That was fun, wasn’t it?
Since November, Republican leaders had nothing to celebrate. Nada.
Last week, though, they tied one on after the 300-plus pages of the Mueller report were summed up on a Snapple cap.
“Par-tay,” rejoiced the party of officially sanctioned corruption. Mitch McConnell broke out the peach schnapps, Lindsey Graham the Southern Comfort.
Then came the next morning.
Dawn’s blinding light saw these headlines on the same home page of Politico:
“GOP shaken by Trump’s health care plans.”
“Republicans want Trump to back off economy-wrecking tariffs.”
“DeVos defends Special Olympics cut amid outcry.”
Oh, and this:
“Mueller grand jury ‘continuing robustly,'” prosecutor says.”
Where to start? Let’s start where the Democrats are picking up — the central issue by which they routed the GOP in the midterms: health care.
By siding with a suit out of Texas, the Trump administration seeks to end the Affordable Care Act in its entirety – its coverage of millions, its requirements about pre-existing conditions, its protection of coverage for young adults under their parents’ plans. And get this: It would do this without any alternative to the ACA in mind.
This is not a fight Republicans want right now. McConnell has signaled as much.
In the morning after, if the Democrats wanted to get back to matters that have benefited them politically, Trump had just done their bidding.
That same morning, reports showed the economy slowing down – a GDP growth rate of 2.2 percent in the last quarter as compared to a projected 2.6 percent.
There’s no question that, along with the lapsing sugar high of the GOP tax cuts, a key factor is Trump’s trade war. His tariffs have barely benefited anyone on these shores, while driving up the cost of U.S. goods.
Who’s benefiting? Consider the report from Bloomberg about how a Chinese supplier of paper utensils found a way to get around tariffs it faced in supplying to U.S. restaurants:
It opened a $4 million factory in Mexico.
As the story pointed out: “Mexico has seen big gains in shipments to the U.S. in categories where competing Chinese goods were hit with tariffs.”
Nice job, Mr. President. In Spanish, that’s, “Buen trabajo.”
We thought the whole idea was to boost the American economy. Oh, well.
Well, let’s shift our gaze to other Trump bungles. How about the horror show of bad publicity about zeroing out the Special Olympics?
It was never going to happen. The funding is supported on both sides of the aisle in Congress. If someone with a brain the size of a walnut was looking at political realities as plain as the button nose on Betsy DeVos’s face, that person would never suggest it.
An actual walnut would have better instincts.
Yep. Well, Secretary of Education DeVos, Trump and his party took a pounding for the idea for a whole brutal news cycle until Trump scrubbed the idea.
Meanwhile, while Trump stomps and stumps about his supposed vindication regarding the Mueller report, the investigation of His Lowness continues.
The grand jury in question involves matters Mueller handed off to federal prosecutors. We can’t know those things they are, but they are not gone.
Meanwhile, we know that state regulators are investigating whether the Trump Group committed insurance fraud and bank fraud. We also know about a probe into corruption regarding donations that footed the most expensive inauguration in history.
We know that Trump is implicated in a crime for which his former attorney is going to prison in the hush-money arrangement for a porn star.
This brings up another story from Politico headlined, “Donald Trump’s talent for turning wins into losses,” about the man’s pathological hubris and tendency to overreach.
It all adds up to a continuing, chronically debilitating headache for the Republican Party, and until 2020, for the nation.
Back in the ’80s, Ronald Reagan sailed the waves of public opinion with the shining slogan, “Morning in America.” For the Trump era, it’s “Migraine in America.”
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.