May 31, 2017

Donald Trump wants Mitch McConnell to end the legislative filibuster. Stopped laughing yet?

And on last night's Last Word, Jonathan Chait and Charlie Sykes (yeah don't get me started) discussed the see-saw between the Republican Congress and the so-called president who was also elected as a Republican by Republican voters and nominated by the Republican convention by winning most of the Republican delegates.

(Aside: No Tea Party rebranding for this party, ever again. It isn't "Trumpism" it's the Republican Party. Ryan and McConnell are co-conspirators.)

Jonathan Chait outlined the problem:

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: The president tweeted again recently that he wants to get rid the 60-vote rule in the Senate. The so-called filibuster Mitch McConnell saying 'absolutely not.' What does it mean to the agenda in the Congress now that the arteries are clogged with scandal investigations in Congress?

JONATHAN CHAIT: It limits issues they can tackle and how they can tackle them. There are many things the Republicans would like to do but can't because of the filibuster. They will love to weaken or eliminate Dodd/Frank which was the limits on Wall Street, in the financial industry, enacted under the Obama administration. They would love to get rid of those rules or weaken those rules, and they can't. All they can do is pass what's called reconciliation bills which deal with taxes and spending. That means even though they are trying to deal with health care they can only deal with the tax and spending aspects of health care. Which means the only thing their bills can do is cut taxes and cut spending on healthcare. It's the same Obamacare it's just 'less' of it. It's not making anybody happier it's just taking away what people have. That's I think what is behind the frustration that Trump is expressing the Senate rules that the Senate doesn't want to change.

And Charlie Sykes asked a question I know the answer to!

CHARLIE SYKES: ...Their agenda is to link together the tax cuts with the cuts in health care is politically toxic. I think the political historians are going to have a hard time unpacking the thinking of the Republicans going in this particular order, linking these things two together -- these two things together under a president who explicitly did not campaign for this agenda. This stuff is a very, very tough sell under any circumstances. Maybe it's politically impossible but it's especially difficult if you have a president who does not believe in it, did not campaign on it, and frankly, who promised to do exactly the opposite in some cases.

Political historians will have no problem unpacking why the Republicans in Congress rushed to "repeal" Obamacare ahead of everything else. Nearly all of them in the House were elected by Fox Newsicans since Barack Obama became president. They have no political experience, and many of them are nothing but smooth-talking White guy car salesmen with a haircut and enough bank to get ads on TV. And they have nothing on their "agenda" but repealing Obamacare.

Their president is just like them, only more.

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