Beyond the Cusp

September 24, 2017

Obamacare in the Balance

 

The Graham-Cassidy partial repeal and replacement for Obamacare is rapidly approaching the September 30 reconciliation deadline by which it must be enacted to be of any real usefulness. The problem facing the Republicans is very simple, they probably will never have the votes to do any replacement and a straight repeal is even less likely. The problem is very easily stated from their last fiasco where the votes which sunk them all came from the Republican side, as they knew going in that the Democrat vote would be a single block of solid against any repeal of their President Obama signature accomplishment. The Democrats are going to double and triple down on Obamacare as without Obamacare they stand behind eight years of nothing. The problem this time includes everyone from the last go-round Lamar Alexander, Shelley Moore Capito, Susan Collins, Dean Heller, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, and Rob Portman plus one additional, Rand Paul. Many a pundit and Capital Hill expert claim that this list can be narrowed down to probably just four names, Rand Paul, Susan Collins, John McCain and Lisa Murkowski. The good side is apparently the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare Replacement Bill has addressed the concerns of the rest of the Republicans and cemented the opposition of the entirety of the Democrats. With reports that place Rand Paul and Susan Collins in Schumer’s Democrat opposition column, McConnell cannot lose a single other Republican vote; and with too many placing John McCain and Lisa Murkowski as still in the undecided column, the entire idea of calling a vote should be in doubt. Still, it appears that McConnell will call for a vote next week. Now many articles are going to talk endlessly about how the Republicans are committing suicide playing these games while the entire healthcare insurance business burns to the ground. They will claim that their promise to repeal and replace Obamacare was a sacred oath which will cost them dearly in the midterm elections. Well yea and yes on all of that and what more can be said. That has been covered ad-nauseum. Why not talk about Chucky Schumer and the Democrat solid block of opposition for a change.

 

The one item which has escaped coverage in the debate over repeal and replacement of Obamacare has been the lockstep denial of any need to do so by almost every single Democrat and every single democrat in the Senate. Senator Chuck Schumer has been leading them to what might be for them an inglorious end come the midterms. The people who have witnessed their insurance premiums go up or their plans nixed all together or who have lost their physician were not merely Republicans, many were also Democrats who may feel betrayed if something is not done to turn these events around. One need recall that President Trump won thirty states outright in the Presidential elections which would appear to depict that there are some very upset Democrats who either voted for Trump and thus favor the repeal and replace of Obamacare amongst other items or an equal number of Democrats who stayed home as they are done with the Democrats until they get their bearing back. Either way you look at this, it means that the Democrats tripling down on Obamacare is very likely to bode poorly for them come the midterm elections. Sure, the Republicans will face some anger but their anger will be focused on those who refused to vote according to their promises of seven years when they were repealing Obamacare once a month on average, or so it seemed. The voters know that Obamacare was passed purely on Democrat support and lies, but mostly on forced Democrat unity while the Republicans in both the House of Representatives and Senate voted against it, not a single Republican vote was cast to pass Obamacare. Apparently, there is a difference between voting for Obamacare and voting to remove Obamacare on the Republican side, not so on the Democrat side, as they remain lockstep voting as a block without any defectors to save Obamacare at all costs. This has apparently become a position upon which the leadership of the Democrat Party are willing to hang their shingle upon and run as the Obamacare Party in elections for as long as this remains an issue, which apparently will be at least through the midterm elections. They are following Chuck Schumer in the Senate as if he were the Pied Piper.

 

Chuck Schumer and his Democrats

Chuck Schumer and his Democrats

 

The idea that not being capable of repeal and replace will sink the entire Republican Party is what we hear from critic after critic and apparently, the Democrats have been sold the concept that Republicans and only Republicans are going to pay for any failure to repeal and replace Obamacare. This is a false picture as what is far more likely is that should Obamacare not be repealed and replaced then on the Republican side Rand Paul, Susan Collins, John McCain and Lisa Murkowski will be held to blame and face the ire of their voters. Senator McCain will not likely be running for another term due to health issues and thus does not care about the ire of his constituents, but the rest, if they are not also retiring, should. On this issue, all those hurt by Obamacare will likely have very long memories even to lasting six years out for those just reelected. Meanwhile, the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare Replacement has been revamped and though not a complete repeal and replacement, it fills in many of the gaps and repeals much of the hurtful sections of Obamacare, retains the most popular, and is still not the complete fix desired but a long step in the right direction. There is plenty to be happy over and there will be further legislation to tweak and patch the remaining problems both foreseen and unforeseen but soon to crop up. The voters are not in favor of the complete repeal because Obamacare did give voters free things and they want to retain all the free stuff which is understandable even if unwise. Where the problems arise is it took far too many things people have relied upon for a long time and destroyed those systems. Many realize that should Obamacare continue that it would destroy the entirety of the healthcare insurance business leaving only government healthcare for all and this was completely unacceptable to a large sector of people. This includes a good percentage of Democrat voters and they are scared, just as scared as the Republican voters, and this will be shown as the Democrats become the Obamacare Party and seen to represent little else than complete takeover of healthcare by the government. Has it even occurred to anybody that the people of the United States do not want to become just another European style government handout nation? If that thought has escaped you as a representative of the people, perhaps it is time you weighed that thought before you vote to retain the one piece of legislation designed to do exactly that. That includes Democrats as well as Republicans. If the Democrats wish to go down as the Obamacare Party, that is their choice, but as the Whig Party went down over opposition to slavery and the Republican Party was thus born, perhaps some of the Democrats should consider what to call the party that will be founded on the remains of the Democrat Party as its brand dies over Obamacare.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 22, 2017

Did the Republicans Out Maneuver the Republicans?

 

President Trump made a miscalculation at the beginning of his term which he is unlikely to make again. He believed that as he had won the Presidency that he was now the leader of the Republican Party. He assumed that the Republican Party was very similar to the Democrat Party which he knew rather well having seen them operate for many of his years. He believed that the Republicans would be assisting him with his agenda. He now knows that his assumption was not quite valid. There were Republicans who believed that they had the right to control the Republican Party and that they were going to force President Trump to allow them to control the agenda no matter what it took. Their first stand was over repeal and replace of Obamacare where they prevented all three proposals from passing and brought President Trump to his realization that there was a sufficiently sizeable group of Republicans who did not care about the good for the American people, they cared solely about their power and control. They would sacrifice the Republican Party from holding the White House if it meant they could impose that they were the real powerful members of the Republican Party. They had everything figured out, they would hold the promises made by candidate Trump hostage until President Trump submitted to their control. Then they would dictate policy as they were meant to do. One felt particularly cheated because he should have been the Republican in the White House the past eight years but he was robbed by President Obama. Then they threatened to foil President Trump’s tax reform plans unless he allowed them to take charge and do what was the right thing to do. These rebelling Republicans were a motely group of very liberal Republicans plus a few very angry Republicans who despised that this upstart who has never held any elected office or paid his dues to the Republican Party was now the President and leader of their party, that is their party. They were not going to bow before this upstart and he was going to bow to them and they would finally dictate and make things right, make them how they had always believed they should be, finally achieve those things they knew were necessary.

 

President Trump is a different kind of politician, a business politician who believes in making deals as necessary. When he realized that because of this small band of aggravated Republicans who were bent on refusing him any victory, President Trump did the only thing which makes any business sense, he went to work with the Democrats. He offered the Democrats hope for a deal but first they had to prove they could produce the votes by giving him something he badly needed, raising the debt limit. The Democrats gave President Trump his debt ceiling increase and the will to achieve more things which they hold in common. There are Republicans who have accused and thought that President Trump would be right at home amongst the Democrats. Now there will be howls from the Republicans about President Trump joining with the Democrats and deserting the Republican Party. The discussion will be interesting between the Republicans and President Trump as each one accuses the other of betrayal. Which one honestly betrayed the other will depend upon one’s own views and probably which side your political bread is buttered. It might even just come down to which of the two main characters in this grand opera you believe is the better person, President Trump or Senator McCain. What comes next will prove to be telling and it will depend heavily on whether President Trump actually cares about working with the Republicans or now feels he has new friends he can depend upon.

 

Senator McCain versus President Trump

Senator McCain versus President Trump

 

The one thing, which we can tell President Trump, is that the Democrats suffer from an ideological block that only permits them to serve their own purposes. Then President Trump also needs to know that those renegade Republicans who appeared to hate his becoming President with so much passion that they refused to do things even that they had promised for the last seven years to their own constituents are just as untrustworthy. But it is very likely that the President already has this game figured and will work with whomever wishes to play ball with him and assist him in getting certain ideas pushed through to fruition. This may mean working with the Democrats on Tuesdays and Thursdays and working with the Republican on Mondays and Fridays and working with a combination made up from both parties who are simply interested in advancing what is best for the people of the United States on Wednesdays. In such a scenario, we predict that Wednesdays would be outstandingly productive. But the real question is what is the immediate path the President might try as neither party has a proven record or appears completely committed to his ideas and programs.

 

President Trump is going to need to prove that he really can perform the art of the deal. The question will be with whom he will be dealing. President Trump will most likely move to have the Republicans take a shot at passing his tax reform plan, something they will probably demand not be as deep a cut or that so many of the loopholes and deductions be removed. The Democrats would be even more averse to working with President Trump on any form of tax reduction unless he would agree to raising other taxes or enacting Single Payer Healthcare, otherwise known as Medicare for All. The Democrats have always been the deal makers where their half of the deal always has to be enacted first and too often their agreement to enact more later often does not come to fruition. At least that has been the record in their past, especially when it comes to amnesty for illegal aliens (undocumented immigrants) and closure of the border to prevent additional illegal aliens (undocumented immigrants). Fortunately, the President’s next major fight will be tax reduction and reform. This would be an area better suited to working with the Republican Party. That would be a good starting point for President Trump if that is his next venture, but he should also enlist any willing Democrat assistance available just in case the Republican rebellion is still in vogue, then the tax program could still have a good opportunity for passage. Wherever President Trump’s agenda plans may be, he might be required to enlist the willing on each program from both parties in order to bring his campaign promises to fruition. The immediate problems facing President Trump is finding a coalition of the willing from both parties and proceed with the work at hand. To do anything less would be disrespectful of those who elected him to accomplish those items he promised during the campaign. The voters did not care who President Trump works with, they just wanted him to work on those items he promised. They do not even care if he believes in that which he promised, they just demand that he deliver or he will have only one term. Then again, after the way President Trump has been treated, he may not desire another term which makes him even more of a problem as then he has nothing to lose by doing whatever he feels is necessary. At least things will be interesting, and that is very good for those who write about politics.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 20, 2017

The Trump, Pelosi, Schumer Fallout

 

Did former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi really believe that there would be no fallout from working with President Trump? Did Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer really think that there would be no fallout from working with President Trump? Then again, did President Trump really believe their would be no difficulties once he deserted his base of support and courted with those considered the heart of the enemy camp? And then there are the initial signals from the new direction, the change from confrontation to cooperation. The biggest sign that there is trouble in Potomac River City was the comment by President Trump that, “the wall will come later, we’re right now renovating large sections of wall, massive sections, making it brand new.” Many of us will claim very simply that we have heard this song and seen this dance number before from President Ronald Reagan through President George W. Bush. The Democrat promise that if you give them amnesty now they will gladly build your wall on the border later has worked every time they have pushed it before, it will probably work now as well. The problem with President Trump is that he knows little to nothing about political history and is like a neophyte seeing all of this for the first time. The fact is that most of his Cabinet are also new to politics as many are from the military or business world and not exactly long standing political experts. But there has been more in commentary from both sides.

 

From the left we have Murshed Zaheed of CREDO Action claiming that the California and New York representatives, indicating Pelosi and Schumer, were “out of touch with the zeitgeist of the progressive movement.” But wait, there’s more! Democratic Representative from Virginia, Gerry Connolly, warned that dealings with the President was unwise stating, “Let’s not fool ourselves, he is this person we know, and I just think there must be both political and moral limitations with how far we’re willing to cooperate with that.” From a different Democrat viewpoint veteran Democratic strategist Rodell Mollineau stated, “We might have to deal with this guy for four years. What can we do during that time to save America?” Imagine that, there is somebody with a touch of reason from amongst the fury and anger we have seen on the college campuses and social media. Still, it is kind of reassuring that the Democrats appear to be as good with their communications as are the Republicans. Talking of the Republicans, Representative Steven King, a pro-Trump Congressman from Iowa, put it like this commenting on what will come should the wall not be delivered as promised, “The base will leave him. They can’t support him anymore.” Apparently, Representative King has doubts that the Trump assurances that there are sections being renovated, upgraded and being made brand new will ring all that well out in the midlands and he is very probably correct. The actual test will come down the road, just like it always has and it will be a concrete, easy to measure means, simply whether or not the Border Wall, an impenetrable (or at least excessively difficult) border system guarding from above and below ground, in the waters and the highest mountain tops, the open plains and the deep woods gets constructed and proves its mettle against the illegal immigrants.

 

The Betrayers Trump, McConnell, Pelosi, Schumer

The Betrayers Trump, McConnell, Pelosi, Schumer

 

President Trump sent the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) to the Congress for them to consider and decide whether to codify President Obama’s Executive Order into legislation and return it then to President Trump for his final ruling by one of three ways, a straight veto, signed into law or using a pocket veto which by ignoring to take any position for ten days allowing it to be vetoed through inaction and presumably avoiding making an actual decision and avoiding the scowls and reprobations of the media. Needless to say, whatever choice President Trump might take, the media will make him seem like the scourge of humanity. The only way out is if the Congress does not manage to pass a DACA Bill. Since we can count on the Democrats to vote almost unanimously to codify President Obama’s order and the Never Trumpers to assist them plus the Republicans who supported amnesty from the start will be sufficient to pass some form of amnesty with little to no difficulty. The Democrats were chomping at the bit to get this handed to them and all but immediately pass it back to Trump all formalized with the assist of not too few Republicans. One must wonder what President Trump wanted from this entire scenario of including Democrats except if he wanted to appear to be working with the Democrats for some reason, possibly to aggravate the Republicans as punishment for their inability to cooperate with the President on repeal and replace Obamacare and leaving town without even giving the President even a single tip of their hat concerning his tax simplification and reduction plans before taking the first flight out of town in mid-August. Maybe President Trump has learned a thing or two and perhaps he is being played by the Democrats, only time will tell.

 

Something tells us it is going to be an interesting four years and the next Presidential election will be even more interesting. Watching Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren battle for the senior circuit position in the Democrat Party while there will be the new young guns shooting for the stars hoping that at least one will have what it takes to challenge the senior circuit. There are some placing the early wagers on Senator Elect from California Kamala Harris as the young and energetic new face being groomed for Presidential run in 2020. Then there will be plenty more infighting within the Republican Party as Senator John McCain attempts to prove that he deserves to be the Republican candidate in 2020. He truly believes that he deserves a second shot at the brass ring. There is nothing sadder than an old guard captain who refuses to understand when he would be best served simply hanging on to the position he holds, if he can. His pouty child act might just cost him his Senate gig in 2022, especially if he were to replace Trump in 2020 and then lose a second run for the office of President. What would happen if both major parties tear themselves to pieces and in the interim numerous new faces from people who have never been in politics come from nowhere and make the noise necessary that the majority in the Congress shifts in an entirely new direction. Imagine a Congress is 2020 made up of a majority of new faces belonging to neither party and then it would matter not who wins the Presidency. That would present a whole new dawn for America if only the people have the bravery and fortitude to take back their nation.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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