A False Choice Between Pursuing Russia Collusion and Fighting TrumpCare
Jeet Heer frames things in a way I don’t agree with.
Health care. Health care. Health care. Russia story might destroy Trump but it's health care that will finish off Trumpism.
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) May 20, 2017
The Russia story is not ‘taking care of itself.’ Now I agree it may look this way but that’s due to the intense demands of #TheResistance. If the Democrats suddenly stopped talking about Trump Russia much, Trump and the GOP would feel they had room to kill off the investigation.
As it is the GOP Congress is trying every dirty trick to slow the investigation down.
There are plenty of procedural hurdles the GOP Congress and Trump could put in place to slow down the investigation. Impeachment-the Holy Grail of #TheResistance-is a political process. Turn down the pressure, and the process slows down. It will no longer appear to be ‘taking care of itself.’
As for Jeet Heer’s second tweet “Health care. Health care. Health care. Russia story might destroy Trump but it’s health care that will finish off Trumpism”, I’m not sure how to read it. Is this a classic progressive demand that it’s not enough to win we must win for the ‘right reason?’
But I disagree with this juxtaposition of a false choice between healthcare-the right reason-and Russia collusion-the wrong reason.
Here is my working theory of what the political lesson of Trump Russia collusion. First it’s not just about Trump-the entire GOP party is implicated in Russia collusion.
We now know that despite their attempts to laugh off Russia collusion in public-Russia is a ruse-they knew what Russia was doing on Trump’s behalf all along-and there are reports that they may have even directed the Russian hackers on what to hack. This, by the way, makes sense. The Russian hackers logically would not know what to hack. How did they know to target the DNC, the DCC, the state databases and Podesta?
Clearly they had some Americans telling where the greatest political bang for the buck was. The Dems need to frame 2018 and 2020 as a race against the Vichy Republicans.
The GOP that for years accused liberals of not loving their country-remember Jeanne Kirk Patrick Circa 1984 GOP Convention?
In truth there is not a liberal America and a conservative America, there are only liberals and Americans.
Now it turns out that the more patriotic than Thou GOP are the real traitors. What happened? My working theory is: they know the country doesn’t agree with their reactionary economic and social agenda so the made a Faustian deal with Trump-Russia to win via treason.
They are the false mother willing to split the baby.
The GOP was willing to betray their own country to advance their own unpopular partisan and ideological agenda-destroying Medicare in tax cuts for their rich GOP friends, etc.
A debate over whether the Dems should fight TrumpCare or push hard on Russia collusion is a false choice.
Seems like a false choice.
X ignores Trump's obstruction of justice because they're working together to take people's healthcare away…. https://t.co/Z5zpGFYnWy
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) May 20, 2017
You could argue that they were so determined to impose TrumpCare they made a Faustian deal to accept-or maybe even facilitate collusion.
On other point about the threat to ObamaCare. Yes, it’s very real. The Senate GOP is conducting back room negotiations to kill it. Trump himself is also trying to sabotage it within.
Here’s the good news. The Dems are on it. They plan to push back hard on the Senate GOP’s backroom machinations.
After pushing hard for greater scrutiny on the deepening Russia investigations, Senate Democrats now want to shift their attention to killing the Republicans’ back-room negotiations to repeal Obamacare.”
But there’s something else I think Jeet Heer’s formulation misses. He makes it sound like there’s a zero sum game-you can either talk about healthcare or Russia collusion, you can’t do both. Until now the Dems have managed to do just that.
His worry seems to be that there is only X amount of hours in the day to push your agenda and time spent on Russia lessens the time spent on healthcare.
But the upside is that the more Russia is in the news, the more the WH itself has to respond to it. It sucks the air out of the room for the Trump GOP agenda.
Some Democrats see an opportunity to use the Russia cloud hanging over the White House to further toxify the repeal effort they’ve labeled “Trumpcare.”
“It’s true that the news hole is rather small for non-Russia-related matters, but I think that imperils their agenda,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said. “Trumpcare was very, very unpopular. This makes it harder, not easier for them.”
Exactly. There is also the Ted Lieu (D-CA) argument that all regular order ceases until we get to the bottom of Trump Russia.
Dem rep: ‘We must pause the entire Trump agenda’ until Russia investigation complete.”
“The bombshell revelation that U.S. officials have information that suggests Trump associates may have colluded with the Russians means we must pause the entire Trump agenda. We may have an illegitimate President of the United States currently occupying the White House,” Lieu said in a statement.
In my opinion, Congressman Lieu is exactly right.
Now on a tactical level that might strike the Jeet Heer framing as wrong. Lieu is arguing for Democrats opposing TrumpCare not just on its own-terrible-merits but that it’s being put forward by a President whose legitimacy is very much open to question.
I disagree with those who would argue we must focus solely on the substance of why TrumpCare is a monstrosity-though we must do that in great detail on the 2018 campaign trail. But Lieu’s point that this awful, terrible, very bad, no good bill is being pushed by an arguably illegitimate President just gives the fight an added dimension rather than it subtracts out the substantive argument.
Overall, Senator Brian Schatz is right. Russia collusion makes it much harder not easier for Trump and the GOP to pass its reactionary agenda.
Trump is going to be more and more hunkered down in the coming months-as will his entire staff, Indeed, those that work for Trump currently face a larger threat than he himself as he along has criminal immunity on the Special Counsel investigation.
The point is Russia collusion sucks up al the air in the room for any kind of positive Trump agenda.
That’s the other side of Zero Sum, Heer doesn’t factor in. The more time Trump and his staff spend talking to lawyers, the less time they have to advance their reactionary agenda.
President Donald Trump is tired of not winning.
He wants to talk about jobs, or trade, or combating illegal immigration, or his victory in the 2016 election. But reality continues to intervene.”
That’s what keeping Russia collusion in the news does.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.