Bait And Switch

“Why?” she asked, “would you destroy something when it’s working pretty well, besides helping at least 20 million people have health insurance, who otherwise couldn’t afford it?”

It’s an excellent question.

I can see tweaking it and re-naming it TrumpCare. Why insist that the most popular parts of the Affordable Care Act are going to go—like permitting no discrimination against prior conditions, or adult children on their parents’ policies until age 26, another popular feature.

It’s either ideology or pure nastiness, but not necessarily Trump’s.

What is gained by tearing something down, something that’s working and benefiting so many?

I find it hard to believe that Trump is so ideologically fixated. He’s “…like I gotta good mind,” perhaps average—except when it comes to making money on deals—and conning people. He’s been all over the map on issues like abortion, historically, if not in his campaign. He’s apparently not an ideologue about LGBTQ issues, not that he’s good on them. He wasn’t consistently against regulation, but now he’s apparently dead-set against all of it. Let corporations, businesses, businessmen—and women—do what they want. Profit overrides any other interest.

Perhaps there is a libertarian streak in him, about economic issues, but no one really knows whether Exxon or pique, or profit will drive his foreign policy.

Do we know what he’ll be for and against by the appointments he’s made?

He ran as a populist, against the establishment—not only Democrats and the Obama administration, and Obama, but also, he ran against the other Republican candidates as the insurgent, the non-establishment candidate. He even, early on, made the argument obliquely, that because he was so rich and self-funding, he wasn’t beholden to anyone: not Wall Street, not main street, not the Googles or the Fords.

Well, the Googles and Fords aren’t directly in his administration, but Exxon is, hedge funds are, interest groups like the Chamber of Commerce certainly are, as well as the most right-wing Congressmen, Senators, and the military.

This isn’t just right-wing, it’s divorced from factual reality and we’re all going to be hurting because of the people around Trump: examples, not necessarily the worst.

Rex Tillerson, CEO of the largest oil company world wide denies climate science and has worked comfortably with vile dictators.

Jeff Sessions, a born segregationist, has accommodated to the times just enough to get by.

Pruitt, wants to dismantle the regulations which attempt to protect us from bad air, sick water and an ailing planet. Protect businesses, instead.

For all Trump’s talk of the terrible consequences of joblessness, all his talk of “bringing jobs back,” he has no plan to accomplish this, except for jawboning deals with random corporations that catch his attention and a vague infrastructure program that might be only tax cuts to road-building corporations, not the trillions of real dollars he claimed.

As for tax cuts: it’s the old, tried and failed: cut taxes most for the very wealthiest, and least for the poorest. The wealthy can sock their extra millions into speculative art or collectibles, buying back stock, or even gold. Those “investments” all have the same overall result: that money is taken out of circulation. It does not stimulate new jobs; its absence destroys old ones.

And tax cuts mean deficits ballooning and popular programs scrapped. The poor might get a hundred dollars in taxes back, and lose thousands when programs close their doors.

Let me tell you, Trump voters (not that you’d read my screed), you, and therefore the rest of us, are victims of a massive bait and switch. The populist billionaire surrounds himself with…billionaires. The candidate who kept on saying the military were  “a disaster,” then appointed three generals to his cabinet. The candidate said he’d protect Medicare and Social Security and when the repeal of the ACA happens, “you’ll all be covered,” he claimed—with a shroud, a cartoonist drew in response.

The candidate, who claimed he’d prefer to keep the popular no prior condition feature, now says it will go—and so much more.

When Trump named Pence his VP, everyone should have known: he’d run as a populist, but govern as a right-wing zealot. Pence as Indiana Governor, tried to pass a law for the state, requiring official funeral arrangements for an aborted fetus, or even a miscarriage!

Is there a problem making the claim that Trump is a con artist?

He hasn’t divested himself of his businesses, including, even, Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, rented from the General Services Administration with a lease that prohibits leaseholders from holding public office!

He claims that transferring control to his two sons and a trustee will be enough, but he still profits, every time someone stays in his hotels, for example, or uses his golf courses. And even if its profits are donated to the Government, with his sons in control he will know to whom he should be grateful for the business. If that isn’t an emolument, I’d like to know what is.

Already, there is one suit being put together, claiming Trump is in violation of the Constitutional emoluments clause. Other suits are in the wings.

Of course, if Trump were impeached, Pence would become President. He’s worse, a right-wing ideologue, on almost every policy issue. The only upside to impeachment: Pence is unlikely to be a good candidate for re-election.