Day 655 November 2, 2018 926 Days to Go
There are two lines that keep running through my head. One is the punchline to a joke, the other is a line from a song. One illustrates Trump, the other the Republican party and Dave Brat.
First, the joke and Trump – it turns out this is one of Trump’s favorite jokes. Actually, it’s a mini-morality play. It’s the joke about the rattlesnake that has wiggled too far up the mountain to sun itself. As the sun begins to set he appeals to a passerby to carry him to lower ground where he will stay warm enough to survive. The person finally agrees, carries him down and as the person is lowering the snake to the ground it bites him. As the person lies dying he asks the snake why did he do that. The rattlesnake replied, “You knew who I was and what I was before you picked me up.”
And so it is with Donald Trump. There is no mystery here. He hasn’t changed one bit. We knew who he was and what he was before we elected him.
The other line comes from the recording “Alice’s Restaurant” by Arlo Gutherie, which recounts the events of a particular Thanksgiving Day. On that particular holiday Arlo offers to take trash to the dump for Alice. the dump is closed. It’s a holiday. He then throws trash over a ravine and gets arrested for littering. Arlo then goes on to describe his “sitting on the group W bench” with all sorts of hardened criminals (“mother rapers … father rapers …”) and then proceeds to talk about the draft where they (the military) are trying to induct him into the military, and he is less than interested. The line I’m thinking of is when Arlo asks the draft sergeant, “you want to know if I’m moral enough join the army, burn women, kids, houses and villages after bein’ a litterbug.”
And that’s kind of the problem the Republicans and Dave Brat have. They’ve done all this mean nasty stuff and now they want you to vote for them. They try to blame what they have done on others. They have tried to say they didn’t do it. They have said well yes they did it but it’s not what it is. That it is really good for you, etc. etc. etc.
The Republicans passed a tax bill that strips away deductions for state and local taxes. Yes, they did. They also said you can no longer deduct mortgage interest expense. Those two things are the bedrock of most Americans tax planning. It’s the one thing that gives them a leg up. Being taxed by the Federal government on the money you were taxed by your state or your local township is double taxation. I don’t know of any other way to say it. Isn’t that – double taxation – one of the things that led to the Revolution? I mean come on.
Then we get to Dave Brat and “the stupidest campaign in the 2018 election season”*
* credit Joe Scaroborough
Brat sent around an ad and put out on TV that Abigail Spanberger, his Democratic opponent, is dangerous because she wants to expand Obamacare.
He also pounds away at the tag line “Nancy Pelosi and her liberal agenda.” What exactly is he talking about? The fact that Pelosi actually passed legislation? That the legislation she passed helped people? Who knows.
Dave can point to his vast legislative accomplishments. He got one bill passed. He renamed something. He can point to his great lauded fiscal conservatism where he increased the national debt this year alone by over a trillion dollars. As opposed to Pelosi’s actually cutting the debt.
He can point to his letting companies bring trillions of dollars back into this country on profits they made here but never paid taxes on. This was supposed to help the economy. Dave, touting himself as an economist, man-splained that this money would be used to start the economy roaring. It hasn’t. He never explained that if that was true why hadn’t companies used all the cash they already had here to get the economy roaring? Let’s be clear about Brat’s econ credentials. He has never published a legitimate econ paper. He has a PhD in the subject, but you have to wonder. He points to three opinion pieces he wrote about the economy that he published in magazines or journals that are without reputation that he controlled. It’s like Ran Paul saying he’s a certified ophthalmologist. Yeah, in an organization he started; not the real one.
Now Brat and his fellow Republicans after seeing the writing on the wall about people liking coverage for pre-existing conditions are now saying they are for it. For pre-existing conditions? That’s like the line, “Respect you in the morning? Heck, I don’t respect you now.”
Who are they kidding? (about 44% of the population – currently).
These are the yahoos who tried to repeal Obamacare 70 times. They have outright lied in their campaign ads time and time again saying they are for coverage of pre-existing condition while – get this – they are actively pursuing in court to eliminate coverage. My old state of North Carolina has Thom Tillis (what a piece of work he is) introducing a, what the Republicans call, a health care bill. A better name would be “a gouge and fleece the public” bill. Does it cover pre-existing conditions? You bet. The insurance companies can charge whatever they like, but they will cover you.
Dave Brat won’t lie like that. What he says, and he said this in the debate with Spanberger, that he’ll give you money so you can pay for yourself for your pre-existing condition. Hey Dave, “What if that’s not enough to cover that condition?” What did you say Dave? Sorry, I can’t hear you. Fuck who? Oh. Got it.
“Hey Dave, you are the brilliant economist right? You know that most people with a severe pre-existing condition like cancer go through their savings and financial resources within two years right? What are they supposed to do after that? Hello? Dave, are you there?
“Don’t run away when I’m talking to you. I’m in your district. Hey, by the way, according to you there were 700 paid protestors at your phony town hall at the Cloverhill Church. I say phony because, like all those events you’ve had, no one gets to ask you a question directly. But if there were 700 paid protestors at that “town hall” that would have been everyone in the room. I never got my check.
“You know Dave, you and the Republicans got a lot of damn gall asking for my vote after you have worked against my interests and those of everyone I know. That you have screwed us over time and time again, lied about it, and then tried to stoke fear in us by bringing up a woman who has actually really really helped us.
“I’d come see you in person, but you won’t tell people where you are going to be because you are afraid. Afraid that you might actually run into a constituent with a problem. A problem you no doubt created.”
926 Days to Go
The election is in five days. Go to the polls. Do not let them turn you away. Vote. Get a provisional ballot, if necessary, but vote.
Let them know how pissed off you are.
PS “You thought they would do what?”