This is who they are

A couple of important comments from leading Republican Senators this weekend, right on the heels of a vote to raise the debt by a trillion or so so that rich people can get richer.  First, Orrin Hatch on extending children’s health insurance:

“I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won’t help themselves, won’t lift a finger, and expect the federal government to do everything,” Hatch, the Senate Finance Committee Chair, said Thursday on the Senate floor.

Damn those poor kids who won’t lift a finger for their own health insurance!  Get them to work in the coal mines!

Perhaps, even more tone deaf, Chuck Grassley on ending the estate tax:

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said he favors repealing the estate tax, which the Senate tax-reform bill does not do, saying it “recognizes the people that are investing,” The Des Moines Register reported Saturday.

“I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing, as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies,” Grassley told the newspaper.

Well, damn it, I’m sure I’d have a nice Eric Trump size estate if I just stopped drinking, taking my wife out to Wendy’s, and going to movies.  Shame on stupid me.  And to think conservatives complain that liberals don’t understand “real” Americans.  Apparently Republican Senators know who the real Americans are– it’s not those struggling to make ends meet in middle America, but hedge fund millionaires who have great health insurance for their kids and don’t want to pay a dime in estate tax.




What if Mueller has a smoking gun and it doesn’t matter

I’ve seen this point raised by several people, but Dahlia Lithwick spins out the disturbing possibility.  I think this is about the scariest thing that could happen:

emocrats don’t like giving up on their institutions easily, and the Mueller investigation has served as both the best and the worst manifestation of that alluring Democratic reasonableness. So long as he is working away, filing documents and convening grand juries, nobody needs to take to the streets. But as the year has progressed, it’s become clear that absolutely nothing will persuade Trump supporters and Republicans in Congress that it’s time to disavow the president—not lying, not spilling state secrets, not abject failure in crisis management, and not openly performed corruption. Given that reality, it often feels like it wouldn’t be enough for Mueller to hand us a smoking gun and an indictment. What if they threw a conviction and nobody came? [emphasis mine]

It seems as though truth and law are forever losing ground in the footrace against open looting and overt totalitarianism. The more abjectly deranged Trump’s behavior and the more Republicans in Congress cover for him, the less likely it is that anything Mueller can magic up in his underground hall of justice will matter. Trump’s legal antagonists like to think that the next legal “tick, tick, tick, boom” will be the one that ends all this chaos. But with every passing day, as Trump escapes consequences and attacks the courts and the press, the chances that a “tick, tick, tick, boom” will be played off as #fakenews also increase.

Or, tax cuts over democracy.

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