Legacies of the Trump presidency





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  • Benjamin Schwab

    Excellent. We can also talk about monuments to the current administration. In doing so we also have the benefit of talking about things that have already happened.

    Monument to a health care reform (his signature achievement) developed by the Heritage Foundation that increases the health and prosperity of the Health Insurance Industry much more than the American People.

    Monument from the best friend of Wall Street supporting a return to business as usual: large wealth transfers to the wealthy when the economy is “doing well” and a lack of accountability when the rest of us have to pay for their opulence.

    Monument to the Deepwater Horizon and Freedom Industries spills. But at-least now we don’t have to worry about industry causing major environmental incidents, our own government if perfectly capable of it.

    Monument to a record number of deportations.

    Monument to torture.

    Monument to extra judicial killings with a side of collateral damage.

    Monument to the absolute death of the War Powers Act.

    Monument to record number of whistle blower prosecutions.

    Truly a legacy for all those who helped to bring it about should feel proud of. I wounder what statures the loser of the 2008 Democratic Primary is going to earn…

    • Shannon

      “Monument to a health care reform (his signature achievement) developed
      by the Heritage Foundation that increases the health and prosperity of
      the Health Insurance Industry much more than the American People.”

      Yeah, now millions of uninsurable people can get insurance, and the companies can’t deny your claim because you had a hangnail ten years ago. Oh the horror!

      Of course, if you really want to bring costs down and insure anybody without feeding the bloated fat cats in the insurance biz, you should go to a single-payer system like Canada and Britain have. You’re all in favor of that…right?

      “Monument from the best friend of Wall Street supporting a return to
      business as usual: large wealth transfers to the wealthy when the
      economy is “doing well” and a lack of accountability when the rest of us
      have to pay for their opulence.”

      You’re confusing Obama with Bush now. Or the Republicans in Congress who are doing their best to “defund” the agencies in charge of reforming and policing the system.

      “Monument to the Deepwater Horizon and Freedom Industries spills. But
      at-least now we don’t have to worry about industry causing major
      environmental incidents, our own government if perfectly capable of it.”

      Yeah, that’s right it was the US government drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

      I suppose you think that seeing a cop napping in his car gives you the right to down a six-pack and drive at 120mph the rest of the day. And let’s not forget it was Bush that hired the cop.

      “Monument to a record number of deportations.”

      Thought you conservatives liked that.

      “Monument to torture.

      Monument to extra judicial killings with a side of collateral damage.”

      Ditto. You certainly had no problem with it when it was Bush doing it.

      “Monument to the absolute death of the War Powers Act.

      Monument to record number of whistle blower prosecutions.”

      Uh huh. Care to back either of those claims up?

      Oh, why can’t we go back to Bush, and his legacy of an illegal, foolhardy war and near-total economic collapse? Ah, the good old days.

      • Benjamin Schwab

        “Of course, if you really want to bring costs down and insure anybody without feeding the bloated fat cats in the insurance biz, you should go to a single-payer system like Canada and Britain have.”

        I am nowhere near expert enough to compare the healthcare systems of Canada and Britain to that of nations other than my own but either system would be much preferable to the system used in this nation. It also appears that you know that the Affordable Care Act won’t cover anybody and President Obama knew so too before the act was law:

        “I want to cover everybody. Now, the truth is that unless you have a what’s called a single-payer system in which everybody is automatically covered, then you’re probably not going to reach every single individual, because there’s always going to be somebody out there who thinks they’re indestructible and doesn’t want to get health care, doesn’t bother getting health care, and then unfortunately when they get hit by a bus end up in the emergency room and the rest of us have to pay for it.

        “But that’s not the overwhelming majority of Americans. The overwhelming majority of Americans want health care, but millions of them can’t afford it. So the plan that has been — that I’ve put forward and that what we’re seeing in Congress would cover — the estimates are at least 97 to 98 percent of Americans.

        “There might still be people left out there who, even though there’s an individual mandate, even though they are required to purchase health insurance, might still not get it, or despite a lot of subsidies are still in such dire straits that it’s still hard for them to afford it, and we may end up giving them some sort of hardship exemption.” President Barack Obama, White House News Conference, Jully 22nd 2009

        It seems as though President Obama knew that some of the people who would need health insurance most would not be able to get it through the Affordable Healthcare Act. I fault nobody who now has the opportunity to have meaningful healthcare insurance through the AHA and I support them getting such. I would join them if I could.

        Instead of receiving a promise of universal healthcare, we received a huge income transfer from public funds to private industry that has just enough improvements to make it look like a reform geared towards expanding coverage and lowering costs.

        What is likely to happen is that not everybody living in this country will be covered (including some people by design). Over time when the public’s attention drifts away from Obamacare, the subsidies will be harder to get through both increasingly stringent requirements and harder methods needed to prove eligibility and more people will be left uninsured. This is the same process that effects other programs like Social Security Disability and Medical Assistance before the AHA (and in the states that haven’t yet expanded).

        The healthcare situation will persist in this country with people priced out of insurance and care. I did not find a reliable number since the passage of the AHA but people die from a lack of insurance. As the number of the uninsured increase (as they will eventually) under current policy there will be another reform of our healthcare system, likely in 15 to 25 years if past trends hold.

        If the same thing that happened with the AHA happens again then, which Republican proposal will form a cornerstone of the next Democratic healthcare reform. Will it be health savings accounts, tax credits, the gutting of state regulation by allowing citizens to purchase plans across state line, or something else? Will you cheer the Republican ideas then like you cheer Republican ideas now?

        The current system doesn’t even include a public option. The reason why it doesn’t and had so much Democratic support is because Democrats know that you won’t withhold your vote for them no matter how conservative the policies they vote for are as long as they are less conservative than what the Republicans advocate. What was your redline? How conservative would healthcare reform need to be for you not to have supported it? You’re the reason why the latest reform was as conservative as it is.

        My voting behavior in terms of healthcare is geared towards what the next reform will look like. By not voting for Democrats who support(ed) the AHA, I am incentivizing a liberal healthcare reform next time the industry is reformed. If I were to vote for Democrats who support(ed) the AHA, I am giving a message that a lawmaker need not actually worry about losing my vote. Not only did your past behavior guarantee that we did not get universal healthcare a few years ago but your present behavior guarantees that it will be at-least half a century before our society gets it.

        President Obama campaigned on the promise of implementing policy that will provide universal healthcare. The policy that is his signature achievement fails in that promise. I do not give him amiable credit for his achievement.

        “’Monument from the best friend of Wall Street supporting a return to business as usual: large wealth transfers to the wealthy when the economy is ‘doing well’ and a lack of accountability when the rest of us have to pay for their opulence.’

        You’re confusing Obama with Bush now. Or the Republicans in Congress who are doing their best to ‘defund’ the agencies in charge of reforming and policing the system.”

        I very much am not. The Bush Administration prosecuted hundreds of individuals related to the Savings and Loan Crisis while the Obama administration has not done anything remotely similar with regards to the Crisis of 2008. It is the Obama administration that refused to prosecute those criminally responsible for a financial crisis that harmed a majority of US citizens. It is the Obama administration that is not concerned with accountability while the Bush administration was.

        The stock market is doing well while the economy has been poor to sucky for my entire working life (my first job was in 2002). The economy under the Obama administration is doing well for those who are already well off and not so much for the rest of it. The same could be said for the George Walker Bush administration but once again, I am not confusing the two.

        Oh, and in case your forgot, Obama certainly wants to be helpfull to Wall Street and it appears that he has succeeded. I’m not confused on this issue.

        “Yeah, that’s right it was the US government drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

        I suppose you think that seeing a cop napping in his car gives you the right to down a six-pack and drive at 120mph the rest of the day. And let’s not forget it was Bush that hired the cop.”

        Not this is where I’m confused. I’m afraid I don’t understand your analogy. I really can’t address it. With respect to any policy changes resulting from The Deepwater Horizon spill, finally there are new regulations being promulgated to prevent a reassurance this year and there has as of yet to be any legislative changes.

        Considering the expansion of Fracking in this country, large and very public spills with little reform, and the lack of any climate change legislation, it is fair to criticize the Obama Administration as lacking appropriate environmental stewardship.

        “’Monument to a record number of deportations.’

        Thought you conservatives liked that.”

        I quite frankly don’t know what you’re talking about. I have no memory of every supporting increase in deportation. I have for a decade or so advocated for a much more open immigration policy. I want it to be easy for someone who reaches United States territory to easily immigrate legally. I have maintained this position for some time. I don’t know where you’re getting your information but it appears to be quite unreliable.

        As far as politicians, I don’t demand that they support as radically a policy as I advocate but I do have red lines. I will not support a politician on immigration or an immigration policy that focuses on securing the border more than it does and reforms that will make it easier for people to immigrate legally. The Obama Administrations policy on imigration is one I will not support by this standard despite promises for comprehensive immigration reform.

        “’Monument to torture.

        Monument to extra judicial killings with a side of collateral damage.’

        Ditto. You certainly had no problem with it when it was Bush doing it.”

        I assure you that I had lots of problems with these when they occurred under the Bush Administration. The Obama Administration had (and still has) the opportunity to begin some process of accountability for the torture that occurred under the Bush administration. There has been none. Also considering that Obama chose a Secretary of State that considered President Mubarak to be a family friend, it seems that Obama does not have a negative view of torture. Also Camp Delta still exists and is operating despite promises to the contrary.

        The Obama administration has expanded the use of drones to kill people. The targets are people accused of being involved in some vague understanding of harm towards the United States. These are people who are killed without trial on an executive order. These are clearly extra-judicial killings.

        The secrecy of the program is also harmful. There is no clear information on what standards are used, what the standard operating procedures are, or reliable statistics on the program. For a government to engage in extra-judicial killings is bad enough but the lack of public scrutiny of a program already so undemocratic fits. And this is all before considering the collateral damage occurred in these killings: people who all parties acknowledge have committed no crime but are still executed because of who they are standing in the vicinity of at the time of their execution.

        Anybody that voted for Barack Obama and anybody who will vote for a President who will continue this policy are voting for these extrajudicial killings. They are voting in support of such undemocratic tragedies. I will not vote for a President who will order these miscarriages of justice no matter the letter by the candidate’s name. There is no policy advocated by a Presidential candidate that I am aware of that can overcome this horror for me.

        “’Monument to the absolute death of the War Powers Act.

        Monument to record number of whistle blower prosecutions.’

        Uh huh. Care to back either of those claims up?”

        For the first one: The Libya War. The Obama Administration involved in the Armed Forces of the United States in a clear war in Libya. The Administration never got anything from Congress authorizing this action. The War Powers Act was never enforced as strongly as it was designed to be and Congress has proven to be a rubber stamp but the Obama Administration has set a precedent that future Presidents can completely ignore the Act. If one is worried about the ability of a Trump or other president to wage war in the future, the power of the president to wage war was expanded by the Obama administration.

        As for the second one: here, not to mention the high profile cases of Chelsey Manning and Edward Snowden. Even if one appreciates some of the ambiguities, the Obama administration is clearly not a friendly place for whistleblowers.

        “Oh, why can’t we go back to Bush, and his legacy of an illegal, foolhardy war and near-total economic collapse? Ah, the good old days.”

        That is not the choice that we have available to us and if it were we would lose. Yes the Bush Administration engaged in illegal foolhardy war and had poor economic policies but the same is true of the Obama administration. Voting for candidates that will continue this tradition just guarantees more of the same.

        If Hillary Clinton receives the Democratic nomination, there will be a candidate who is more conservative than Obama and more dangerous in foreign policy running for President. If I were to vote for her, I would be voting to continue the awful policies our governments have. Since I don’t expect the Republican nominee to be any better, I will likely vote for a third party candidate or not at all.

        By withholding my vote, my impact is clear. For a president to earn my vote in future elections they would actually have to be a liberal president. I am willing to accept a Jeb Bush administration if it would mean finally getting a liberal administration for the first time since the Nixon administration in a future election. As long as there are not a large number of liberals willing to do the same we will get conservative governments in perpetuity.

        –Edited for formating

  • Alan Barta

    Congress only exists to funnel funds toward one minority group or another. Under Bush, it was his narrow circle of good-old-boys. Under Obama, it’s the insurance corporations. Commonwealth will never be uniformly served. But there are some enormous differences in the ramifications. Under Bush, the middle class was nearly wiped out from recession his policies created. Under Obama, a safety net embraced millions more in health care, which preserves economy for all and worker productivity. Schwab’s diatribe is full of sound and fury, but none of it signifies. Shannon shouldn’t feed the troll.

  • ThorstenV

    Concerning damaged lady Liberty, there seems to be a discussion about some German newspaper https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/02/03/trump-beheads-the-statue-of-liberty-in-striking-magazine-cover-illustration/
    But who listens to Germans? Let us rather listen to what Americans taught Germans, what values a nation needs to respect in order to be respected:
    Fairness
    Respect for rights of others
    Honesty
    Democracy
    Peacefulness
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/OMGUS.jpg
    Maybe someone could get a copy to hang in the oval office?

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

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