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The Retreat Becomes a Rout

And, no; I’m not talking about Democratic failures in the face of the Republican onslaught. What’s being routed is common sense, practicality, reason, and stability.

The president has ultimately decided that if Congress is not going to strip health insurance from millions of people, essentially box them into buying policies that have unconscionably sky-high deductibles (because they’ll be the cheapest ones) or do not cover essential services such as addiction, mental health or family planning, then he is going to do that unilaterally.

By executive order.
Which Republicans hated when Obama issued them.
But we know what that was all about.
Don’t we.

And he’s planning on having the Democrats take the blame for it. That’s a retreat from reality, but then again, President Trump lives on the banks of denial, and he’ll continue to blame everyone except himself for the carnage that will follow. Of course, I do agree with the president that insurance companies should not get a payoff or have their profits subsidized with taxpayer money, but that begs the question of why he doesn’t really work with Democrats to construct a public option to compete with them.

Yes, I know the answer lies in a maelström of contradiction, ignorance, bombast and cruelty, but still.

This, though, is just the domestic bomb. The one that could get us all killed is in his actions on North Korea and Iran. By backing away from the Iran deal, and again leaving it to Congress to follow behind him and scoop up the mess, he makes a deal with North Korea that much more remote. After all, why would any dictator look at how we treated Saddam Hussain, Muammar Gaddafi and now Iran, and want to enter into any deal with us, knowing that at any time the president could abrogate or ignore its provisions? Further, Hussain and Gaddafi were killed after giving up their weapons of mass destruction. Kim and the mullahs are smarter than that.

Any astute reader of US foreign policy would also see that what the president says is not always what the policy turns out to be. Many of Trump’s secretaries have had to clarify, which means contradict, what he’s said because what he’s said would start a war. Cooler heads have prevailed, but cooler heads have also been seen rolling on the floor after a combustible president decided that they weren’t showing enough fealty. or at least got caught doing something stupid.

The real problem is that the United States is losing its credibility and its influence in the name of empty nationalism and the belief among Trump’s supporters that he somehow has the country’s best interests at heart. I don’t think he has our best interests and I’m rethinking the notion that he has a heart. What the president has is an insatiable desire to be the story, all day every day. And as we know from the media, that requires ever-expanding story lines, exaggerations and shock.

The system will eventually react. It will not be a pretty sight.

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