Wednesday, June 17, 2015

This & That

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR - Republicans have made no secret of their desire to repeal "Obamacare." GOP presidential hopefuls have said that if elected repealing Obamacare is job #1. Killing Obamacare is one thing everyone in the GOP agrees on. As we have seen in the past, ideological bravado tends to get a bit weak in the knees when it runs headlong into reality.

Sometime during the next two weeks…perhaps as soon as tomorrow…the Supreme Court will hand down a decision that could strike down subsidies for millions of Americans who have enrolled in Obamacare through federal exchanges. The affect would be to gut the president’s signature piece of legislation at its very core.

You would expect Republicans to be hopeful that the Court would hand down such a ruling. After all they filed the suit against Obamacare that has led to this signature moment. But instead Republicans are deeply concerned that a ruling in their favor may ultimately be a disaster for the Party. GOP concerns are twofold: #1…a ruling against Obamacare would leave 6 million previously insured Americans without the subsidies they were counting on to purchase coverage and lay the blame squarely at the feet of the GOP. #2…should the Court rule in their favor, Republicans have no plan to replace Obamacare. Some conservatives would leave the existing law in place for a few months to allow themselves and their states time to find a path forward. Others would move to kill the law in its entirety immediately and start over. Neither option would get past a presidential veto.

After five years of trashing Obamacare you would think the GOP would have a plan in place in the event their efforts were successful. Their lack of foresight only further calls into question the Party’s ability to reach consensus and govern.

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM – Donald Trump is running for president. At least that is what he announced yesterday in a rambling 45 minute off script rant.

Trump was typical Trump…confident, boastful and controversial. He told us he was so rich that he didn’t need anybody else’s money to fund his campaign and backed it up by passing out a document that showed his net worth at over $8 billion. He blasted Bush and Rubio; discounting them as serious contenders. He referred to those illegally crossing over the border from Mexico as rapists. There was little substance here but the entertainment value was off the charts.

Trump may be a pompous ass, a narcissist and a buffoon. But he is a buffoon with a message that resonates with a significant segment of the far right; a position that Ted Cruz has made a career out of exploiting. Unlike Cruz, Trump has a ton of money to carry that message forward. Unlike Kasich, Jindal and Fiorina he will be on that debate stage. And when the bright lights come on the only thing that will matter is “The Donald.”

I find it hard to believe that the Republican Party would ever nominate Donald Trump as their candidate for president. But then this IS the party that believed Sarah Palin was qualified to sit a heartbeat away from the Oval Office.

Get your popcorn ready! It’s gonna’ be a show!

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