|click image to enlarge|
I know that I sound like a broken record when it comes to bemoaning and condemning what the Republican Party has become. The election of Der Trumpenführer is but the culmination of two decades or more of descent into moral bankruptcy. Throughout this descent we have witnessed never ending hypocrisy as the Republican Party falsely claims to be the party of Christian values, voices false concern about the average citizen, and, of course, pretense that it supports our men and women in uniform, and our military veterans. Nothing could be farther from the truth if one looks at the actual facts and changes the channel from Fox New, a/k/a Faux News. Like the Christofascists who have hijacked the party base, the safest bet nowadays is to assume that if a Republican elected officials lips are moving, he/she is lying. Things truly have gotten that bad. The newly released Senate Republican "healthcare reform" bill epitomizes the perversity of the GOP. In deed, how "decent people" not driven by racism, religious extremism, greed and/or hatred of others can vote Republican makes me question their morality.
For newer readers, many may not know of my son-in-law's story of being badly injured in Afghanistan while on his third tour in that hell hole of a country. His recovery was remarkable and he is now back in college securing a new degree that will allow him to give back to others the type of care that helped him make it through his nightmare experience. His experience and meeting a number of his friends, some of whom were no where near as lucky as he was, has made me very conscious of the GOP's broken promises to veterans. He steered me to a piece that examines the huge number of veterans who will be harmed under Trumpcare/Ryancare. It's the ultimate betrayal of those who sacrificed so much for their country - far more than the most of the foul Republicans in Congress ever will. The article here is a must read. So too is Andrew Sullivan's latest assessment of Trump and the GOP. First these highlights from how are veterans will be harmed:
A new analysis by the Center for American Progress finds that 441,300 veterans would lose Medicaid coverage by 2026 under the plan of President Donald Trump and House Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Senate proposal, crafted behind closed doors, contains even larger Medicaid cuts in the long term than the House plan—cuts that would ultimately result in more veterans losing Medicaid coverage. Moreover, like the House bill, the Senate plan allows states to make changes to essential health benefits, which would reduce current protections for veterans with pre-existing conditions—including service-connected disabilities such as spinal cord injuries, amputations, and post-traumatic stress disorder—and lead to steep increases in medical costs, harming American veterans and their families.
The cuts not only break President Trump’s pledge to support veterans, they also disproportionately harm voters in the areas that most strongly supported him. New CAP analysis reveals that in the counties Trump won in the 2016 presidential election, 10 percent of adults are veterans—45 percent more than the share who are veterans in counties Trump lost.
The message to veterans and the members of the military: stop reflexively voting Republican. It is NOT in your best interest. Hollow sound bites about supporting our troops need to be ignored. Actions, not words, are what need to be watched. But as Sullivan notes, the perversity of today's Republican Party and, of course, Der Trumpenführer, goes far beyond the betrayal of veterans. Here are excerpts from Sullivan's piece:
I was mulling, as one does, over this presidency, and something crystallized in my head that I had not quite grasped before. Its policies are best described as simply perverse. The new Senate health-care bill is just the latest shining example. . . . it has no vision of how it wants health care to be organized; the loss of health care for the working poor will be most intense in Republican districts; . . . For good measure, by ending many of the taxes in the bill that make it work, and by removing the individual mandate, it risks sending the insurance markets into a deeper crisis.So what on earth is the point? For Trump, it seems to me, the whole point is to have a “win.” He doesn’t give a shit about what the bill actually contains. He’ll just lie about it afterward and assume his cult followers will believe him. For Ryan, it’s just a way to make a future tax cut for the superrich more budget-friendly, while pushing the political costs of shredding Medicaid onto some future sucker.
And then you think about those tax cuts Ryan wants so badly. We are told that these cuts will spark so much growth they will pay for themselves — and more. And yet if there is one thing we really do know by now, it is that this strategy has spectacularly failed and failed again to work. Reagan’s tax cuts left the U.S. with an unprecedented peacetime deficit; George W. Bush inherited a small surplus and, after his tax cuts didn’t spur higher growth, handed Obama a Treasury close to bankrupt. In Kansas, the exact same strategy has incurred so much debt that a supermajority of the legislature, led by Republicans, have junked it. To pursue it a third time on a national scale is the definition of madness.
We are also living in an era of extreme inequality. . . . the policy of the Republicans is to further increase such inequality to levels beyond even the robber-baron era. Again, the only word for this is … perverse.
Ditto, for that matter, the idea that coal is the future of energy, and that climate change is a hoax. . . . It was an utterly pointless way to isolate the U.S. from the rest of the world, and cede leadership to China. There was really no point at all in trashing the modest opening to Cuba under Obama, poisoning relations, and then just fiddling with the details.
Elsewhere in foreign policy, we have just begun a deepening of the war in Afghanistan, the longest in American history, with no strategy in place. . . . . The opening to Iran gave the U.S. far more leverage in the region, balancing out our previous Sunni commitments with a Shiite counterweight. Now Trump has fully committed the United States to one side of an intra-Muslim divide, while trashing Qatar, which houses the most important military base in the entire region. Again: perverse.
One of the ironies of the impact on veterans is that Texas, a red state that loves to huff and puff about patriotism will see the larges number of veterans harmed by Trumpcare if it passes.