Tuesday, July 18, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He lashed out at the Senate.

Yesterday saw the third consecutive failure to replace the ACA with a Trump-branded tax cut and deregulation plan for health insurance--or the fourth, if you include a stillborn plan to repeal the ACA without replacing it in the hopes that a future Congress will feel compelled to act. 

Not surprisingly, Trump took to Twitter to vent, blaming Democrats for their obstruction--though, of course, as the minority party, Democrats had no power to stop or even influence a reconciliation bill in the Senate. Trump also reiterated his previous demand that the Senate adopt pure majority-vote rules, saying that "[t]he Senate must go to a 51 vote majority instead of current 60 votes." But the latest version of Trumpcare needed only 50 votes, and failed because it couldn't even get that.

But while a Republican president bashing Democrats might be expected, there was also an ominous tone in how he characterized the senators in his own party, saying that most of them (but obviously not all) had been "loyal." In fact, in remarks given today, Trump retreated into a fantasy where "disloyal" Republicans were his only opposition. Ignoring Democrats, he said, "the vote would have been, if you look at it, 48-4. That’s a pretty impressive vote by any standard.”


  • Senators owe loyalty to nothing but the Constitution.
  • Treating disagreements as betrayals is not a sign of great emotional adjustment.
  • It's a pretty bad sign if a president's need for validation is so strong that it leads him to brag out loud about imaginary victories.
  • While presidents don't need much in the way of math skills, they should be able to count to fifty.