Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, July 28, 2017

Nice State You Have There. Pity if Anything Happened to It.

That was essentially the threat that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke made to Senators Murkowski and Sullivan after Murkowski's first vote against TrumpNoCare.
President* Donald Trump isn't going to just let go of Sen. Lisa Murkowski's no vote Tuesday against debating Obamacare repeal.

Early Wednesday, Trump took to Twitter to express displeasure with Murkowski's vote. By that afternoon, each of Alaska's two Republican senators had received a phone call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke letting them know the vote had put Alaska's future with the administration in jeopardy.
Did it work? Nope.
The Senate has dealt a devastating setback to Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, defeating a GOP "skinny repeal" bill early Friday morning.

Sens. John McCain, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins joined with Democrats to oppose the measure, a major blow to President* Donald Trump and the Republican congressional agenda.
Murkowski is the chairman of the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee which has a lot of sway over what the Interior Department does. Murkowski wasted little time in signaling that if they want to play "fuck-fuck" games with her, she's got a pretty large hammer to swing and she's not afraid to use it.
As chairman... Murkowski indefinitely postponed a nominations markup that the Interior Department badly wants.

This demonstrated the degree to which Zinke’s ham-handed phone call was political malpractice. The secretary, or whoever at the White House ordered him to make the calls, clearly doesn’t understand the awesome power that comes with being the chairman of a Senate committee. Only an amateur would threaten the person who has oversight over his agency! If she wants, Murkowski can make Zinke’s life so unbelievably miserable.
Trump, of course, also blamed the Democrats.

He completely ignored the fact that the GOP has, from Day One, run their repeal efforts in a way that they neither needed nor sought any votes from Democratic legislators. If you keep proclaiming "we can do this ourselves, we don't need no stinking help from the likes of you", then it's not the other people's fault when your efforts crash and burn.

As to McCain, there could be a few things going on. First, he clearly has no fucks left to give. Trump insulted him repeatedly and questioned McCain's bravery. It took an amazing amount of gall for a draft-dodger to question the heroism of a man who not only was a POW, but refused early release when the enemy was trying to curry some favor. Add to that the point that there is nothing that Trump can do to McCain in retailiation for McCain's vote and that might be enough.

Another point is that this bill was truly awful and there were a number of Republican senators who, if push came to shove, would have torpedoed it themselves. But because McCain provided the coupe de gras to TrumpNoCare, they didn't have to. They could vote for a bill that they knew had no chance of passing (just like they did on the bazillion or so repeal efforts they attempted when President Obama was in office) and, by doing so, not do any harm and keep their cred up with the batshit-crazies in the GOP base. So McCain was, in essence, the beard for other GOP senators.

If there is any better example of why amateurs make shitty political chief executives than Trump (other than maybe Gov. Rauner in Illinois), I don't know who it is. Going from running businesses where you're the boss and everyone has to jump to your whistle and kowtow to your every whim to being a president or governor, where the legislature can and will tell you to fuck off and where the bureaucracy can slow-roll things on you seems to be too much of a leap.

Meanwhile, of course, Scott Pruitt is putting into play his policy of "clean air and water are for pussies", Betsy DeVois is running the Education department with a new motto of "we doan need no edjucashun" and beleagured Jeff Sessions is ramping up the failed war on drugs, but those are topics that will probably get more play now that Trump has failed to do anything about the ACA.

And, of course, the Russia thing is percolating away.


dinthebeast said...

Molly Ivins said that guys who have made a lot of money in business have a really hard time working in a system of checks and balances.
Which may be part of why this president is trying so hard to destroy or ignore those checks and balances.
And you can bet that most of the Republicans in congress breathed a sigh of relief when McCain cast his vote. They are staring down the barrel of being on the wrong side of public opinion on the ACA, like the Democrats were in 2010, and they desperately don't want a similar result in 2018, as that would mess up their whole day.
And just in time for the 2020 redistricting.

-Doug in Oakland

Borepatch said...

I've been generally supportive of what Trump has been trying to do vis a vis the Leviathan State, but this just seems to be a case of "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss".

What Trump should do is find (and support) someone to run against these people in the Primary and let the voters decide. Using Interior to punish the State will just make people vote for the incumbents because they're mad at being mistreated by Washington.

My $0.02 worth.

CenterPuke88 said...

Running someone against Murkowski in the Primary, hum....someone tried that before and she won the General as a write-in.