Our “I alone can fix it” president has gotten us in another fix, all right.
Of course, whenever he screws up big time, Mister I Alone starts blaming everyone but Mister I Alone.
He had admitted as much the other day when he was in Singapore for his summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and bragged about the great deal he imagined he had made: “I may stand before you in six months and say, ‘Hey, I was wrong.’ I don’t know that I’ll ever admit that, but I’ll find some kind of an excuse.” He was, in his gruesome way, joking, but many a truth in jest, etc.
Just this week, The Daily 202, the compendium of political news from the Washington Post, made a list of some of the many times Donald Trump has tried to avoid responsibility—when he ended DACA, when Congress failed to completely scuttle Obamacare, when anti-gun violence legislation failed to pass, when the tax cut plan was in danger, when a failed covert operation in Yemen cost the life of a Navy SEAL.
“Time and time again, the president has sought to shift the blame for his own decisions and their consequences to his political opponents,” James Hohmann wrote. “He’s doing it again this week by falsely blaming Democrats for his own policy of forcibly separating migrant children from their parents at the border, which he could stop with one phone call.”
Children in detention camps without their mothers and fathers, the youngest in “tender age” facilities—now there’s a tawdry, Orwellian use of a loving word like “tender” if ever there was one. At first, Trump saw this inhumane fiasco as a success while simultaneously claiming it wasn’t his fault, pointing his stubby little fingers at everyone else; Democrats, Congress, the courts, Obama, of course, and even George W. Bush.
But at bottom, and I do mean bottom, Trump, such White House horrors as Stephen Miller, John Kelly, Attorney General Sessions, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and their compliant cronies are responsible and have been willing to lie to us time and again as they held babies hostage to Trump’s obsession with his stupid border wall.
Unrepentant, on Wednesday, a petulant Trump was made to bow to public outrage and political pressure and sign an executive order ending the breakup of families, although the zero tolerance policy continues, kids will still be in jail, albeit with their parents, and multiple court challenges are at hand. Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, declared, “This executive order would replace one crisis for another. Children don’t belong in jail at all, even with their parents, under any set of circumstances. If the president thinks placing families in jail indefinitely is what people have been asking for, he is grossly mistaken.”
At the risk of stating the obvious, this executive order—one that only a few days ago the president said was an impossibility—is a move of cynical expedience without an ounce of the compassion he claimed to possess just before signing it. A day earlier, Trump had tweeted that the undocumented “infest our Country,” and the new order has huge problems—primarily the lack of a coherent plan to reunite the families that had been torn apart in the first place. Wednesday night, the New York Times reported, “the order does not say where the families would be detained. And it does not say whether children will continue to be separated from their parents while the facilities to hold them are located or built. Officials on a White House conference call said they could not answer those questions.”
[The insurance] includes fewer benefits and consumer protections, bypassing significant requirements of the Affordable Care Act.[...]The new rules allow plans to exclude coverage for maternity care, prescription drugs, mental-health services and other ‘essential health benefits’ the ACA requires of coverage sold to individuals and small businesses… Congressional Democrats and critics across the health-care industry say the availability of cheaper, skimpier coverage will leave some patients stranded when they get sick.
That rent increase is about six times greater than the growth in average hourly earnings, putting the poorest workers at an increased risk of homelessness because wages simply haven’t kept pace with housing expenses.
…The proposal, which needs congressional approval, is the latest attempt by the Trump administration to scale back the social safety net, under the belief that charging more for rent will prompt those receiving federal assistance to enter the workforce and earn more income. ‘It’s our attempt to give poor people a way out of poverty,’ Carson said in a recent interview with Fox News.
All of this comes just as Philip Alston, an NYU law professor and United Nations special rapporteur on global poverty, has finished writing a report on extreme poverty in the United States. The Republican tax cut bill, he says, “overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy and worsened inequality,” and worse, “The policies pursued over the past year seem deliberately designed to remove basic protections from the poorest, punish those who are not in employment and make even basic health care into a privilege to be earned, rather than a right of citizenship."
would reshuffle social welfare programs in a way that would make them easier to cut, scale back or restructure, according to several administration officials involved in the planning.Among the most consequential ideas is a proposal to shift the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a subsistence benefit that provides aid to 42 million poor and working Americans, from the Agriculture Department to a new mega-agency that would have ‘welfare’ in its title—a term Mr. Trump uses as a pejorative catchall for most government benefit programs.
Trump and his crowd are dedicated to curdling the milk of human kindness. They fill their pockets while destroying America in a misbegotten attempt to take it back to a time of ethnic purity that never really was while establishing a new Gilded Age where only a handful can prosper at the expense of everyone else. We are becoming a mean boy nation, a nation once of immigrants but now one of bullies and tyrants. Our president breaks everything he sees, including our democracy and our republic.