We'd like to boldly add a new disease's definition to the political lexicon. We feel this is necessary since Donald Trump seems to have caught a rather drastic case of "100 Days Envy." Symptoms are a tendency to flail around looking for a legislative win you can brag about, and an unnatural fear of being called a loser by the entire planet's media for not even coming close to fulfilling pretty much any of the grandiose promises you made for your first 100 days in office.
Archive of Articles in the "Elections" Category
A bill has been introduced in California's state legislature which would prevent the state's law enforcement officers (and any other state resources) from being used to: "investigate, detain, detect, report, or arrest a person for marijuana activity that is authorized by law in the State of California." The bill is based on a similar bill which would declare California a "sanctuary state" for undocumented immigrants. Either one would be the first of its kind on a statewide level. The marijuana sanctuary bill (AB 1578) would send a clear signal to both Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the state is not going to take part in any new federal War On Weed. It just passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee by a vote of 5 to 2.
I hesitate to even write this article, because by the time I post it the election results from the sixth congressional district in Georgia might already be in. Which would make all my musings moot, if you'll forgive my alliteration. But I got my taxes in a day early, so I've got nothing better to do than cheerfully speculate about politics this fine afternoon, so I'm hoping people will read this in the same lighthearted way in which it was written.
This week saw some history made in the Trump White House. For the first time (at least in our memory), a White House top aide actually apologized for saying something stupid. So far, being Donald Trump (or being a Trump spokesperson) has meant never having to say you're sorry over any idiocy that gets said or tweeted, but this week saw Sean Spicer being forced to apologize for apparently forgetting about that whole Holocaust thing. While defending Adolf Hitler, on the first day of Passover, no less.
Will tomorrow be any different at the White House? Since we all seem to now be living in Bizarro World, wouldn't that tend to make you think that we'd get no foolishness from our president on April Fool's Day? I mean, in an April Fool's Year, shouldn't one day be set aside for nonfoolery? Maybe even that's too much to ask from this fool's paradise of a White House.
There's a meme running around inside the Beltway this week concerning the likelihood of Democrats in Congress working with Donald Trump to get some legislation passed. However, much of the gossiping ignores one key question, because so far the speculation has mostly been focused on: "Will they or won't they work together, and what will it mean politically for both?" That's a valid thing to ponder, but the essential part most of this speculation misses is that any collaboration between the two is going to heavily depend on the substance of the issue, and precisely what's being proposed. Substance matters, in other words, even if it is more fun to wonder what the political fallout may be.
Never were the words of the Grateful Dead so fitting in the world of politics. "Trouble ahead, trouble behind" is indeed a perfect description of the spot Paul Ryan and Donald Trump found themselves in today. Because Casey Jones faced precisely the same no-win situation, and it didn't work out so good for him, either.
The Tea Party is, once again, flexing its muscles. Little noticed in the 2016 election results was the changing ratio between Tea Partiers and the Republican caucus as a whole in the House of Representatives. Republicans lost seats, but not many of these losers were Tea Partiers. This meant the relative strength of the Tea Party increased, overall. The real power dynamic, though, is that when the Tea Partiers hang together, they've got a big enough bloc to halt any Republican-only legislation cold. Which is what they've just accomplished, on the Ryancare bill. Paul Ryan was forced to concede that there will be no vote today, which means he will be robbed of symbolically voting on Obamacare's replacement on the day Obama signed it into existence, seven years ago.
What are the chances that the Ryancare bill will pass Congress? We are now two days from its first test, and the answer is as unclear as ever. Whatever happens is going to take the measure of the relative political strength of Paul Ryan, Donald Trump, and the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. If the Tea Partiers win this struggle, it could doom any chances for actual governance from the Republican Congress for the next few years. If the Tea Partiers lose, there may be a frenzy of primary challenges for sitting Republicans in Congress in 2018. Either way, the next two days could be definitive.
Donald Trump will doubtlessly go down in history as many things, but what we're all coming to grips with right now (a bare two months into his presidency) is that Trump will also surely be remembered as the first "Conspiracy-Theorist-In-Chief" in American history. Trump, in fact, personifies the old adage: "I've made up my mind -- don't confuse me with the facts!" This was on full display today, as the heads of the F.B.I. and the N.S.A. testified before a House committee that there is simply no evidence whatsoever that can in any way, shape, or form validate the wild claim Trump made two weeks ago -- that Barack Obama had personally wiretapped Trump Tower during the campaign. This adds to a long list of people (who all have the highest security clearance and full access to such things), all of whom have now said the same thing: no evidence exists whatsoever to back up Trump's bizarre accusation. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch.