The Monday Morning Teaser

Well, that week happened.

Since Trump’s inauguration, most of us have gotten used to much higher level of background craziness than America has seen in our lifetimes. A lot of ridiculous statements and absurd proposals just kind of bounce off my ears now, the way a hard rain bounces off a sidewalk. Even as we warn each other not to “normalize” Trump, we do get inured to him and his circus after a while.

And then you have a week like this one. McCain’s middle-of-the-night vote to shoot down the latest version of ObamaCare repeal made great drama, but only if your suspension-of-disbelief had already processed that a major piece of legislation could be kept secret until two hours before the voting started, and that senators could beg for guarantees that the bill they were about to vote for wouldn’t become law.

Oh, and when was the last time the Boy Scouts had to apologize for exposing their boys to the President of the United States? (Hint: never.)

The White House Communications Director — the guy who’s supposed to keep everybody else on message — made anatomically impossible on-the-record suggestions about another major White House staffer, and both of them are going to work this morning. (Forget that C. J. would never have said something like that about Leo. Hamilton would never have said something like that about Burr.) Trump spent a bunch of the week humiliating his own attorney general. Police departments are putting out statements reassuring the public that they don’t do the things the President just told them to do. And when the Commander in Chief announced a new policy over Twitter, the Pentagon acted like he was just some drunk guy ranting in a bar. Orrin Effing Hatch stepped up to defend transgender soldiers against Trump.

That’s the kind of week it was. Oh, and by the way, North Korea tested a missile that could hit Chicago, or maybe Boston if it was having a good day. You may not have noticed that with all the other stuff going on. (Trump responded by criticizing China, which acted like he was just some drunk guy ranting in a bar.)

In this environment, there’s a certain amount of absurdity involved in continuing to discuss public issues as if they were serious things, even though they are serious things. But I think we have to continue doing it, or at least trying.

So this week I attempt to keep on keeping on by asking: What if Congress made a serious attempt to fix ObamaCare? It’s not “imploding” or in a “death spiral” as Republicans keep claiming, but it’s also not working as well as it was supposed to for certain people, particularly in rural areas. What can or should be done about that? I’ll try to have that posted by 9 EDT, or 10 at the latest.

This week I was uninspired by the misunderstandings I ran into, so I decided not to put out a “Three Misunderstandings” piece. The series will continue, but I don’t want my weekly deadline to force it to continue at a lower quality. Expect more misunderstandings soon, but not today.

The weekly summary … did I mention it was a crazy week? I’ll try to cover all that and post something before noon.


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  • Moz in Oz  On July 31, 2017 at 7:21 am

    Dave Moulton has just introduced me to the phrase “haunted fish tank”to refer to televisions. I can’t help but feel that Trump is putting the modern ghost into the machinery of government.

    Remember \when quantum mechanics was shiny and new and the physicists who discovered it were struggling with how utterly wrong so much of it seemed? I suspect there are a lot of political scientists who feel that way right now. Less “spooky action at a distance” and more “if you say his name three times on Twitter a new policy will appear”.

  • gordonc  On July 31, 2017 at 8:56 am

    And possibly worst of all, our President in a fit of pique because he didn’t get his way on repeal threatened to punish the American people by sabotaging access to what health care they still have.

  • ccyager  On August 1, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    I keep getting the feeling that it’s all either a huge distraction from something really awful going on, or 45 is actually filming it all for a reality TV show. There’s so much that needs to be done, and the White House can’t get beyond its own in-fighting.

    • 1mime  On August 1, 2017 at 9:14 pm

      Couple incompetence with arrogance and you have a perfect recipe for disaster…or, getting nothing done.

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