One would think last week had to be a low water mark for this administration; but then one can never assume anything with Trump. Last week he managed to screw nearly everyone in the country and the world with his words and actions.
He signed two executive orders with the intention of gutting the Affordable Care Act with no consideration for the millions who will either lose insurance or have to pay much higher premiums because he really doesn’t understand what his actions will mean and how they will adversely impact even his own voters. Then he decertified the Iran agreement against the advice of his secretary of defense and other advisors thereby screwing our allies and bringing the world one step closer to war. Some surmise both these actions were a challenge to his Republican Congress to do something; but if true Trump’s game of chicken is frightening and morally bankrupt.
He announced new policies which will allow virtually any employer to claim a religious or moral objection to the ACA birth control coverage mandate under a sweeping rollback announced Friday. These policies will take effect immediately. What is sure to happen is this will renew legal action at all levels. He did this to appease his religious base who long opposed the requirement to provide FDA-approved contraception at no cost. It has been in litigation for over five years. “The administration issued two rules — one outlining how an employer could claim an exemption for religious beliefs, the other outlining an exemption for sincerely held moral convictions — on the same day Attorney General Jeff Sessions called for sweeping protections for religious freedom in a government-wide memo that could have far-reaching implications.”
Then on Thursday according to the New York Times “Three weeks after a killer hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico, President Trump indicated he was losing patience. At least some of the blame for the continuing crisis is yours, he told the island territory, and the federal government will not stay “forever.”
Then ensuring everyone would know he was rolling back protections for the LGBTQ+ community Trump keynoted the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit. According to Chris Johnson’s report in the Blade “President Trump took the opportunity Friday of speaking at an anti-LGBT summit to express pleasure in his administration’s actions reversing the legacy of the Obama years, citing among other things recent “religious freedom” guidance seen to enable anti-LGBT discrimination.”
Trump continued his twitter war with members of Congress and managed to continue to undermine his secretary of state. Things got so bad that on Friday, for the first time since he was named chief of staff, Gen. Kelly appeared in the White House press briefing room to deny he is quitting or that he is being fired. Chaos clearly rules the White House with an out-of-control Trump acting to harm millions of Americans every day.
Many Americans are asking “Robert Mueller where are you and when can you start handing down those first indictments?” It is difficult to imagine how much more Americans will have to suffer from this president; a man his own secretary of state called a f’ing moron. And IQ has nothing to do with it.
So what can be done? The answer is not much unless some Republican leaders in Congress, which is asking much from gutless wonders like Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will have the spine to take him down or at least counter some of his crap. This can be done. Congress must pass a bill that counters what he has done to bring down the ACA even if only temporarily so as not to be complicit with Trump in screwing millions of Americans. They can pass simple legislation ensuring the subsidies for the poor and preventing association health plans from going national with plans that might be cheap but cover nothing. Democrats should introduce the legislation and remind people if it doesn’t pass the disaster is officially Republican Trumpcare.
Then Congress should refuse to pass new sanctions on Iran. They should issue a statement clearly stating they agree with the secretary of defense and the secretary of state Iran has met their technical commitments under the agreement and Congress will do nothing to remove us from the agreement. They must speak out and let the world know our entire government is not as crazy or sick as our president. We need to tell the world despite our president the United States government believes we must abide by our treaties and agreements. If we don’t why would any country enter into an agreement or treaty with the United States ever again?
Peter Rosenstein is a longtime LGBT rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.