The Monday Morning Teaser

There’s an outrage-of-the-week, and there’s stuff happening of long-term significance. Which to focus on?

The outrage of this week is genuinely outrageous: A guy held one of the most sensitive jobs in the White House with only an interim security clearance, because the FBI wouldn’t clear him after learning that he was violent with his two previous wives and a subsequent girl friend. It looks like Don McGahn and John Kelly knew for months, did nothing, and watched Hope Hicks start going out with him. After the news broke, they defended him until the press got hold of a photo of his first wife with a black eye. Jennifer Rubin connects this with a long series of abuses and says, “The core mission of the GOP is now to defend abusers.”

The longer-term issue is the spending deal that ended another government shutdown. (It happened for a few hours in the middle of the night, so you might have missed it.) The deal is that Republicans get the defense-spending increases they want, Democrats get the domestic-spending increases they want, and the Dreamers are still left hanging. So we’ve cut taxes, raised spending, and now for the first time in history we face trillion-dollar deficits at a time when the economy is supposed to be humming nicely.

The deficit is one of those issues that the country (especially the Republican half) is bipolar about. Sometimes it’s a threat to the survival of our nation, and then other times it’s not worth serious concern. As a Democrat, it’s tempting to just flip the Republican script: be apocalyptic when they’re sanguine and sanguine when they’re apocalyptic. I’m trying to resist that temptation, so I won’t repeat the ridiculous stuff about the country going bankrupt that we heard so often when Obama was president. Still, though, there must be some reason not to run up a big national debt; otherwise the government could just make us all millionaires. What is it?

I’ll address that question — and provide ample evidence of Republican hypocrisy — in the featured post “Does the Exploding Federal Deficit Matter?” That should be out around 9 EST.

The weekly summary will take on the wife-beating outrage, and wonder what on Earth the Democrats are thinking about immigration and the Dreamers. I’ll also tell a few deportation stories that you should bookmark and share whenever some Trumpist starts talking about protecting the country from the “bad hombres”. I’ll also point to a fascinating study of how porn influences teen attitudes towards sex, mention a Scott Pruitt interview that would have been the outrage-of-the-week in saner times, say some calming words about the stock market plunge, and link to a few other things, before closing with an upbeat music video from New Zealand about people who build their own coffins. That should be up around 11.

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  • JPI  On February 12, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Regarding the comments about Republicans defending abusers, I’m left thinking of the Distress of the Privileged. I teach English and has been consistently one of the most prominent features of our literature and I see it repeatedly in our politics. And I see it here again.

  • cgordon  On February 12, 2018 at 9:47 am

    “The core mission of the GOP is now to defend abusers.”

    The core mission of the GOP is to defend Republicans and attack Democrats.

  • Ryan  On February 12, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Oh, boy, I’m not a fan of Seth Abrahamson. He fabricates a lot of stuff.

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