth Warren and other liberal senators against the high court nominee, said the Democratic base wants to see senators ‘holding Gorsuch’s feet to the fire.’”
The balance of Schor’s article details how there’s an apparent divide between liberal activists and Democrat voters, with activists predicting doom for Democrat senators who fail to throw every possible roadblock in the good judge’s path.
Voters don’t necessarily see it that way – at least according to the sources Schor cited. They’re apparently more concerned about fighting Republicans over the Ryancare bill and there are other distracting events taking place in the Capitol this week as well. Leftists are even accusing Trump of planning such a full calendar to deliberately divert attention away from the Gorsuch confirmation fight.
Wherever the truth lies there will inevitably be a number of memorable clashes between Democrats and Gorsuch. Leftist groups that always make the most noise won’t settle for less than a complete public undressing of a good and decent man whose judicial record is so spotless that even the liberal American Bar Association gave him a “well qualified” rating.
As is abundantly clear by now, Democrats will oppose everything Trump does and too many of their pet issues are dependent on a compliant Supreme Court to rubber stamp or make up rationales to uphold their causes. By conducting a meritless smear campaign, however, Democrats will once again end up the losers. They won’t stop Gorsuch and they’ll be exposed as the whiny “opposition party” that they truly are.
Crooked Hillary comes out of the woods – what’s she up to now?
Minutes seemed like hours last November 9 as the news media anxiously awaited for Hillary Clinton to emerge from her self-imposed seclusion in New York City to appear before the cameras to formally concede the election to Donald Trump.
It was only a few hours before that campaign chairman John Podesta told the largely dwindled crowd at Clinton “victory” headquarters that there was going to be no concession that night (morning), the vote counting would continue and everyone should just go home and get some sleep.
The Associated Press called Pennsylvania for Trump shortly after Podesta spoke. The election was over and everyone, including the Clintons, knew it. President-elect Donald Trump then offered his own brief remarks saying he’d received a gracious call from Clinton -- but there was not yet any public sign that she’d given up.
Hillary did finally deliver her talk after keeping everyone in suspense for a while, but it wasn’t clear then and it’s not evident now that she considered the matter settled. Her recent behavior indicates the longtime liberal Democrat is ready to come back to the limelight, whether the country wants to see her there or not.
Amie Parnes of The Hill reports, “The sparring (between Trump and Clinton) erupted again this week.
“On Friday, Clinton retweeted her longtime senior adviser Philippe Reines, who took to Twitter to write: 'Russians spy. Healthcare is complicated. Diplomacy is exhausting. Who Knew?' Clinton added her own quip, chiming in with: 'Things I learned today.'”
How cute. As if twenty-five years of sarcasm and condescension from the former first lady, senator and secretary of state weren’t enough, now we’re being treated to what seems like regular doses of mockery from the 2016 election runner-up as she lectures the loutish President Donald Trump on how to do his job.
The Constitution provides for a president and a vice-president. There is no mention of any kind of special consideration given to the guy or gal who finished with the second highest electoral vote total (unless there was less than a majority, of course). Normally speaking, after an election that person drops out of sight for a while, re-emerges months later with a smile on his or her face, talks about how losing was probably a good thing for his (or her) family and then dives into charity work or some other time consuming, face saving activity (like George W. Bush’s portrait painting).
He or she usually refrains from being too visible because frequent appearances only remind people how much time and money they wasted on…well, an also-ran. Just ask Mitt Romney.
In other words, acting like a sore loser is almost as bad as being one. That’s exactly what Hillary seems to be doing, otherwise, why would she bother to continue jabbing at Trump?
Trump himself isn’t immune from the back-and-forth between the two rivals, frequently bringing up the specter of Clinton to bolster a point he’s making on policy or politics (whereby his crowds still chant “lock her up”). In essence, Trump is having a hard time letting go too.
“Trump associates say one of the reasons the president continues to bring up the grueling presidential race is because he knows there are those who are trying to delegitimize his win — with the alleged involvement by Russia in the backdrop,” Parnes additionally reported.
For Trump, the consummate competitor and lifelong business and media success who always wants to “win by more,” it’s not a question of letting old rivalries go. There is a very real effort taking place by the Democrats (which certainly includes congressional leaders Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and Clinton and Obama, among others) to undermine the new president because he’s unrelenting in his drive to “make America great again.”
They prefer an America divided where people bicker over trivial side issues like bathroom access for cross-dressers. The more they can distract from the real issues of the day – jobs, the economy and foreign policy – the easier it is to believe there really is legitimate opposition to Trump.
Every time the Democrats think they might have done some damage against Trump – or dented his steel spine – he comes back even stronger. The man loves the sparring matches a lot more than arranging the details of the fight. Trump leaves the minutiae to the policy wonks (which is a bad thing in the case of the Ryancare bill) and takes his media sword out to battle the dragons.
Or, as former Vice President Spiro Agnew used to call the media, “nattering nabobs of negativism.”
The media loves Hillary because she’s the ultimate symbol of good old stable and corrupt establishment rule.
And Clinton herself indicated last week that she’s ready to come back, too.
Daniel Chaitin of the Washington Examiner reports, “Speaking at the 19th annual Saint Patrick's Day Celebration for the Society of Irish Women, the failed 2016 presidential candidate made a reference to the highly publicized first sighting of Clinton following her election loss to Donald Trump, when two days later a hiker in Chappaqua ran into Clinton while on a walk in the woods, and snapped a picture with her.
“’I am ready to come out of the woods,’ Clinton said. ‘And to help shine a light on what is already happening around kitchen tables, at diners like this, to help draw strength that will enable everybody to keep going.’”
Time will tell exactly what Hillary means by “keep going” or “shine a light.” Some say she’s set to run for Mayor of New York City. But if she’s bothering to do campaign-style events like a St. Patrick’s Day forum for Irish women in Scranton Pennsylvania of all places (it looks like her country dialect is back too!), one wonders if she’s just dusting off the pantsuit and gearing up for another run for the big office. She has a couple years to fundraise, a huge database of Democrat voters and a virtual army of worker bees at her beck and call.
One thing seems clear regardless: the Clintons aren’t going to stay “in the woods” and President Trump isn’t about to sit back and let the “losers” snipe and criticize him from the sidelines.
Maybe both sides are itching for that 2016 rematch in 2020. It’s a TV-event I think conservatives would relish.
Is the very public fight over Ryancare actually good for the GOP?
There’s little doubt that the stakes are always high in American politics today. One wrong move can send a politician’s favorable ratings plummeting in the public’s eye. Perhaps for this reason our elected leaders always seem to be on edge.
There have been many who claimed the recent Republican spat over healthcare will end up being a net-negative for the party, with irreparable damage being done between the establishment, conservatives and the grassroots.
Is that really the case or is the back-and-forth just part of the political process?
Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal wrote, “From the moment Speaker Paul Ryan unveiled his ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill, the media have declared it a doomed project. The newspapers have run out of synonyms for division, disunity, discord, conflict, struggle, mess. Since the only thing the media enjoy more than bashing Republicans is helping Republicans bash each other, the cable stations have offered a nonstop loop of a handful of GOP naysayers and grandstanders (cue Rand Paul) who wish the bill ill.
“Perhaps the talking heads can be excused for their dim outlook. The Obama administration marked one of the more dysfunctional and destructive periods in Washington—eight years of threats, executive rule, noncommunication and opposition politics. So it is undoubtedly confusing for some people suddenly to watch an honest-to-goodness legislative process, with all its negotiating, horse-trading and consensus-building.”
Her jab against Rand Paul aside, Strassel is right. What’s taking place now between the White House and Republican members of Congress hasn’t been seen much around these parts in the past decade. There have been numerous meetings between conservatives and Trump the past couple weeks and the cable news shows are filled with faces making various arguments for and against the legislation.
There are signs Trump is having some effect on the process as apparently the leadership is willing to make some concessions that brought the House Republican Study Committee onboard with the bill.
Gabby Morrongiello of the Washington Examiner reported, “President Trump said Friday that he has convinced members of the Republican Study Committee to support legislation that would start chipping away at Obamacare, after a meeting in which a congressional aide said the White House offered flexibility on Medicaid to secure their support…
“To assuage the group of House conservatives, the aide said Trump offered states a new option on Medicaid. Under the current House bill, Medicaid would transition to a program in which states are given a fixed sum of money per beneficiary, but under the compromise offered by Trump, states would have the additional choice of receiving a lump sum block grant instead. The proposed compromise would also add incentives that will boost the likelihood that states will adopt a work requirement for Medicaid.”
The wrestling match will continue. The bill may pass, it might not. If it doesn’t change drastically the country would be much better off if the bill failed.
But I can’t help but think the media’s claim that Trump’s presidency hinges on the healthcare issue is all gristle and no beef. The intra-party disputes that’re taking place now are just a preview of what’s going to happen time and again in the months ahead as Congress takes up tax reform, trade legislation and possibly a new infrastructure bill.
The Democrats will oppose everything, so there’s nothing to see there; they’ve taken themselves out of the process and are now functioning only as a European-style parliamentary opposition party, although in their case they can’t demand new elections. But conservatives and Republicans have serious differences of opinion on issues with Trump sometimes siding with one group or another but mostly just serving as a go-between and lead negotiator for the factions. Or as is the case with the healthcare bill, both as a facilitator and an arbitrator at the same time.
Either way, this is not the end of Trump’s presidency if the bill fails. Far from it. With an incredibly short attention span the media will move on to the next topic du jour and so will the American public. Healthcare will be forgotten…until Obamacare implodes.
Strassel is correct; it’s all part of the legislating process. On balance, a good thing for the country.